So I got word from my project, the week of Thanksgiving was off limits for work. You don’t need to tell me twice…..within minutes, a plan for a road trip to Moab, Utah was hatched. Two days later we were on the road!
Moab is known for being the gateway to the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, mountain and road biking, hiking and backpacking, rock climbing, and rafting – essentially an outdoor junky’s dream!
Moab is about a 6 hour drive from Denver – pretty reasonable distance. We left mid-morning on a Saturday – luckily we avoided the typical I-70 traffic. Nothing worse then sitting on that freeway…..It’s a regular occurrence these days – Colorado has alway been a cool place, why all of a sudden does the entire world want to move here??
Our first night in town, we camped at a Moab BLM campground (Willow Springs) about 10 miles from downtown. At first I was skeptical, the campsites looked more like group sites for hippie communes (I sound like my mother). But, as you drive further into the campground, you can find some secluded spots with views of the surrounding area – pretty spectacular. The stars at night were INCREDIBLE.
I may have to submit this image to Subaru….
Over the course of 2.5 days, we explored Arches National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park – for this post, I am highlighting Arches!
We hiked the entire Devils Garden loop (~5 to 7 miles) – let me just say, there are a couple of terrifying parts to this hike – steep, slick drop-offs that take good balance and nerves of steel to complete.
I wore my running shoes – dumb choice because they didn’t grip the rock like I needed them to. There were times when I took em’ off and felt safer navigating in my socks. I am proud to report, not one tear was shed and no panic attacks ensued – this is truly a Christmas miracle for me.
You do not have to do this whole hike to enjoy the scenery (8 arches and some other cool stuff) but, I would definitly read more about the trail to see what fits your skill level. And wear the right shoes…what an amateur move on my part.
The hike to Delicate Arch is another beauty. On our way of town, we drove back through the park to complete the 3 mile RT hike to the Delicate Arch. It is the iconic arch of the park. U-MAZING.
Utah had an early snowfall so there was some snow and ice accumulation. Being a chicken on ice, in winter I carry micro-spikes with me every where I go. They came in handy on this hike, as the last 200 yards essentially take you across a very narrow ledge which was covered in slickness – UGH. Once you turn the corner, the views of this beauty are pretty breathtaking!
A friend of mine said the last time he was there at sunset, a woman stripped naked and laid down in front of the arch. Apparently, the crowd clapped after the sun set. haha. Um, I wonder what she was thinking?
Even if you cannot do the strenuous hikes, etc., just driving through this park is incredible. There are multiple pullouts with short walks to see some of the most beautiful scenery.
If you have not been to Utah, it is a MUST – one of my favorite states for exploration. You could probably spend an entire month there. Some day….I will do just that!
All in all, we had a complete BLAST. It was a super fun way to ring in the Thanksgiving holiday.
…i choose this…