Finding a campsite in the Island in the Sky district is not like the Needles. It’s BLM land outside the park, but camping is prohibited on almost every BLM road. We find one without the NO CAMPING signs, the west end of the Gemini Bridges road. One possible reason becomes apparent later – semi trucks go by late into the night carrying parts for what looks like an oil well. Perhaps they aren’t allowed to prohibit camping on “multiple use” roads like this. Luckily the trucks stop around 10 pm, and it is a gorgeous place.
In the morning we make our way to the Syncline Loop trail, which makes a look around Upheaval Dome. I picture a trail that follows the crater rim around the dome, but it actually runs in the canyons that drain around the crater. We continue to learn, however, that no two canyons are alike. There are holes high in the canyon walls here, a trickling waterfall at least a hundred feet high, and fields of six-foot-high grass in canyon bottoms. Slides: