Moab Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by blueskyjohn

Most Recent Off The Beaten Path in Moab

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    Klondike Bluff Dinosaur tracks - Part 2

    by blueskyjohn Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    After the initial tracks the best is yet to come. Continue on the slick rock following the white dashed lines. The trail will turn left. Continue straight on the slick rock staying close to the left where the dirt and slick rock meet. Keep you eyes peeled to the ground and as the hill begins to crest you will find several lines of tracks.

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    • Desert
    • Archeology

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    Klondike Bluff Dinosaur tracks - Part 1

    by blueskyjohn Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    I think these tracks and the ones mentioned in Part 2 are the best in Moab. Take route 191 north out of Moab for about 13 miles (mile post 142). Klondike Bluff road is on the right. If you pass the airport, you went too far. This road is easily accessed with two wheel drive cars. Th parking area is at the end where you will see a wired fence and gate. Beyond this is mountain biking and 4 wheeling. This is nice to hike as well if you only want to see the dinosaur tracks.

    Follow the Klondike road trail on a double track road. This can be very sandy in the beginning. The road turns right and into a wash type trail. as soon as you emerge from this onto slick rock you will see a number of dinosaur tracks marked by stones placed around them for easy identification. Please do not disturb the rocks Other tracks ahead do not have these stones. See Part 2.

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    Willow Springs Dinosaur tracks.

    by blueskyjohn Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    Some cool tracks here not as defined as others but definitely noticeable. There is also a sign describing the tracks put in by BLM.

    To find the tracks, drive north on 191. Over the Colorado River and drive until you pass 313 on the left. Willow Springs rd is the second right after 313. Continue on Willow Springs road and just before you get to the boarder with Arches National Park there is a marker sign on the right. The tracks are easy to find.

    A normal two wheel car can drive this road.

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    Copper Ridge Dinosaur tracks

    by blueskyjohn Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    These are very interesting tracks because of there size. There is a sign at the location with some historical information. These tracks can be 23 miles north of Moab. On the left side (if you are driving north) there is a large microwave tower. Make the next right and drive for a few miles to the parking area. It is a very easy hike up to the tracks.

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    San Rafael Reef - Slot Canyons near Moab

    by blueskyjohn Updated Aug 10, 2013

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    While this is about 1 hour away from Moab, it is accessible for a long day trip. The easiest and most accessible slot canyon in the San Rafael swell is actually a loop hike of Little Wild Horse Canyon and Bell Canyon. Follow all directions to Goblin State Park. Just before you get to the entrance of Goblin you will be at a stop sign. Left is the entrance to Goblin, turn right here and take the well maintained road for several miles to the first well established trail head on the right. You will cross a large dry wash.

    The trail head has toilets. Park here and walk the trail until you can drop into the dry wash. About 10-15 minute you will see the canyon split. Turn right and enter Little Wild Horse Canyon. On the left is Bell Canyon where you will exit later. Some negotiating is required and you may need to use you hands. In winter and early spring there will be water in the slots that can be passed by stemming the canyon wall.

    When the canyon opens up about 3 miles later there will be a fork to the left. Take this as it crosses over to a well maintained dirt road. Walk the Road (turn left) until you come tot he next dry wash. This is Bell Canyon. Continue on to the end.

    Highly recommend!

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    Ken's Lake

    by mikehanneman Updated May 4, 2012
    Area behind the lake
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    On the south side of Moab there is ken's Lake that the locals use a lot. It is small but my wife and I used a canoe to enjoy the lake and scenery.

    After relaxing at the lake, we headed up into an area where it was rumored Demi Moore was going to build a house. Great views and wilderness and no people!

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    Desert Varnish

    by Trekki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    wall full of desert varnish

    During my travels in Southwest US, I often came across these funny vertical stripes on the walls. Looked as if someone had poured down varnish from the walltop.

    Later on, I learned that this indeed is called "desert varnish".

    I checked the web, and found the following infos:
    (for more details please check NPS.gov website, the Canyonlands' one):

    Desert varnish only appears where water flows over rocks, and bacteria are present. It is composed of fine-grained clay minerals, which contain black manganese oxide and red iron oxide, or hydroxides.


    Now directly from NPS/Canyonlands Website:

    Desert varnish consists of clays and other particles cemented to rock surfaces by manganese emplaced and oxidized by bacteria living there. It is produced by the physiological activities of microorganisms which are able to take manganese out of the environment, then oxidize and emplace it onto rock surfaces. These microorganisms live on most rock surfaces and may be able to use both organic and inorganic nutrition sources. These manganese-oxidizing microorganisms thrive in deserts and appear to fill an environmental niche unfit for faster growing organisms which feed only on organic materials.
    The sources for desert varnish components come from outside the rock, most likely from atmospheric dust and surface runoff. Streaks of black varnish often occur where water cascades over cliffs. No major varnish characteristics are caused by wind.
    Thousands of years are required to form a complete coat of manganese-rich desert varnish so it is rarely found on easily eroded surfaces. A change to more acidic conditions (such as acid rain) can erode rock varnish. In addition, lichens are involved in the chemical erosion of rock varnish.

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    Newspaper Rock

    by steph4867 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This site is famous for a large sandstone panel covered with petroglyphs that date from 1,500 to 200 years ago, from the Fremont people to the ancestral Puebloans, and finally the Utes and Navajo. The panel also includes initials and names left by early white settlers, including one J. P. Gonzales of Monticello, who herded sheep in the canyon in the early 1900s. Administered by the Bureau of Land Management's Monticello Field Office (tel. 435/587-1500), the site is located in Indian Creek Canyon, along the road to Canyonlands' Needles District, Utah 211, about 12 miles west of U.S. 191. Camping is free at a primitive campground just across the road from Newspaper Rock, with dispersed camping for about eight tents or small RVs, but no drinking water. Vault toilets are located at Newspaper Rock.

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    Wilson's Arch

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 14, 2009

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    Monument plaque on the Arch
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    This arch is right on the highway, and easy to see if not going over 80MPH. It is close to Hwy 46 turnoff, to the south maybe 2 miles, and about 10 miles from Needles Canyonlands turnoff further south. you can hike up to the arch very easliy

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    Hole in the Rock

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 14, 2009

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    Turnoff from Hwy 191
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    This place is a real wonder and worth spending a couple of hours and dollars. They have done a good job of bringing in tourists for looking around, making some gist selections and tour the 5,000 square foot home. They also have a lot of flora and many unique structures around the premises. One is the jeep below, another is a bull made out of metal parts from gears and strip metal, another a golfer made from golf heads and shafts. What a wonder to see.
    The home tour is $5 and goes for about 30 minutes on the hour. Overall Albert Christensen carved out 50,000 square feet of rock and used as much as 5,000 square feet for his home. He started in 1940's and drilled and blasted for 12 years. They moved into the home in 1952, and operated the adjacent diner until 1955. Albert also carved the bust of Franklin Roosevelt
    The whole concept started with the family settling here and trading items for settlers moving through Utah. It made sense to carve out rock to get out of the sun, and eventually they had a good thing, and continued to expand. Besides the gifts shops, the whole outside area is filled with special treats to take in and enjoy of statues and artifacts.
    Location is 15 miles south of Moab on Hwy 191

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    Goblin Valley State Park

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 10, 2009

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    STanding tall together on horizon
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    This park is located some distance form Moab, but a nice site that you will most likely not see anywhere else. It is a long 120 miles form Moab, and take Hwy 191 to US 70, then go past Green River about 10 miles and turn down Hwy 24 and go for 30 miles. The last trek is 11 miles down to the park. Cost is $7 daily, and camping for $16 a day is allowed. The adventure is seeing these hoodoos (called goblins) by tradition many years ago because they look like ghost goblins?)
    You can walk among the formations and into the surrounding hills for better viewpoints. The area is 2 miles long and one mile wide in a park of 3654 acres total.

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    Green River-Cyrstal Geyers

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 10, 2009

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    Pools of water around the geyser hole
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    There is a geyser to the south of town and it is worth a nice trip. Green River is 70 miles northwest of Moab and easily reached via highway driving. The road to Crystal Geyser is another trip. It requires going through the old missile base of Government, and the roads are not maintained, but passable. Located about 9 miles from main street in town.
    The geyser is of cold water-so you can touch it. The rust colored forms are from such mineral rich soils in the underground. It spews up every 12-16 hours, and I did not get to see that, but a little trickler is close by. The travertine means rust terraces, and the surface around the geyser is rippled in a wonderful setting.

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    Green River Area-Fossil Point

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 10, 2009

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    Large butte going to the sky
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    There are a lot of roads that branch off of the main road in town. They all led to the out country and it is rugged, rough, and bumpy in many areas. It is really called a desert in this part of Utah, and is dry to prove it, except for along the Green River running through town and beyond.

    Fossil Point is about 13 miles south of town, and located in a barren hot, dry plateau with some gray hills peaking up. The road is not too bad to travel until the last couple of miles. I went past the designated area for a bit, and it does get worse form there. Four wheel drive is helpful. Green River is about 70 miles from Moab, and easy drive to get there in less than an hour.

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    • Mountain Climbing
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    SAn Rafael Swell

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 10, 2009

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    Locarion to the west of Moab
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    SAn Rafael has been a place least known probably in the whole country. This is the last of an untapped area of the US. It still has many areas that have not been thoroughly explored. Around it, are some designated places to see. It is called Castle Country and has high peaks that get snow in winter, and desert badlands that really are bad to travel in some places. The area was once ranched more, but tough weather and terrain detered people form settling in numbers since early 1800's. There are to be 2,000 miles of road going through this area that spreads out for around 500 square miles, but few are passable with a normal highway vehicle; you need 4x4or motor bike.

    It would be about 70 miles from Moab. Green River is also a spot to visit that is on US 70. Some hiking and driving tours are staged from here. There are only two roads without use of 4 wheel drive, and each travel along the fringe of the more rugged areas.

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    Top of the World

    by KiKitC Written Oct 21, 2008

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    RedRover
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    Off Highway 191 north of Moab, turn onto Entrada Bluffs Road by the Old Dewey Bridge. This looped trail, rated a 4 on a scale of 10, will take 3 to 4 hours to complete. It is taken mostly for it's scenic value...offering one of the most dramatic overlooks of the Moab area.

    But, wheelers will not be disappointed. Once on the loop, there are many rock ledges and shelves to climb on your way up to the top. Body damage is possible.

    The view is incredible. Once at the overlook, the trail loops back to the beginning.

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