Canyonlands, Part 3: The Rest of Needles. And Newspaper Rock.
The rest of our time in Needles was full of beautiful sights just slightly less amazing than the Chesler Park/Joint Trail hike. We did a number of short hikes and overlooks along the main road including the Roadside Ruin Trail (featuring an Ancestral Puebloan granary tucked away up high), Cave Spring Trail – which included a 19th century cowboy camp as well as the more interesting Puebloan pictographs, Pothole Point Trail, Big Spring Canyon Overlook, and the Wooden Shoe Overlook. We had another bright sunny morning too.
On the road out of the park we made a quick unscheduled stop to gawk at Indian Spring, a lush arable canyon that provided a picture-perfect view before getting to Newspaper Rock, which we had been eagerly anticipating.
Newspaper Rock is a huge petroglyph panel whose carvings date as old as 2,000 years ago. With over 650 carvings from numerous Native American cultures over multiple time periods, this panel is unique and captivating. I think both Rachel and I were both mesmerized.
After arriving back in the Moab area en route to Arches National Park we needed another shower. And what better place to shower than a place that also has a place to swim? Answer: Nowhere. The Moab Recreation and Aquatic Center gives you unrestricted access to their beautiful pools (yes, plural) and showers for only $1-$2 above the going rate for showers in Moab. For two former competitive swimmers, it was a dream come true. Plus they have a waterslide – which I may have enjoyed a little too much for my age – and a small lazy river.