We started out with getting groceries and checking out the downtown. Then we made our plans to go to Arches NP. We went to the Visitors Center and got our date stamp for the Passport Book. To enter the park you go up a steep road with switchbacks and then you drive to different view points.
The landscape is diverse with nice rock formations and of course, lots of arches. Due to the heat and the crowds of people we decided to make our visit an abbreviated one. We didn't go to the other more famous arches like Delicate Arch. We did however see the Windows section near Double Arch and we hiked part of the trail to Devil's Garden. I guess you could say it was more of an auto tour.
The heat really made our visit more limited. We just couldn't see doing things that might be dangerous to our health. The park even had heat warnings on their website. So we decided to book a whitewater raft trip. We reserved through Moab Adventure Center in town. They're probably one of the more popular outfitters with rock climbing, rafting, rappelling, jeep tours, etc. We booked a morning 1/2 day trip that included 4 nice 1-2 class rapids. Sorry I don't have photos because I didn't want the camera to drown. Take my word for it, it was a lot of fun. I even jumped into the Colorado River and it was very, very cold. I regretted not jumping in the river when we were with our friends Faye and Dave at River Island SP in Parker, AZ. We had rented a pontoon and Dave jumped in and I didn't. Of course I was piloting the boat. That's my excuse. :-) Anyway, back to the story.
We were with a family from UT on the raft and they all jumped in so I had to do it too.
Unloading at the put in spot
Where's the whitewater?
Amanda our guide
I got wet and it was cold
Bon Jovi Rock...ask me
Whitewater in the distance...best I could do to get a photo
Most of the time we were just floating between rapids and Amanda our guide had some fun facts about the rock formations and the river. The last couple of rapids were pretty good ones and we sure got wet. Always wanted to do that and we did.
The next day we got up early and loaded our bikes in the truck and drove to Lions Trail Hub along Route 191 through Moab. 191 also goes by Arches NP entrance. We parked, unloaded and rode across a pedestrian bridge to the bike path. It was about 2 miles to the Arches NP entrance and then the path continued on past and up an incline around the mountain. We continued to ride about another 2 miles or so until we had enough uphill. Fortunately we had a tailwind up and a nice downhill on the way back.
up and up
Arches Visitors Center
Red rocks everywhere
When we arrived back at the Trail Hub we took the bike path along the Colorado River about 2.5 miles until it ended and you would have to ride on the side of t he road which was very narrow and lots of traffic leading to the put in points for the outfitters up the canyon.
Lots of green along the river and we found a couple of BLM campgrounds there too. They were full and one or two sites might have been able to accommodate our rig size. All in all it was a wonderful time. So far we're getting a lot done in a short time.
Next it was time to check out Canyonlands NP and our friends Steve and Mona Liza from The Lowe's RV Adventure told us we needed to also check out Dead Horse Point SP about 4 miles from Canyonlands NP. Well that's what we did. What a beautiful park with stunning views. The Colorado River is about 2,000 feet below our viewing point where a gooseneck bend in the river can be seen.
Gooseneck in River
See the black dot in the left center?
I zoomed in and this is what I saw
Glenda at the view point
Info on the Colorado River
At the Visitors Center they have a food wagon with sandwiches and wraps. It was near lunch time so we got a wrap to share and a couple drinks. The Visitors Center has a nice patio off the back and a couple of hummingbird feeders. We were entertained by several hummingbirds while we ate our lunch.
Grand View Point
You can see forever
While at the Visitors Center we met a young couple from The Czech Republic, Andreas and Sarah. Very sweet couple. We had a nice conversation about their occupations and what they were doing in the US. They told us if we ever traveled outside the US we should go to Prague where they live. Not sure we would ever go there but we now have a contact if we do.
Andreas and Sarah
We drove to the Grand View Point and enjoyed the Canyonlands landscape. Then on the way back out we stopped at the Mesa Arch and I walked the 1/2 mile to take a couple photos. It was hot so Glenda waited in the truck. Beautiful formation.
So glad we decided to stay out west this spring/summer and share some time with our granddaughter and experience some places and things we never had a chance to do in the past. Looking forward to many more opportunities like these and sharing with friends and family.
Well now we've been to 7 National Parks in the last 3 months since leaving the Phoenix area.
Enlarge the photos for better viewing
Joshua Tree NP
Death Valley NP
Bryce Canyon NP
Rocky Mountain NP...more to come in a later post
Next post is Grand Junction, CO where we spend time with friends
Steve and Debbie from Down the Road