The Kane Creek Anticline definitely is the main attraction in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area! This really is quite a complement when considering how every view from this high mesa overlooks the majestic Canyonlands National Park. Even though the Kane Creek Anticline is truly unique, relatively few people actually do the trip to this place, simply because this destination is in a very remote location. For those who wish to escape the big crowds in the neighboring National Parks, this is like music to the ears, because plenty of peace and quiet can be found at the surreal Anticline Overlook!
There are two main travel routes that go from Highway 191 to Hatch Point Road, which is the long dirt road that ends at the Anticline Overlook. County Road 131 is one option, but this dirt road can rough. Only the Needles Overlook Road entranceway is paved, so this is the best choice for passenger cars. As was detailed in a previous article, Hatch Point Road is a long dirt road that is well maintained, so anything other than a low ground clearance vehicle can easily do the trip with no damage done. The total distance to the Anticline Overlook from the intersection of Highway 191 and Needles Overlook Road is a little more than 31 miles and more than half of the distance will be on the dirt road. Be sure to top off the tank, because there are many side roads and scenic overlooks along Hatch Point Road that are worth checking out. Also be sure to pack food, water and a spare tire or a flat repair kit, because a rescue will likely require a long wait.
After enduring the seemingly endless dirt road to the Anticline Overlook, seeing a parking lot with modern facilities will be like a sigh of relief. Only a short hike over a smooth trail is required to get to the scenic overlook and the distance is perfect for stretching the legs after the long grueling drive. For those who do not know what to expect to see over the crest of the cliff top rock outcrop, the majestic view will certainly make the jaw drop in awe! The Kane Creek Anticline offers a panoramic view of a geological oddity that is of such gigantic proportions, that the sight of this strange landscape completely takes over the senses.
Surreal to the point of being unreal definitely is an accurate description of the first view of the Kane Creek Anticline. Everything about this weird landscape looks off kilter and out of place. The anticline rock strata goes in a multitude of unimaginable directions and the Colorado River actually seems to be running uphill upon first glance! Soon the distant mountains on the horizon look crooked against the incomprehensibly bent Anticline terrain, while at the same time a realization of just how high up this overlook is above the canyon floor will certainly occur. In this moment, it is easy for vertigo to take over and a dizzy sensation of the feet helplessly floating off the ground will likely be experienced. That first surreal view of the Kane Creek Anticline is unlike anyplace else on earth, so be prepared for a sensory overload thrill ride!
Hours can be spent viewing the crazy looking Kane Creek Anticline terrain and a visitor will still be far from bored. The views from the cliff top overlook are the same as being an eagle in the sky and from this high vantage point every detail of the canyon floor can be seen. Tiny little ATVs and Jeeps can be seen snaking over the dirt trails way down below and even the towering rock outcrop spires on the valley floor look disproportionately small. Everything in the surrounding landscape seems tiny in comparison when looking into the strange looking gigantic Kane Creek Anticline and the views certainly do have a mesmerizing effect.
There is a second Anticline Overlook that borders on Kane Creek Canyon that offers fantastic view of a towering square shaped volcanic plug down below. This is one of the most famous geological landmarks in the west and photographs of this picturesque eroded volcanic cone do adorn many travel brochures. For this reason, it is best to pack a good camera for the ride when doing the Kane Creek Anticline tour.
The Kane Creek Anticline is a scenic destination like no other and the viewing experience truly cannot comprehended until visitors see this majestic sight with their own eyes. All that can be said is be prepared to hold on to the rail tight, because all it takes is one look at the Kane Creek Anticline to confuse which way is up with which way is down. The Kane Creek Anticline is one of the weirdest geological features on this planet, so it is simply a must to experience!
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