Today, we are in the southern section of the Canyonlands National Park called the Needles. After studying the maps and reading descriptions of the hiking trails, we chose to hike Peekaboo Trail at Canyonlands.
As it turned out, this is one of the best hikes in the park according to people we spoke to.
The Canyonlands Hike Decision
Generally, Gail and I select day hikes that are 6-8 miles long. Peeaboo Trail at Canyonlands a 10 mile round trip but we knew we were up for the longer trek. The trail begins through the flatlands. The path is a sand pathway through sparse desert vegetation and the wildflowers are just beginning to bloom in the second week of May.
I do not consider myself the be a skilled photographer of flowers but I did my best to capture some cactus flowers and other blooms along the way.
After about a mile, the trail changes along ancient rock formations that elevate us to new perspectives. We love climbing these huge rocks. We laugh how we feel like kids again. Climbing these rocky sections of the path are challenging but fun to do.
Three miles in, we meet a group of four seasoned hikers who were taking a break. We spoke briefly with them and continued on the trail. Shortly after this encounter, the canyon opened up to us. The canyons were vast and beautiful.
We often walked the ledges horizontally but the majority of time we were scampering up slick rock or carefully working our way down one. The path was sometimes difficult to follow because the foot traffic did not leave a permanent path. Fortunately for us, cairns or stacks of rocks are strategically placed to guide hikers through the canyons.
For a couple people from Missouri the landscape of this park and Utah in general is unfamiliar. We walk along the trail with awe. Each crest of a ridge or turn of a corner introduces splendor and magnificence to us. It is difficult to comprehend the scale of what we see in front of us.
The Peekaboo Decision
About 4 miles into the hike, we started questioning whether we had bitten off more than we could chew. Just as we started to discuss turning around early we happened upon another couple of hikers. They were encouraging and told us the best part of the hike was in front of us.
With new enthusiasm, we plowed on. A quarter mile further we learned what a peekaboo was. It’s a window and pass through in the sandstone towers. Of course it is! Call us naive, we had no idea why this trail was called PEEKABOO!
In all, we found three peekaboo windows and a couple examples of primitive dwellings on our hike. This day was special and memorable.
If you find your way to the park, we highly recommend the Peekaboo trail at Canyonlands.
For more stories on our Utah trip see; Hiking at Aches National Park