Magnificent Monuments and Hardy Hikes

We have stayed in Moab before, but always on the way to somewhere else.
We did know that the town was surrounded by astonishing landscapes,
largely incorporated into two huge national parks, Arches and Canyonlands.
The fact is, though, you see virtually none of that grandeur if all you do
is stay in town or pass through on the highway.

This time we stayed four nights in a motel on the main street of Moab,
within easy walking distance of most restaurants and stores.  When we
weren't wearing ourselves out following the often rugged trails inside
the national parks, we were browsing the varied retail opportunities in town.

Our first day we went into Arches National Park and stopped at virtually
all of the parking areas:  Park Avenue, Balanced Rock, Double Arch, and
Delicate Arch.  Our explorations of the trails at each of these locations
occupied all of the time and energy available in the day--in spite of the
fact that we skipped the lengthy hike up to the base of Delicate Arch--
and we returned to Moab just before sundown.

On the second day we returned to Arches and drove northward past all of the first day's diversions.
That brought us to Devil's Garden, from which a 2-mile trail leads past a series of arches, small canyons,
and broad scenic vistas.  The first half-mile of that trail is fairly easy.  The remainder took several hours.
Admittedly, we spent much of that time simply admiring the views.

The final day we headed out to the southern entrance to Canyonlands, a distance of seventy-five miles
from Moab.  After reviewing the options at the visitors' center, we drove to the Elephant Hill parking area
and took off on the trail toward Druid Arch--we made it a bit more than half way there.
Admittedly, we spent much of that time admiring the views.

The weather was comfortable, in the seventies during the day, clear and sunny.
All in all, October was a great time to visit the Moab area.

Above pictures: Two signs in Monument Valley at
the southern border with Arizona, on Highway 163.
The bottom of the Welcome to Utah sign has been
decorated with a miscellaneous collection of donated
bumper stickers.

    The pictures of this trip are divided into several sets:

    This page: The Introductory home page for the Moab trip.

    Next: The first day's trek into the southern portion of Arches.

    Three: The second day's trek into the northern portion of Arches.

    Four: The final day, into Canyonlands through the south entrance.