We crossed our next state line, Utah, and arrived into Moab in bright sunshine with the weather forecast predicting clear skies and temperatures in the 80’s – perfect for us to be able to enjoy Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and all the adventure sports on offer in the area.
The red rock scenery was stunning and we were warm and happy at last!
It was Ed’s birthday so we pitched the tent, bought steaks and wine and as tradition dictates baked his favourite cake (a cherry fruit cake!) in our camping oven.
During our week in Moab we explored Arches National Park and were amazed by its beauty and shear scale. Photographs simply don’t do it justice. We hiked to both the famous Landscape Arch and iconic Delicate Arch. Along the route we took in Balancing Rock. At every turn the scenery was absolutely breathtaking. Arches is most certainly worth visiting in person.
Canyonlands National Park, only 30 miles further away was completely different but equally stunning. Massive flat mesas (tables) with huge canyons carved through. Again we loved hiking through the stunning landscape.
We took Jet Boat ride along the Colorado River which was informative as well as fun. The driver stopped from time to time to explain the history, geology and wildlife of the area. The ride was not quite as fear inducing as a Queenstown Jet Boat ride – something to do with insurance – but it was still cool!
Our mountain bikes finally came off the bike rack and we were able to peddle around some of the bike trails for which Moab is famous. We started with the Bar M trail, – 8.7 miles with mild inclines. JJ particularly loved it and wanted to do more!
We drove out to Dead Horse Point, a Utah state park (the had government wanted it to be included in Canyonlands National Park – but Utah would not hand it over!) for some more excellent trails. There was a fair amount of technical stuff – rocks, drops, boulders – and I took a tumble once – but the kids took it in their stride! JJ was jumping over most of the obstacles!
More adrenaline came in the form of a 4X4 “Rock Crawling” trip. Moab is famous for its “Slick” Rock. So called because originally horses wearing metal horseshoes could not get any traction on the huge sandstone outcrops and would slip. This same rock however offer superb traction for rubber – so is an amazing playground for 4×4, off road bikes and mountain bikers. We signed up for a tour – Ed drove our little four seater vehicle, following the lead jeep up and down some unbelievably narrow, steep, sandy and rocky terrain. As we crawled up an 8 feet wide slope, with 50 feet vertical drops on either side my heart was in my mouth. Ed and the kids loved it – I spent the entire trip on the verge of a heart attack!
We loved our week in Moab and would certainly recommend it as a superb destination for a week long ‘adventure’ holiday – with excellent hiking, biking, boating and much more all on offer!
What Ed Says: Well Moab was certainly warmer than Mesa Verde…Thankfully. Arches and Canyonlands National Parks should be on everyones bucket list. Photographs just don’t capture the true scale of them. 4×4 Driving on the slick rock is amazing – it’s unbelievable how much grip it gives enabling you to climb a 65 deg slope…..lots of fun but not for the faint hearted. Moab saw our solar generator really tested. We managed to power the freezer using the powerfilm panels in parallel in the day leaving enough overnight reserves to ensure Justines Sav blanc remained nicely chilled! If you want a true 1950’s diner experience in Moab then go to Milt’s. The “best mike shakes EVER” according to JJ and Izzy! (thanks for the recommendation Chip).
Next : Page, Arizona.