Canyonlands & Arches Quick Trip

When you live within four hours of five national parks in southern Utah, its hard not to take any opportunity you can to visit, even if it is a quick one. Recently I woke up super early to drive down to Canyonlands and Arches National Parks near Moab to spend the day.

Moab, Utah

Moab is a great town. With an abundance of recreational space surrounding it, including two national parks, Moab is a great base for finding food and lodging or a place to re-supply if you are camping outside of town.

The town has its own unique vibe that caters to visitors. While there are places you can be pampered, you won’t find many luxury resorts in this town. In short, it’s the place to be for outdoor enthusiasts and it shows. You know, the people who use their REI membership dividend within a week of getting it.

Visitors greatly outnumber the residents and it is common to hear many different languages being spoken as people from all over the world come here to see some of the country’s most iconic red-rock scenery.

Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park covers nearly 340,000 acres of land filled with unique geologic formations. The buttes carved by the Colorado River and its tributaries created the canyons that are too many to count. It provides many opportunities for backcountry trips on foot, vehicle, or water.

Canyonlands National Park was one of four national parks established during the tenure of Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, my grandfather’s cousin. Visitor numbers to Canyonlands has increased over 45% since 2010 with over 630,000 visitors in 2015.

Arches National Park

Some of Utah’s most recognizable features are found at Arches. It will wow the pants off of ya. Since I was condensing this visit to a day, I didn’t partake in many hikes around here like I did last year. But with several of its landmarks just off the road, its not hard to see some pretty awesome rocks in a  short amount of time.

With a good day in southern Utah complete, I headed back home. I’m already looking forward to my next visit to Moab.

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