I'm not sure what it was about Canyonlands that “threw me for a loop”. Its stark beauty? Its isolation? I don't know. Perhaps I was a little intimidated by the yawing canyons and deep valleys but I just didn't feel comfortable there. I was in a funk, not in a “hiking mood” and I still haven't figured out why! It would be a great place to explore with someone who had a four-wheel-drive vehicle.
There are several sections in Canyonlands National Park. I visited two of them: Island in the Sky in the north and several days later, the Needles District in the south.
I drove the main roads, opting not to travel down the unpaved dirt roads, pulling off at each of the turnouts for the spectacular views dimmed somewhat by the hazy-blue sky. The only trails I took were short ones, where the tourists were.