A Quick Jaunt to Moab, Utah

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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??

A rare day of minimal traffic!

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!

Hiking

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?

Driving

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.

Feeling grateful,

…i choose this…

Pam

88 comments

      1. Yes!! For almost a month now!!! Lol.. I You should come out and go skiing but not so sure I’m going to be doing much more skiing. Last year it was rough in my knees. At 53 I’m afraid of messing up my knees and not being able to hike. I may just have to come out and enjoy some of the little towns around there!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. LUCKY gal. I have a few more years to go. I hear you on the injury thing….I think this is why skiing has never been high on my list. I’ll cross country, but that’s about it. I would be really upset if I couldn’t hike anymore!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Moab/Arches is our favorite place on earth. I think at this point I’ve done all of the hikes from the main road in Arches, but Delicate Arch remains my favorite. Halfway out there used to be a random wooden sign stuck into the rock with a sign that says TRAIL–> I’ve had a photo of that in my office for 15 years. I could never walk that final ledge if icy. I have a hard enough time on a nice summer day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It IS so amazing right? I saw on the map, it looks like there is a 4 wheel drive option. Have you ever done that? It is so close, I’m not sure why we don’t go more frequently. Last time I was there, I ran the Moab Half. great race. I saw a Skinny Tire ride, we may look into for next year. Any excuse to go back.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right now I’m mapping the route. We are going to start with the Grand Canyon and work ourselves around to each of the 5 parks. We have two weeks. I just ordered brochures from each of the Utah parks. We can’t do heavy duty hiking. But we can do a lot of walking.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunning scenery but I don’t do slither! I know- scaredy cat or what? One of those places I would love to see but the likelihood is zilch so I’ll compensate by coming here (it’ll be on my Monday walk, if that’s ok?) 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved your post. I grew up in Denver, and all my friends and family still in Denver agree with you, they all want to leave now because it’s gotten too busy! I see that happening in Moab, too. Crazy boom going on there. Your post was a nostalgia trip for me because I’ve done all those hikes – but it was a long, long time ago. Your pictures bring it back, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How weird. I had seen that you’ve been liking people’s posts lately, but that you weren’t publishing yourself. Now I see that somehow I got kicked off your blog. Dang it WordPress! This same thing just happened to someone who follows me. Going to refollow you now.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We were just there a few months ago and LOVED Arches NP! We found a few of the hikes slippery without snow, so I can only imagine how treacherous some of those paths might have felt for you. Great campsite, and you already know how much I would have loved cozying up in a tent like you guys did!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think the only one we did NOT do was Devils Garden, and that’s just because we ran out of time. We also went to Canyonlands; did you? Oh, shoot – and I never sent that restaurant name either. I think it was Desert Bistro . Glad you found a good one!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Such gorgeous photos, Pam!! I haven’t been to Utah, but it’s on my list. We honeymooned in Sedona over 20 years ago and keep saying that we are long overdue for a trip out west.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. A place that is calling to my soul. Only drove through some years ago, couldn’t stop but you gave me lots of reasons and photos to lure me back for a longer visit! We have such beauty in this country.

    And by the way, you should see the traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area. Horrible. I retired early because of it so I get it!

    This was a great, exciting read. You are very brave traversing some of those more difficult trails. Bravo!

    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Susan! We have so many great things here for sure. I often take it for granted and travel outside the US more then I probably need to. But, I figure at some point, the long journey to faraway places will be too hard. Traveling to Houston every week for work is starting to wear on me!

      Traffic in SFO – UGH. I might lose my mind if I had to drive in that every day.

      And thank you for reading, I really appreciate it. Have a great rest of your week!

      Liked by 1 person

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