Canyonlands National Park + Independence Pass

For day four of our best friend trip, Katie and I had an early start at Canyonlands National Park. Canyonlands is divided into four districts: Island in the Sky, The Maze, The Needles, and The Rivers (Green and Colorado rivers).  There are no roads that link each section of the park, so keep that in mind while visiting. We decided to visit the Island in the Sky section, as it was the closest to Moab. The 34-mile round trip scenic drive was gorgeous. There were many overlooks to stop at, as well as a few trailheads if you wanted to hike. I definitely recommend the short, quick hike to Mesa Arch. *Tip: I recommend using a map to get to, from, and around the park. Your GPS will get you lost.* After we spent a few hours at Canyonlands we headed back to the cabin for the night.

On day five we drove another five hours east to Colorado Springs to visit my dear friend, Caitlyn and her sister Heather and her family.  We took Independence Pass, the highest paved pass in North America. It passes over North America’s Continental Divide, which the geology nerd in me loved. It was the most gorgeous drive I’ve been on. I highly recommend it.

So without further ado, here are the last three days of our best friend road trip.


Our first viewpoint featuring White Rim Road. For those who have multiple days to devote here and don’t mind a soft, narrow, and rugged road, White Rim Road is a great option.
Mesa Arch was gorgeous! A popular sunrise spot (I can definitely see why). We arrived around 9 a.m. to Mesa Arch and still had gorgeous morning light.

Buck Canyon Overlook


On our last night in Norrie, I had to photograph some of the gorgeous Aspen trees. There was also a mountain rain shower that ended with a beautiful rainbow. What a gorgeous farewell, Norrie!


Independence Pass was stunning. The road is paved the entire way, but is narrow and doesn’t have guard rails at times. So keep your speed in check, though that wasn’t an issue for us, as we were gawking at the gorgeous sights!


We got to spend a wonderful 24 hours in Colorado Springs with these lovely people! I’m sad it wasn’t a longer stay, but am glad we got to see them. Heather made us a delicious homemade Indian meal. They definitely always spoil their guests.

Heather runs a lifestyle and fashion blog over at The Arbitrary Fox. You should definitely head over to the site and check out her fun style and gorgeous family!

Heather’s two dogs, Gretta and Buffy were upset they weren’t invited to be outside with us humans.

That’s all for this trip. Until the next adventure!

www.samanthakurtz.com www.blog.samanthakurtz.com

Please do not crop, edit, or alter the image(s) in any way. All images and their copyrights are the property of Samantha Kurtz Photography, LLC. All rights reserved.

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