On a recent RV trip through Utah, we had the great good fortune to spend a couple of days in Moab. First on the list; visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Second: Find some petroglyphs.
We came in May because Utah is quite cold in the winter and very hot in the summer. We were greeted by a huge lightning and thunderstorm with buckets of rain. Not the best weather for seeing the beautiful red rocks. The next day was overcast but we decided to give it a try and found that most of the tourists decided to stay indoors and we had many of the sections of the park almost to ourselves early in the morning. The sun came out and we were blessed to see this amazing geological wonder.
We stopped by the roadside several times to take pictures. First of all, there is no way you can capture the majesty of these mountains, valleys, cliffs, and spires with a little point and shoot camera. I did my best and we kept on. One of our first stops brought us to Sand Dune Arch. A short walk from the parking lot led us through a very narrow canyon and into a little grotto with the arch right above us. The floor of the grotto is bright red sand, as fine as any on a beach, but really red! There were several school age kids who climbed up the dune and rolled down the hill right under the arch. It was fun to watch them, but they were oblivious to the significance of the site or how many millions of years it took to form that arch.
Further up the road, we came to the Devils Garden area and walked up the trail to the Tunnel Arch. We took turns with a Japanese couple taking each other’s photos. While on this trail, we heard French, Thai, maybe Swedish?, and possibly Russian. Everyone was walking up to Landscape Arch, possibly the largest arch in the world. From the trail, it doesn’t look that big, but as we got closer, we realized that its just immense! There are two smaller arches to the right.
We were travelling with our blind cocker spaniel, Mikki, and felt we could leave her in the car for short periods as the weather was cool/cold and she sleeps most of the time anyway. But we couldn’t take on a three mile hike into Delicate Arch so just looked at it from the viewpoint, a very short walk from the parking lot.
Not being able to do the hiking we wanted to do means we have a great excuse to come back another day when we are dog-less.
One of the best parts of this trip was the drive up to the winery. Highway 128 veers to the north off the main road into Moab at the Colorado River. Its 14 miles to the winery up a narrow road with soaring red cliffs on both sides and the river below. Its like the Grand Canyon, only you are driving through the middle of it! The Castle Creek Winery was a great destination with red and white wines and a nice gift shop. There is a motel/ranch/stables on the property and we watched a wedding on the lawn below the winery.
Moab and Arches National Park should definitely be on your bucket list of places to see before you die!
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!