It’s better late than never I suppose. Things have been hectic in my life since being laid off at my corporate job due to downsizing, and the last-minute move to Denver. The move was something that we had been planning for a long while, but were delaying it until 2020 to save some money. However, with the change in status quo at my job, and our lease ending, life seemed to have given us a little push. So, we made lemonade from what life gave us.
If you have never been to Moab, it is definitely worth the trip. This was the first time that I had ever been to Utah in general. After a long haul, all the way from Boise it was a relief to finally pull into Moab. Driving in was otherworldly though. The landscape change looks like an alien planet. The town of Moab is super quaint and cute in a small-town way. However, it leaves something to be desired, especially for us, being city people. The national and state parks though will leave you awe-inspired and jaw dropped. Continue reading on to learn about hiking Moab, sunsets, yurts, and more tips for your next trip to Moab!
Moab Night Life
If you have never been to Utah, being the most homogenized state around a religion, there are some weird liquor laws there. Even coming from Oregon, which has some strange liquor laws comparative to other places we have lived. If you’re looking for a rowdy time, there are ways to get around them, like buying your own alcohol, not ordering mixed drinks, and sticking to beer in a can.
Why go to Moab
If you are in Moab, you’re there to get outdoors. No bones about it, but so is everyone else. Hiking Moab is very popular, and the parks can get very crowded, especially during peak season. If you plan to have a lazy morning and then go to the parks, be aware you may be waiting to get into the park for a hot minute and finding parking will take even longer. The secret is to get up early and head out, like out the door by 6:00 am early. You’ll beat most people to the park, get good parking, and it’s possible the ticketing office isn’t open so you get in for free. Not to mention your hikes will be less crowded, and you can actually enjoy the quiet of the morning while you hike. Now, of course, there is way more to do in Moab than just hiking. That is just our thing.
Hiking Delicate Arches
Since we only had one day there, we didn’t have time to make it over to canyonlands. We would have loved to, but 100% we will be back! Delicate Arch is the most famous of all the arches definitely worth the 3.1 miles hike. It’s so famous it is on the Utah license plate. The longer in the day you wait to go, the busier it will get. At 7/730 AM there was still a line to get a picture under the arch.
On your way up, the trail kind of goes cold, and markings are hard to spot. You’ll hit a point where you have to hike up what feels, and kind of looks like the rock Simba was blessed on. Just keep going up, the trail markings get a touch more obvious at the top. If you are not used to higher altitudes like us, the hiking can get tough, just in personal ability to keep up with the lower oxygen levels, not the trail itself. Once you get passed Simba’s rock, you’ll pass through a Tatooine like landscape just before hitting the final trail piece. If you read reviews, a lot of people say that it is a ledge that is scary, and you can fall off of. In my personal opinion, those people are probably just sad they couldn’t drive their car to the arch or have a fear of heights. The ledge is 2 people wide and leans in towards the rock formation, so unless you are doing something stupid, there is nothing to worry about.
Hiking Devil’s Garden
With the short hike at Delicate Arches and the stunning views, we were left ready to get to more hiking. From there we headed over to, you guessed it, Devil’s Garden. It’s not as bad as it sounds, although appropriately named due to lack of shade. The entrance to this hike is something to behold, two flat face rock formations lining the walkway. Pro tip: there is a really great photo opportunity just around the corner! It’s a dead-end and looks something similar to a runaway truck ramp. This is my profile picture on my outdoors/adventure Instagram
This trail is a loop if you complete it entirely, but it has a whole bunch of branches that come off that lead to different arches along the trail. Delicate Arch is by far the prettiest of the arches we saw, but this trail had 7 arches along the way, all of which are stunning. Landscape arch is super impressive spanning 290 ft across. If you haven’t seen it, you better get while the getting is good. This arch although not named delicate arch has a fragile look to it, and it will fall eventually. There have already been 2 instances of pieces of the arch falling, which lead to the closing of the loop trail that went underneath it .
Pro Tip: If you’re going to be hiking Moab, keep in mind these hikes are in a desert climate at altitude. This means that the weather is subject to drastic temperature changes. In the summer it can be sweltering make sure to bring plenty of water. We always suggest a camelback. If you’re going in the spring or fall, bring warm clothing.
Lunch at Double-O Arches
Just passed the landscape arch there is a rock scramble. People reviewing the hike said that it was hard or scary, but Josie and her anxieties did it no problem. If you are a capable person, this also shouldn’t pose a problem for you. At the top the trail splits, one of them being the way to double-o arches. This is one of the fingers of the loop that is devil’s garden, and it was also one of the best lunch spots I could have ever asked for. The hike to double o can be a little misleading at times and isn’t well marked official signs. However, park services have placed cairns along the way to help guide you. Little rock formations, which I found fun to try and spot the way.
Dead Horse Point
If you follow our same game plan, and you’re done hiking Moab for the day. After dinner, we have one more trick up our sleeves before you go. While the story of how dead horse point lookout got its name may be tragic, there is a pleasant surprise waiting for you at the top each and every evening. Yes, that is the official state park name, and it is relatively close to Moab, but will take roughly 30-45 minutes to get out to due to winding roads and incline to the top. This is a fantastic place to watch the sunset at the end of a clear day. Pro tip: There is a turnoff and lookout point that is just before you get to the official lookout spot. Since it tends to get crowded at the lookout, making it a little less peaceful, stop at the turnoff and watch the sunset here!
Bonus Tip: For those of you who are romantics or plan on going with a few friends, there are yurts available for a fair price in dead horse point state park. They have all the modern living essentials and can sleep up to 6 in each yurt. Additionally, with little or no light pollution, you also get amazing stargazing at night! This is where we plan to stay on our next trip!