Arches National Park
For the first phase of our summer road trip, Rob and I headed out to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, at the recommendation of Rob’s friend Morgan. It’s about a six-hour drive from Denver (without stops). The park and town are a bit out of the way, but I would definitely recommend it. It’s rugged and gorgeous — and, at least during our stay — it wasn’t crowded at all. We didn’t see many people during our trail hikes, and it was possible at times to feel like we had these cavernous paths to ourselves.
On Wednesday, we explored some of the rugged southern part of the park, including the Park Avenue trail. We left the park during the heat of the day, made a side trip to Dead Horse Point State Park (more on that later) and returned to Arches for the tail end of the sunset.
The following day, we returned just after sunrise to explore a bit of the Devil’s Garden trail, going as far as Landscape Arch. Sandstone fins and arches abound in this part of the park, and we were lucky enough to have great light for much of our hike. To my delight, we also came across several manic chipmunks and mellow jackrabbits along the way.
For lodging, I’d highly recommend the bed and breakfast we stayed at, Sunflower Hill. It’s one of the larger bed and breakfasts we’ve stayed at and probably our favorite so far. Our hosts were very friendly and the breakfasts fantastic. And I didn’t feel any of the usual “we’re staying in a stranger’s home” awkwardness that I often feel when we stay at smaller b&bs.
I’d also recommend bringing lots of water. Maybe I’m not as acclimated to the arid desert heat as I used to be in Tucson, but I drank pretty much nothing but water (and lots of it) during my stay in Moab.