Kanarraville Falls

We all got tickets to the Orderville Gulch hike in Zion National Park. But…. there were signs of rain (flash flood), so we had to cancel the hike and go with Plan B.

Our wonderful Utah friends planned yet another grand Utah adventure for us.

We all got tickets to the Orderville Gulch hike in Zion National Park. It is an 11 mile, technical hike and is said to be quite similar to the Narrows, but with a little extra fun. The hike requires several hours of hiking, repelling, wading, and swimming.

But…. there were signs of rain (flash flood), so we had to cancel the hike and go with Plan B.

Plan B was Kanarraville Creek Trail in Kanarraville, Utah. It is a moderate, 4.8 mile, round-trip hike along a creek and through a short slot canyon. It is far less technical than the Orderville hike, but still includes a few hours of hiking, two ladders up waterfalls, and quite a bit of wading in cold water.

I really enjoyed this hike. It started with a hot walk through some brush along the creek. Then we entered the slot canyon where we had to wade through water the rest of the way. The water was quite cold, but after the time in the heat, it was a pleasant reprieve. There were a decent amount of people also hiking the trail, but I only really noticed at the waterfalls where we had to wait in a short line to climb up.

The waterfalls were a blast. Josh is afraid of heights, water, and pretty much any structure that has even the smallest possibility of collapse. The waterfalls were only about 8 feet tall, but was still a startling adventure, even for me. It took some coercing to get Josh to climb up the slippery log spattered with loose nails for foot holds, but he did it and was pretty proud of himself.

Arches National Park

I have to admit that Moab blew my mind. Arches National Park Service was right. There is no other place like it. It took my breath away and I can’t wait to go back!

The second and final day of our Moab, Utah adventure was centered around Arches National Park. The National Park Service webpage describes the park as having landforms and textures unlike any other place in the world with over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. They did not disappoint.

After the long drive to and throughout Canyonlands National Park yesterday, I was very surprised how close everything was in Arches. From the highway, we drove through the park gate, up a butte, and bam!, there it was.

Arches National Park mountain road

There were a ton of places to stop and take pictures or go on hikes. As we were all a little tired (and maybe a little hungover), we kept to the short hikes and road-side stops like Balanced Rock, a rock balancing on a another rock surrounded by phalluses.

Arches National Park Balanced Rock Moab Utah

And over to the Windows Section where there were arches and more phalluses just steps away from the parking lot and public bathrooms.

And finally, another phallus in front of a slot canyon that lead to Sand Dune Arch where I climbed over the boulders, ripped my pants, and peed outside of a cave with an amazing view.

Arches National Park Sand Dune Arch slot canyon Moab Utah

After all the adventuring, driving, and heat, we were ready to hit the road for the long ride home. I have to admit that Moab blew my mind. The National Park Service was right. There is no other place like it, it took my breath away, and I can’t wait to go back!

Canyonlands National Park

We were treated to a weekend in Moab, Utah by a couple of friends who know the area well. Day one was filled with beautiful views and wine.

We were treated to a weekend in Moab, Utah by a couple of friends who know the area well.

Moab is a town of 5,000 people bordering Canyonlands  and Arches National Park. There are round-trip flights to Moab from Denver and Salt Lake City for around $300 on Boutique Air. We chose the less comfortable option of cramming four adults into a car filled with camping gear for a “relaxing” 5.5 hour journey through the Utah wasteland from Salt Lake City.

It was a little early in the season and our first over-night adventure with these particular friends, so we went with two separate KOA Cabins just outside of town. The cabins were absolutely adorable, had an amazing view, and were surprisingly clean and comfortable.

KOA Cabin Moab Utah

Our friends picked out the perfect adventure for us today. We woke up late, had a tasty breakfast in town, then hit the road for a scenic road trip along the Utah-128.

The UT-128 winds along the Colorado River for a little over 30 miles. We drove nearly the full 30 miles just enjoying the scenery and soaking up the sun.

Utah HWY 198 Moab

After we’d made the full lap, we drove back towards town and made a pit stop at the Castle Creek Winery. It is one of only three wineries in Utah as the soil is too salty in most areas… and let’s face it, we’re in the middle of a desert. I’m still uncertain if this oasis of wine and happiness even existed and was just a mirage. Whatever it was, I am grateful for their delicious Outlaw Red and Lily Rose White.

Castle Creek Winery Moab Utah

Next on the list was Canyonlands National Park. You guessed it. It’s a park full of canyons carved out by the Colorado River. There are several key stops within the park and each one takes some time to drive to. First stop was the Grand Viewpoint Overlook.

This may have been my favorite part of the whole trip. Despite the other tourists with the same idea, the area was amazingly quiet and the view held enough to look at for hours on end. I don’t suggest drinking alcohol next to a cliff edge, but I have to admit that it was quite pleasant.

 

We wrapped up the day with short hikes to Upheaval Dome, Mesa Arch, and Dead Horse Point State Park. But of course my phone died and I wasn’t able to take pictures, so did it really happen? No one knows.

Bellies full of wine, we are ready to enjoy a night of s’mores and deep conversation by the campfire.