This weekend Dan and I went with another couple to Moab for the weekend. I was again reminded why it is one of my favorite places in the world.

We got into Moab late Thursday night and had the fun of driving by many full campsites on route 128. After about 20 minutes more we decided to keep going to the free campsite our friends found on a previous trip. We got out of the car and the stars were outrageous. I love cold, clear desert nights. It makes for some good sleeping weather too.

We woke up to this delightful scenery:

Moab Utah Camping
Camping and breakfasting below a sweet spire.

We made eggs and bacon with donuts and coffee on the side. All is good in moderation.

After a slow, relaxing morning we packed up and drove to Arches National Park.

We parked at the first stop after the visitor’s center, the Park Avenue parking lot. We wanted to do a “warm-up” canyon since our friends have never been canyoneering or rappelling. U-turn canyon fit the bill. Here is this blog post about the trip.

U Turn Canyon Arches National Park Utah
The butt-sliding staging area.
U Turn Canyon Arches National Park Utah
Views!

This was a fun, albeit short canyon with some spectacular views of Arches. It has two short rappells (20 ft) and one longer one (60ft). It took us approximately 2-3 hours.

U Turn Canyon Arches National Park Utah
Right next to the longest rappel, the sling is to the right.

Since we had most of the afternoon left we hiked to Delicate Arch. It is beautiful but very crowded, as it was the last time I visited. It’s about a 3 mile round trip hike.

Delicate Arch Arches National Park
People + Delicate Arch.
Delicate Arch Arches National Park Utah
Delicate Arch.

That night we drove to the start of the canyon for the next day – Granary Canyon– to camp. This area is one of our favorites because it’s away from the crowds and looks like this:

Granary Canyon Moab Utah
Campsite near Granary Canyon. The La Sal Mountains are in full display.

In the morning we had another slower start enjoying coffee and eggs. We packed up and hiked about 10 minutes to the start of Granary Canyon. There was one other group that started well before us, so we had the canyon to ourselves. It is helpful to have a GPS (Dan uses a phone app) to more easily find the start of this canyon.

The first rappel into the canyon is fun.

Granary Canyon Moab Utah
Top of the first rappel into Granary Canyon.
Granary Canyon Moab Utah
More water than the last time we visited.

 

Granary Canyon Moab Utah
Pre-jumping into murky water.

Granary Canyon is nice because you can hike out of the canyon at the halfway point and finish the next day. We spent about 3-4 hours at a leisurely pace winding through the first half. Then we went back to camp for beers and brats.

Granary Canyon Moab Utah
Lots of time for stargazing.

The last day of the trip we visited the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park. We chose the Murphy’s Point hike because it is short and easier with big views at the end. We were not disappointed:

Murphy's Point Canyonlands National Park
Island in the Sky hike to Murphy’s Point.

The hike is approximately 3.6 miles round trip. The majority of the hike itself is in grassland/not the most visually stunning, but once you near the end the views are incredible:

Murphy's Point Canyonlands National Park
Washed out photo of Murphy’s Point.

We drove the six hours back home and cried that we don’t live closer to Moab (yet).

The end.

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