Moab is a busy place! It seems to be the crossroads for adventure with Arches National Park just 5-miles from Moab and Canyonlands National Park about 40 miles, then there’s rafting, paddle boarding, hot air ballooning, jet boating the Green or Colorado Rivers, horseback rides, scenic flights, zip lines, climbing and canyoneering, mountain biking and off-road 4-wheel drive trails. It’s packed full of people embarking on whatever activity early in the day and rolling up the roads around 9 p.m. so everyone can get a good night’s rest. There are people here from all over the world and a good number of them are coming from and going to the other parks in southern Utah, northern Arizona, and southern Colorado - areas we have travelled this month. I have never seen so many people wearing outdoor recreational clothes in my life, and I’ve never seen so many variations of 4-wheel drive off-road, on-road vehicles either.
Arches National Park is a red rock wonderland. With over 2,000 arches located within its boundaries, it’s a fascinating park to visit. But, it’s also a very popular park due to its location just outside north Moab, and the ease of being able to get up close and personal with its geologic formations. While we didn’t have trouble parking at the many pull-outs when we were there early in the day, it’s easy to see that limited parking spots could be a major problem.
Canyonlands National Park is panoramic. In other words, it is BIG! Divided into four distinct districts carved out by the Colorado River, we focused on the Island in the Sky District – the most accessible. Canyonlands is uncrowded, and seems more remote and primitive. While both Arches and Canyonlands require you to consider perspective when viewing their vast landscapes, Canyonlands demands it.
We had originally planned to go to Moab after visiting Zion, but the timing would not have been in our best interest with the very popular Jeep Week taking place, so we worked our way around the Jeep convention - when prices for rooms soar and the town gets a bit crazier than normal. Off-season is the only time to enjoy this area without hordes of people, and the potential for better accommodation prices. If you haven’t been to Moab it’s worth the visit. Just remember to pack your outdoor recreational clothing, and a good pair of hiking boots that don't allow sand to filter in.
Thanks for joining us on our journey.