Day 78. Newspaper Rock and Back to Canyonlands

Tuesday, August 24, Day 78.

The other day I picked up a GuestGuide for MOAB and an attraction caught my eye. It was for Newspaper Rock, a historic monument. When I entered it in Mapquest, I saw it was almost an hour drive. I didn’t know if I felt like driving an hour to get to this attraction. I wanted an easy day but still wanted to take a short ride somewhere. We decided to go south on 191. When we leave our campground, we always go north on 191. Let’s see what is south of us.

Shortly into our drive, I see a huge arrow painted on a huge rock. And words painted on the rock saying “Hole in the Rock”. We did not see the hole. Not going back for a second look. We did go past this ROCK on our way back and a second look still didn’t help us see a hole in the rock.

A short distance down the road past the hole in the rock, we come upon Wilson Arch. Wilson Arch is a sandstone feature that sits along Highway 191 south of Moab on BLM land. If you do not know what BLM stands for, it is bureau of land management. There is a pull-out, located less than a mile south of La Sal Junction. It is well-marked, and the hike is free.  This would be a really fun hike. Not today. As you all probably know by now, we are not hikers.

We drove further than we expected and I told Hubby in another 20 miles or so, we would be at Newspaper Rock so why not go see what it is all about. Soon we are passing the sign for Newspaper Rock and we pull into the parking area and I get out of the Big Boy Truck to see the Petroglyphs.

From google: A petroglyph is an image that is carved into a rock. This “carving” can produce a visible indentation in the rock, or it can simply be the scratching away of a weathered surface to reveal unweathered material of a different color below.

Newspaper Rock is located on a very scenic road. We see tents set up on this road. All we can think these tents might be for are archaeological digs. This isn’t the first time we saw tents like this.

All along this scenic road, we see boulders that look like rock slides down huge mountains. Hubby and I both wonder how many of these huge boulders slide down the mountain and make it all the way to the road. Wonder if any cars got crushed.

We see a sign saying 20 miles to Canyonland. We were thinking it would be closer to our campground if we drive to Canyonlands since Canyonlands is only 35 minutes from our campground. What a mistake. We were wrong. But at the time, we did not know it, so off to Canyonlands we go.

We use our America the Beautiful pass to get free entry. We know we are at the other end of Canyonlands park and we have to drive through the park to get to the exit side of the park that is closest to our campground. This is a desolate area and I’m not surprised there are not cars waiting to get admission.

The upside is we get to see new things because we have not been on this side of the park. We come upon the Wooden Shoe Arch. And golly be, it looks like a wooden shoe.

Yay, I get Hubby to get a selfie in Canyonlands. It is not a selfie with a canyon in the background. This side of Canyonlands is mostly rock formations above ground.

We take a snack break.

A bunch of different rock formations.

What is this. Looks like the road stops. This is not good.


We had to turn around and go back the way we came. I put our campground into the GPS and the fastest route showed a two hour drive to get back to the campground. We had to take the same exact route back as we did going so we got to see everything on the scenic road, Newspaper Rock area, Wilson Arch and the hole in the rock (that again we could not see the hole) a second time. So much for saving time going through Canyonlands.

We make it back to our campground by 5 pm. Not too bad. So much for a short drive and an easy day. We are good. We relax the rest of the evening.

God Bless, Stay Safe, Be Kind to Every Kind and never take anything for granted. We took for granted that going to Canyonlands would be a shorter drive back to camp. NOT!


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