Kane Creek Anticline ~ Canyon Rims Recreation Area
The Kane Creek Anticline definitely is the main attraction in the Canyon Rims Recreation Area and 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 do the trip to this place each day, 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 looking Kane Creek Anticline!
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. Only the Needles Overlook Road entranceway is paved, so this is the best choice for high ground clearance passenger cars. As was detailed in the Hatch Point Road article, this long dirt road 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 is 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 that awaits 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 easily takes over the senses.
Surreal to the point of being unreal definitely is an accurate description of the initial view of the Kane Creek Anticline, because everything looks so 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 Kane Creek Anticline terrain, while at the same time a realization of just how high up above the canyon floor this towering overlook really is certainly does 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 so unlike anyplace else on earth that it is easy to experience extreme vertigo without the help of psychoactive substances, 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 high in the sky and from this 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 anticline and the views certainly 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 a visitor sees this majestic sight in person. 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 in this world and it is simply a must to experience in person!