Posts Tagged With: ut

Corona Arch and a Rattlesnake Encounter

Moab Utah has so many fun things to do that it is definitely one of those places we plan to return to one day.  Besides visiting Arches and Canyonlands, and river rafting on the Colorado River, we also heard about a really awesome hike to Corona Arch.  When I mentioned to Chris that I wanted to hike to this arch he said only if they would be serving Coronas once we got there. 😉 This hike is about 10 miles from Arches National Park.  We met up with another Fulltime Family that joined us on this hike which made it even more fun!





Meet the Muller family.  4/5 of them anyway.  Fin must have been running off ahead with our boys at this time.  We loved hanging out with this family for the evening and hope to meet up with them again someday down the road.


There’s Fin!




What a beautiful arch!



Beautiful views looking back from the arch!



I thought this train track looked really cool coming through the rock.  I wish we would have seen a train come through while we were there.


While we were in Moab we stayed at the OK RV Park.  The sites at our campground were so close together!  This is why we prefer to stay at state parks whenever possible.  But while visiting Moab the choices are pretty much limited to RV parks with really tight sites like these (or boondocking).


The views were pretty though.


Speaking of boondocking, after the hike to Corona Arch the Muller family invited us to their campsite for dinner.  They were boondocking at a really awesome spot.  Boondocking (also known as dry camping) means they were camping at a spot with no water or electric hookups.  We haven’t done that yet mainly because we don’t have a generator.  I’m hoping we can get a generator sometime soon because from what I’ve seen you can stay in some really out of the way spots with amazing views.  The picture below was taken from their campsite.


Wide open spaces in the wilderness like this would be nice, but I should mention there is a much higher chance of encountering wildlife like the rattlesnake the boys came across that night.  The snake was right near Jake’s foot but thankfully only rattled to warn them to get away which they did.  They came running and screaming back to the campsite.  I thank God for watching over and protecting the boys that night!

I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of it.  Chris went to look at it and since it was getting dark he needed a flashlight to see it.  He called me over to check it out, which I did.  It blended in really well with the sand.  I’m surprised Jake didn’t step on it.  Again, I thank God for protecting them!

Anyway, that about wraps up my posts from Utah.  Two weeks, three national parks and lots of fun!  Now on to some more adventures in Colorado.  Cheers!

Categories: Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Canyonlands – The Needles

If you are following along, my last post was about Canyonlands – Island in the Sky.  The Needles was about 70 miles south of where we stayed in Moab so we went there on a different day.

Maybe it’s just because we were tired from a lot of hiking and activities in Moab, but we just were not as impressed with this section of Canyonlands.  If we had it to do over, we probably would have skipped it.  It was a long drive and in our opinion, not really worth it.

This park is pretty far out of the way so maybe they just don’t get a lot of visitors, but they really need more parking spaces.  To access the most popular hike in the park (Chesler Park), you need to drive down a narrow dirt road for 3 miles.  The big dually truck has no trouble on dirt roads, but it becomes a problem when that road is skinny & narrow and someone else is coming the other direction.

Once we finally made it to the end of the 3 mile dirt road, there was no available parking.  It was a very tiny parking lot for the most popular hike in the park.  So, we turned around and made our way back out the skinny 3 mile dirt road.

We made the best of it by going on some of the other hikes, but they just really didn’t measure up to all the other places we had seen in Utah.  Not to mention, parking was very limited at these other hikes as well.

Anyway, now that I’ve really built this up to be a great park, I’m sure you want to see my pictures, right? 🙂

The first cool thing we saw was on the way into the park.  There were several cows just lying on the side of the road.


And then we got to Newspaper Rock.  This is a wall full of petroglyphs.


Those are the Needles way off in the distance.  If you come to this park and are fortunate enough to find parking for the Chesler Park hike, you can hike all the way up to the Needles which would probably be a really cool hike.


We hiked on the Pothole Point trail which has beautiful views off in the distance and fun rocks to climb on.  Lots of potholes in the slickrock too which I suppose is how they came up with the name for the trail.





We learned about cryptobiotic soil.  The black-ish soil in the picture below is alive and made of tiny living things.  There are signs in the parks to let you know to stay on the trail and not walk on this soil.


The Slickrock trail also had some beautiful views.







I really don’t mean to make it sound like this part of Canyonlands is not worth visiting.  It certainly has some amazing views to see, and I’m sure if we had a chance to hike to the Needles it would have been awesome.

I also need to be fair and say that our lack of enthusiasm for this park may have a lot to do with the fact that we were all exhausted from 2 weeks of hiking in Utah.  The picture below of Jesse on the way home after the Needles pretty much sums up how we all felt by that point.



Categories: National Parks, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Canyonlands – Island in the Sky

While we were in Moab, Utah we visited Canyonlands National Park.  This park is separated into 3 districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles and the Maze.  The districts are separated by the Colorado and Green Rivers.  The Maze is not accessible by vehicle so we didn’t go there, but we did visit the Island in the Sky and the Needles on 2 different days.  The entrance and visitor centers to these 2 districts are not at all close to each other, so it’s not practical to visit them on the same day.

I will add another post about the Needles later, but I will mention that of the 2 districts, we enjoyed Island in the Sky much better!

Our first hike was to Grand View Point.  It reminded me a little bit of the Grand Canyon, on a much smaller scale.










Next we did the Aztec Butte hike.  We found out that Butte is pronounced “byoot”, not the way we had been saying it, lol!  However, even though we now know the correct pronunciation, my kids still like to call it “butt” because they think that is funnier of course. 🙂

It was a steep climb up slickrock.  We met some other hikers along the way that said our kids are like monkeys.  I’m not sure what they meant by that. 😉 Maybe it’s because Jesse was way up ahead of us, climbing like a monkey?


The views from the top were incredible, and it was a great place to stop for a snack break.




My people thought this cave looked like a good place to take a nap.


There were some structures from ancient peoples that lived there a few hundred years ago.



The next hike was on Whale Rock.  This one might have been our favorite.  It is made up of huge mounds of rock that from a distance could resemble a whale.



On top of the whale was the perfect place for a picnic lunch.


Nap time again?  I think I tired my people out with all the hiking while we were in Utah!



After lunch we did the Upheaval Dome hike.  That was definitely the hardest hike of the day.  Maybe it was because we could have stopped at the first overlook, but I insisted we keep going to the second overlook which involved a lot more up and down hill hiking.  By the end of this hike we were all exhausted.





But no matter how tired we were, we couldn’t leave Canyonlands without seeing Mesa Arch.  It was a short hike to a spectacular view!





New Junior Ranger badges!


Stay tuned for another Canyonlands post about the Needles.  Cheers!

Categories: National Parks, Utah | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

River Rafting on the Colorado River

We decided to try river rafting while we were in Moab, Utah.  This was super fun and now the boys really want to do an overnight river rafting/camping trip sometime.

Moab has several options for river rafting outfitters.  We went with Canyon Voyages and they were awesome!  Our guides were friendly and knowledgeable.  They pointed out areas of interest along the way, and told lots of interesting stories.  We did the full day trip which included a stop for lunch.


The water was calm for most of the trip, with only about 6 rapids along the journey.  The rapids were the most fun though so we wish there had been more.



That is Fisher Towers off in the distance where mountain climbers climb all the way to the top!




Here come the rapids!




That water was cold!!  Supposedly people jump in the water to swim on these trips, but that must happen later in the summer.  At this time of the year I didn’t see anyone jumping in the water.  And when the water splashed on us from the rapids it was quite cold.

The snow-covered mountains off in the distance are the La Sal Mountains.  I think there is snow up there most of the year.




This was where we stopped for lunch.  Canyon Voyages brings along a delicious lunch with many options like turkey or ham sandwiches, hummus, veggies, quinoa and fruit.


In the morning we were on the raft with a single guy from Poland who is touring America’s national parks for 6 months.  He gets from place to place by hitchhiking.  It was very interesting talking to him and getting to know him.  In the afternoon we were on a raft with a really nice family from NC.  One thing I love about our traveling lifestyle is meeting all kinds of different people from many different parts of the world.

I love these next pictures of the boys.  The expressions on their faces show me just how much they were enjoying themselves.  I love my boys, all 3 of them!





What a fun day!  This trip was appropriate for young children.  They allow kids as young as 5.  Jesse is not quite old enough yet for a trip with more advanced rapids.  Someday we’ll try that when he’s older and maybe an overnight rafting trip too.




Categories: Utah | Tags: , , , , , | 5 Comments

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