Mad Max is all I could think of as we explored Moab, Utah. It’s dusty, hot and everyone that lives there seems to have some sort of crazy off road vehicle. We had only planned on staying in Moab for a few days but ended up having so much fun there and in the surrounding areas that we extended our stay. We stayed at an RV park on the outskirts of town and became friendly with our camp host who told us great stories, also gave us great recommendations on where to go, oh and most important, reminded us to stay hydrated each day. It was HOT, most days we would wake up very early to do our adventuring so that we could come back to the air conditioned camper and cool off during the hottest times of the day.
Getting up early was for the best anyway, the lines that form outside of the entrance of Arches National Park were crazy. Arches only has one entrance and on loop road with only a few roads off of it, so it gets crowded in the summertime. The visitor center was a madhouse, we stamped our passports and went off to explore the rest of the park. It’s amazing to me that within the boundaries of this park there are more than 2,000 arches. Each arch is different and beautiful in its own way, we climbed to the top of the double arch to watch the sunset and it was spectacular. Not only does the park showcase the arches, but there are also some really beautiful and very large sandstone formations.
Just outside of Moab is Dead Horse Point State Park, someone told me they thought that the canyon at this park was better than the Grand Canyon, they were right. This park is amazing, it’s small but really packs a punch with its views, it’s no wonder the state of Utah kept it for themselves (rather than giving it to the N.P.S as a part of Canyonlands N.P.). You might be wondering how the park got its name, in the 1800’s cowboys would use the canyon’s edge to corral wild mustangs, during one of these corrals the horses that the cowboys didn’t take were left for dead, with a view of the Colorado River 2,000 feet below them.
A few miles past Dead Horse Point State Park is Canyonlands National Park. The day we visited this park Paul and I were exhausted from the heat of the desert and decided to just do the loop road through the park. We stopped off at viewpoints and had lunch at a great picnic area. Canyonlands is a large park and we were not able to see it all, and after the canyon at Dead Horse Point State Park we felt like these canyons didn’t compare.
Moab is a place for outdoor enthusiasts for sure. Not only do you have both State and National Parks surrounding the town, but you also have BLM land all over the place. Many people rent four-wheelers and dune buggies in town and drive them right into BLM land on the outskirts of town. We took the truck down lots of dusty dirt roads and did our best to get lost in the desert. Another cool thing to see when you’re in Moab is the Rock Art, our camp host gave us a pamphlet which took you on a self guided tour of all the petroglyphs and pictographs in the area. It was really cool to see these little pictures that remain on the sides of rocks and mountains after thousands of years.