At approximately 6,000 feet in elevation, Green River Overlook at Canyonlands National Park in Utah offers some breathtaking views of the Green River, which begins in the Wind River Range of Wyoming and joins the Colorado River at the confluence 20 miles south of this overlook.
Green River Overlook at Canyonlands National Park in Utah
Find the person close to the ledge of the cliff, as he gives an idea of the scale of the massiveness of the canyon that has been carved out over the centuries by the Green River.
Ekker Butte — whose elevation is 6,226 feet — is in the top center of the above photograph. It was named for the Ekker family, who were pioneer ranchers in the area. This formation is just across the border in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
To the left of Ekker Butte is Elaterite Butte — whose elevation is 6,552 feet — which is a landmark in the Maze District; and is named for the dark-brown mineral which occurs in this area.
To the right of Ekker Butte is the Orange Cliffs area, which is a prominent landmark named by explorer John Wesley Powell in 1869. Vertical rock faces of Wingate Sandstone tower up to 450 feet high.
The orange backcountry road in the lower left of the photograph is White Rim Road, on which visitors to the park who are equipped with 4-wheel-drive vehicles or mountain bikes may experience the wilderness of Canyonlands National Park. The recommended driving time is two days to drive for approximately 100 miles on this road.
The Green River divides the Island in the Sky District from the Maze District, which are two of the four districts in Canyonlands National Park. The Maze District is by far the most remote and the least accessible, as it is located west of the Green River and Colorado River and consists of a labyrinth of mesas, steep-sided buttes, and slender towers in an area of 114 square miles. Bands of red sandstone and white sandstone resemble stripes on a candy cane.
White Rim Sandstone is a hard layer of white sandstone that forms a sharply-defined rim above the lower level canyons. Comprised of ancient coastal sand dunes, the White Rim lies approximately 1,300 feet below this point.
To the right of the center of the above photograph — as well as in the center of the photograph below — is Turks Head, which was named by John Wesley Powell for its resemblance to a Turkish turban. White Rim Sandstone acts as a protective cap rock on buttes and spires throughout Canyonlands National Park.
Final Boarding Call
The Green River Overlook is part of Canyonlands National Park; and it is obviously not the same Green River that I visited at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky.
Canyonlands National Park
2282 Resource Boulevard
Moab, Utah 84532
Entrance fees into the park include:
- Private Vehicle: $30.00 — Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less) and all its occupants.
- Motorcycle: $25.00 — Admits a private, non-commercial motorcycle and its riders.
- Per Person: $15.00 — Admits one individual with no car. Typically used for bicyclists, hikers, and pedestrians. Youth 15 and under are admitted free.
Please refer to this National Parks of Utah and Colorado: Itinerary and Master Guide, which outlines my itinerary and has links to other articles here at The Gate With Brian Cohen.
All photographs ©2020 by Brian Cohen.