Anticline Overlook, Utah

Anticline Overlook Map

I’ve been remiss about “feeding the beast” and making regular weekly contributions to my site (and don’t even ask me about the reading catch-up I need to do with my favorite blogs).  It’s the holiday season and I’ve been involved with other  photo business, which has kept me occupied with non-blog issues.  I now have enough vacation to take every Friday off for the remainder of the year, so hopefully these 3-day weekends will give me more time to catch up on  the blogosphere.

As previously promised, this article is not about any camera/lens comparisons.  Instead, I want to tell you about  an interesting, somewhat out-of-the-way viewing area I visited en route to Moab, Utah.

During the planning stages of my Mesa Verde NP / Arches NP trip this past August 2012, I was looking at Google Maps and noticed a side road off of Hwy 191 (the road to Moab), with the title “Needles / Anticline Overlooks”.  An anticline!  Yeah!  I like geology.  I have a couple of degrees in geology, as a matter of fact.  I’d LOVE to see an anticline.  So I added that to my itinerary.

The route to Anticline Overlook is a 31-mile, 2-lane (more or less) road – 16 miles of which is on gravel .  It’s a well-tended gravel so I didn’t worry too much about driving the rental car along the road (I should have taken a photo of how dusty the car looked upon my return to the main highway).

Where the paved portion ends and the gravel begins, you have the choice of turning left to the Needles Overlook or continuing on to Anticline Overlook.   I decided to save Needles for another time.

B5A6564_Prong Horn Antelope

This prong horn antelope was standing in the middle of the road, but by the time I stopped the car and grabbed the camera, it had sauntered off, totally ignoring me and my pleas to look my way for a portrait shot.

The ultimate destination ends in a loop, with plenty of room for parking and a nice little pit toilet.  A short trail leads to the overlook, with views  northwest, north, and northeast.  The view is expansive and the air fresh and clear.

C2C7648_Trail To Anticline Overlook


Some thorny bushes along the path.  Wouldn’t want to get tangled in this stuff!

B5A6587_Solar Evaporation Ponds for Potash

Solar evaporation potash ponds near the Colorado River.

C2C7659_Anticline Overlook Vista

C2C7683_Located North

C2C7676_Cane Creek Canyon

Looking north toward Dead Horse Point and Canyonlands NP.  The Kane Creek Anticline is to your left.  The Colorado River meanders its way from the left of the photo over to the right of the photo.

B5A6589_Anticline Overlook View

B5A6653_Ribbon Of Road

A dirt road winding through the canyon landscape.

B5A6595_Tilted Beds

Tilted beds.

C2C7696_Kane Creek Canyon

C2C7653_Kane Creek Canyon CROP

Kane Creek Canyon, to the northeast.

B5A6643_Within Kane Creek Canyon

A view within the canyon.

C2C7714_The Road Back to Hwy 191

Heading back to the main highway and then on to Moab.

B5A6657_Antelope In The Distance

Prong horn antelope in the distance as I leave Anticline Overlook.

If you are traveling Hwy 191 Utah –  north to or south from Moab – and your vehicle  can handle the gravel, this is a neat side trip for a great view of Utah’s canyon lands and geology.


Filed under Geology, Photography, Travel

7 responses to “Anticline Overlook, Utah

  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting these lovely photos! I really needed to see some rocks and Utah and lots of emptiness today.

  2. Fascinating landscape. Maybe one day I’ll get to see it for myself …..

  3. Rich Perkins

    I have had to opportunity to visit the vast canyonlands and grand escalante staircase areas more than once..Words can not depict this area, it must be seen to be believed….God must have worked OT on the 8th day to create this for us to experience and enjoy………..

  4. I was told about this area while at Arches but had not the time to go there. I was told it was a killer sunrise place. Love your graphic description of what can be found up that area.