Travelling by RV is fairly common and it should not restrict access to the most popular spots. There are some off the beaten track activities that you may not have access to because of clearance, but still there is so much you can see with just the RV. If you plan on camping with the RV in national park campsites you should reserve as soon as possible. All camping in national parks must be reserved in advance via website here:
As for the quads, it is very common in places like Moab, UT which has great 4wd roads to explore and good for a one day activity. I wouldn't say it is very common throughout the US but a number of places have these for daily rental.
June could be hot is southern Utah. May is a better month for outdoor activities. I like the heat so June is good for me. Drink plenty of water and always have plenty with you whether you are hiking or on the quads.
You can experience alot in three weeks. Have a great time!
Moab is a Utah town that is near Arches National Park and Canyon Lands National Park. This makes it a good place for stocking up on supplies, or having a night out. The town itself is geared to give tourists a good time, with a variety of local tours available, such as river trips (including whitewater rafting), mountain biking, 4X4 wheeler adventures, horseback riding, and a variety of other tours. Be aware, however, that most of these tour operators are only open during prime tourist season. As an outdoor enthusiast you will also find the Moab area a great place for backpacking and rock climbing. Word of warning, however, summers are very hot in Moab, always carry plenty of water while enjoying your outdoor sports activity.
Fondest memory: I love Utah's wonderful red rock country, the canyons, the interesting rock formations, and the history of the early people. If you can enjoy a vista lacking trees, if you love mountains and rock formations, then you will find Utah a beautiful state. It is certainly one of my favorite places to visit.
Friday October 2, 2009
I was unbelievably excited to see Arches National Park. I had seen and heard so many good things about it. We spent the most part of the day there, arriving 9:30 a.m. and leaving around 4:30 p.m. In hindsight, I would have planned to stay another day, as there was so much we missed, as many of the wonderful arches are only visible on the many hiking trails. But we did not have the proper equipment to do any hiking.
Featuring the greatest concentration of natural stone arches in the world, ARCHES NATIONAL PARK boasts over 2,000 stone arches and numerous stone formations, in the 119 square miles (76,518 acres) Park. Many of the formations in the Park have distinctive names like Delicate Arch, Fiery Furnace, The Three Gossips, Courthouse Towers, Devils Garden, Garden of Eden, Parade of Elephants and Balanced Rock. Many are easily viewed from the road or from the many Viewpoints throughout the Park.
Arches National Park offers a number of Hiking/Walking trails to suit any experience level - Easy - Moderate - Strenuous. I highlight these in my Sports Tips section. For those who wish to tour by car, there is a paved scenic 18 mile drive. The Main Sections are: The Garden of Eden, The Windows Section, Wolfe Ranch/Delicate Arch, Fiery Furnace and Devils Garden, where the park's Campground is located.
Arches is 5 miles north of Moab on Highway #191
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Located on the southern border of Utah, MONUMENT VALLEY NAVAJO TRIBAL PARK is a region of the Colorado Plateau, characterized by a cluster of vast and iconic sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 feet above the valley floor. The Valley lies within the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway #163. The Navajo name for the Valley is Tse' Bii' Ndziagaii - Valley of the Rocks.
The Valley's vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered Cutler Red siltstone. The darker, blue-gray rocks get their color from manganese oxide.
Monument Valley has been featured in many films, such as in Westerns by director John Ford ( #4 Overlook is named after him).
Near the entrance to the Park is a Visitor Center, with rest rooms and a large souvenir shop. Visitors pay an access fee of $5.00 U.S. per person which allows you to drive through the park on a 17-mile (27 km) unpaved dirt road. Parts of Monument Valley are only accessible by guided tour, such as Mystery Valley and Hunt's Mesa.
I was soooo looking forward to see Monument Valley for myself as I have heard and read so much about it. For sure, I was not disappointed. It was all and more than I anticipated.
A beautiful, natural sandstone arch, WILSON ARCH is located adjacent to US Highway #191, 24 miles southeast of Moab. It has a span of 91 feet and height of 46 feet, making it quite impressive. It is visible from the road and there is parking opposite the Arch, so you can safely stop and take some pictures.
Fondest memory: The sign at the pulloff near the arch reads:
"Wilson Arch was named after Joe Wilson, a local pioneer who had a cabin nearby in Dry Valley. This formation is known as Entrada Sandstone. Over time superficial cracks, joints, and folds of these layers were saturated with water. Ice formed in the fissures, melted under extreme desert heat, and winds cleaned out the loose particles. A series of free-standing fins remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed like the one to the right of Wilson Arch. Others, with the right degree of hardness survived despite their missing middles like Wilson Arch."
Favorite thing: Located in southern Utah on Highway 191 between Blanding and Moab and near the entrance to the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park. CHURCH ROCK is a solitary column of sandstone and even from miles away, you can see the outline of a Church. In my photos, La Sal Mountains can be seen in the background.
With five National Parks, UTAH is America's National Parks capital: Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands and Capital Reef. In addition, there is Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park which straddles the Utah/Arizona border.
Utah is a western State of the United States, and was named after the Native American "UTE" tribe and means people of the mountains. It is 84,000 square miles and the 11th largest state, with Salt Lake City as its capital.
Utah has a large percent of Mormons, concentrating mostly around Salt Lake City. Brigham Young and the first Mormon pioneers came to this area in 184
It's funny how a day can make all the difference. Just twenty-four hours earlier I scrambled around madly trying to get the perfect photo of The Delicate Arch. I wasn't the only one doing it. There were another hundred odd people there waiting for sunset. Some where just as hung up if not more so about getting the “perfect picture.” Some might have been ignoring their friends, wives, or even kids in this all consuming passion. Of course, not everyone. There are still some sane people in the world. The rest of us, well, we can't help our mono-vision.
Fondest memory: If I wasn't married to the greatest girl on the planet none of this would make much difference. She had been camping all over the southwestern US with me for weeks, often forgoing showers for more days than is acceptable by even me. She'd done this hike in our “uniform” as she'd become fond of referring to our desert whites despite it not being really necessary late in the day and for such a short walk. She sat there alone, not complaining, despite most other people being far cleaner and fashionably dressed. I was off taking photos, oblivious to what anyone was wearing, including myself. I had been wearing the same thing for weeks and often went days without seeing a mirror. To be honest, none of these trivial things would have mattered if I'd just been by her side for more than a fleeting moment here and there. Even after half of the arch was covered in shade I shot the top of the arch as it glowed a frame around a distant snowy peak.
Now, things were entirely different. Not only was I at her side like a good attentive husband, we were freshly clean and at least she was dressed a lot more nicely. She looked amazing but she looked great the day before too to me. I had taken some photos earlier but just a few. This time I knew when to stop. You know when the color peaks, you can see it. And I stopped and enjoyed a special moment watching The Delicate Arch with my wife. Don't you know it, the best shot I got from both night's shooting was from the second night. The best wife? She was with me both nights and I was finally smart enough to be with her too.
Fondest memory: I arrived in Utah the first time in the fall of 1994. I was on the tail end of a four month camping trip around the western US which had started the Rocky Mountains and made its way northwest, down the coast before heading into the southwest. It had been a great trip but time was running out on the weather. It was a gorgeous sunset on arrival in Zion National Park but the forecast was for snow so we got a room rather than camp. We woke up to a huge snowstorm which was quite a sight for this Florida boy who hadn't seen snow in some time. We drove up to Bryce anyway and it was a gorgeous sight, all the red hoodoos covered in white powder.
Driving through Utah? Here is a route option for a 10 day visit.
Day 1) From Denver take I-70 through Colorado. I love the Colorado river gorge just before Glenwood Springs. If you don't want to drive all the way to Moab then stay either in Glenwood Springs which is kind of a resort feel, or Grand Junction. Near Grand Junction is Colorado Natl Monument. It is a beautiful drive.
Day 2-3) Then take the detour to Moab via hwy 128 and see Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands and Arches Natl Parks.. You could spend half a day at Island in the Sky. Stop for the view of the Shafer trail, hike Mesa Arch and GrandView trails. Stop at the Green River viewpoint, hike to Aztec Buttes. Then spend a full day at Arches, lots of short hikes- through Park Avenue, to the Windows, and Double Arch, be sure to take the hike to Delicate Arch!!
Day 4 ) Then head back to I-70 and just past Green River take hwy 24 south through Hanksville to Capitol Reef Natl Park. Along the way stop for a visit at Goblin Valley State Park for an hour or two. Stay in Torrey. You could spend a day exploring Capitol Reef. I always recommend the scenic drive down to Capitol Gorge, great drive and a short easy hike to the "tanks".
Day 5) Then head south on Hwy 12. This a one of the great drives in the country. See: http://scenicbyway12.com/ If you take all day you could visit the Anasazi State Park in Boulder, take the first 15 or so miles along the Burr Trail, stop at Kiva Koffeehouse for lunch, take the Hole in the Rock road to Devil's Garden, visit the Escalante Visitors Center for the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM before arriving at Bryce Canyon. Stay near Bryce either at Ruby's or in the park. This isn't what I would call an interesting town, but you haven't got much choice there.
Day 6) Spend the next day in Bryce. Watching the sunset or sunrise on the cliffs is a favorite activity. Take the Navaho to Queen's Garden loop from Sunset point, drive the scenic drive to the end then stop on the way back for the viewpoints. If it is a clear night, without a moon enjoy the stars.
Day 7-8) Next day drive to Zions National Park, stay in Springdale which is a cute little town. A few easy trails would be Emerald pools, Riverside walk, Canyon Overlook, Pa'rus and Watchman. If you want something more challenging then try the Narrows or Angel's Landing.
Day 9) drive to LV.
The Joshua Tree or Yucca brevifolia, is one of the outstanding features of the southwestern desert states in the US. Keep your eyes out for these beautiful plants. You can learn more about them at the website:
Get up into the mountains. It's really refreshing and neat to just even look out over the valley and see the Great Salt Lake in the distance. The population is incredible and a bit daunting, which makes getting out of the city that much nicer. The traffic on the I-15 really sucks at times. There is construction all over for the Olympic games, so be patient.
Fondest memory: The drive from Salt Lake to Park City is really nice. You can check out the Olympic sites and do some great outlet shopping in Park City. You just seem to breathe deeper its so crisp and clear and clean when you get out of the Salt Lake Valley.
Fondest memory: This mountain stood out to me and made me realize why American Indians consider so many things sacred. The way the cloud was hovering over it made it look very mysterious. It was intriguing enough that we had to drive toward it like it was magnetic.... one little house was next to it. There is one more pic of it on the main page.
On most of the pictures Utah looks so very dry and dusty with all those red rocks. But when you take a closer look you can see some beautiful flowers as well. Take this series of cacti for instance. These are just 5 photos of the many flowers I saw. The flower itself is so delicate and vibrant in colour. Ranging from pink to orange and red and even to a bright yellow color. The plant itself is prickly and the combination of the delicate flower with this sturdy plant is beautiful by itself. But putting this combination in this harsh landscape, where you would think it wouldn't be possible to grow anything, it is just amazing. I think I saw the most of these cacti in Monument Valley and in Zion National Park.
Monument Valley is one of those places that has made a huge impression on me. Looking at these pictures always makes me think back to the day that I stood there looking at those amazing rock formations.
The landscape is flat and there is red dust everywhere, there are some little shrubs that cover the surface. But almost out of nothing there are these impressive rocks formations, they are called buttes and mesas. They are so huge and strangely shaped, it hard to believe that they are real. They are so huge, it makes you realize how small you really are. The whole atmosphere is so surreal and so serene, I will never forget it.
Stayed for 3 nights. The room was very clean and spacious. Housekeepers were always prompt and did a...more
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It's more like a motel that a hotel but it's nice and it's the best place to stay in vicinity of the...more