American Southwest Day 3: Cayonlands National Park 峽谷地國家公園

Cayonlands National Park in Utah has been high on my bucket list. The park has an iconic stone arch that you probably have seen after a famous photographer Peter Lik took the renowned sunrise photo which became your computer background image.

猶他州的峽谷地國家公園一直以來都在我的攝影夢想清單上,自從攝影師Peter Lik在Mesa Arch拍了日出之後,大概大家都在電腦桌布看過峽谷地的這個著名地標。

Cayonlands National Park is packed with majestic canyons and buttes. The park has three main sections: Island in the Sky, The Needles, and The Maze. The former two are more accessible.

We did not have much time in Moab. Most of the places in the Needles take a long time to explore, so I chose to only see Island in the Sky. Island in the Sky is about 40 minutes outside of Moab. This area has a lot of pullouts and short trails.

峽谷地國家公園充滿壯麗的峽谷地景和石峰,這個公園分成三區:天空之島 (Island in the Sky)、針鋒 (The Needles) 和迷宮 (The Maze),前兩個區域比較容易到達。 我們在Moab待的時間不常,針鋒區的大部分景點都需要花很長的時間探索,所以最後選了天空之島,天空之島距離Moab市區大概四十分鐘車程,沿路有很多觀景台和簡單的步道。

Due to time restriction, we only spent one evening in Canyonlands. That was not enough. It takes at least one full day plus one sunrise to see the highlights of just the Island in the Sky.

We first stopped at the visitor center and then went across the street to an overlook. The view was stunning. Millions of years of erosion constructed this breathtaking landscape. Erosion created geologic layers. The making of the Colorado Plateau 20 million years ago uplifted the area from about sea level to 5,000 feet high. The Green and Colorado Rivers and thunderstorms then carved the land into deep canyons and tall buttes.

This sight challenged the concept of time as I was used to. Time that I experienced are seconds, minutes, days, weeks with decades meaning long. But standing at the edge of this enormous canyon, I was experiencing millions of years in a snapshot right in front of my eyes.




Mesa Arch is a stone arch that sits on a cliff and frames a spread of canyons, rock spires, and the snow covered La Sal Mountains. This easy trail is only half a mile (0.8 km) long.

梅薩拱門 (Mesa Arch) 是個在峽谷邊緣的石拱門,框起背後的峽谷、石峰和遠處被雪覆蓋的La Sal山群,步道很輕鬆又很短,只有八百公尺。

When I reached Mesa Arch, I was shocked at how small it was! And I also realized why this place was so hard to frame and why most photos online looked the same.

I wanted to shoot sunrise at Mesa Arch but couldn’t make it work. Mesa Arch is usually packed at dawn. Getting a spot for sunrise requires staking out for hours. I had to put this back on my bucket list. Hopefully there’s a next time!

走到 Mesa Arch 又是個傻眼,沒想到這個拱門這麼小!難怪這裡這麼難構圖,而且網路上的照片十之八九都長一樣。

本來想在 Mesa Arch 拍日出,但最後沒成功,這裡通常日出之前都會爆滿,不早早來卡位絕對拍不到,這一趟沒辦法去,只好放回夢想清單裡,希望有一天會再回到Moab!


Canyonlands National Park 峽谷地國家公園
Map (National Park Services strongly recommend that people download the maps instead of relying on navigation. 記得下載地圖,國家公園說導航常常失誤)
Where to stay: Moab 住宿在Moab


Day 3 Itinerary

5:20 am Sunrise at The Windows at the Arches National Park → 8:30 am Breakfast → Power nap! → 3:00 pm Lunch → 5:30 pm Canyonlands National Park Island In The Sky → 8:00 pm Mesa Arch → 8:45 pm Leave for bnb → 10:00 Dinner → 11:00 pm – 12:30 am Balanced Rock Milky Way Photoshoot


5:20 拱門國家公園窗戶區拍日出 → 8:30 早餐 → 補眠! → 15:00 午餐 → 17:30 峽谷地國家公園天空之島 (Island in the Sky) → 20:00 峽谷地國家公園梅薩拱門 (Mesa Arch) → 20:45 回民宿 → 22:00 晚餐 → 23:00 pm – 00:30 拱門國家公園平衡石拍銀河



One thought on “American Southwest Day 3: Cayonlands National Park 峽谷地國家公園

  1. Pingback: American Southwest Day 3: Milky Way at the Balanced Rock 平衡石銀河攝影 | Near and Far

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