Canyonlands National Park, Utah

After leaving Jackson Hole, it was time to head south into Utah for some more national park exploration. We spent one night on the road on the Wyoming/Utah border and then drove straight to Moab, Utah.

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Friday night in Moab is hopping. This was the only time so far we have run into difficulty finding a campsite. Luckily our Jucy van is self-sufficient and does not require hookups and is smaller than an RV.  We have been staying on tent sites, which are cheaper and usually easier to come by.  But not in Moab. We went to 3 different campgrounds before we took the very last tent site at the 4th. But it was cool, it was close to the bathrooms (which I like) and the WIFI was the best we have had.  Double score!

After finding a place to rest our weary heads, we took off for the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park. Moab is close to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks with Canyonlands split into 3 different sections. Needles was somewhat close and did not have as much to see so we could do it in 2 hours.

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Unfortunately we did not check our gas gauge before we left and realized that we would run out of gas unless we turned back to Moab to refill. This took up another precious hour of daylight so we were racing against the sunset to get to Needles.  The drive just kept going and going and going.

But we did make it before sunset! Success!

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Both of us were not too impressed with Needles.  If you get to Moab, skip this part if you are pressed for time or factor in a long drive with an hour of hiking.

The Island in the Sky  section of Canyonlands was much better (and closer to Moab)! We woke up bright and early to beat the heat (and the crowds) to do some hiking.

We hiked first to a ginormous crater-like hole, either an actual meteor crash spot or naturally made (the scientists can’t decide). The hole itself wasn’t too exciting but the hike was basically bouldering for a few miles in the hot sun with rock piles leading the way.

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An overlook point with views of the whole Green River Basin.

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It was a quick and easy 1/2 mile hike to Mesa Arch. The crowds were pretty big here so I’d come first thing in the morning. Somehow I managed to get one shot without tons of people in it.

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Already getting in our 17,000 steps for the day (BC is keeping track), I insisted on refilling our bellies at …………..

We are eating a lot of hot dogs and marshmallows but all I really wanted a salad.  Vegetables! The steak on top was awesome too though.

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And some onion rings to fill this empty hole left from all this hiking Smile

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Yum! The most satisfying meal of the trip so far!

We are exploring Arches National Park next. It was a favorite from childhood and definitely lived up to expectations this trip too!

Reader Question: Would you get up super-early to avoid crowds or just go with the flow?

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1 Response

  1. I think I’d get up early… but you never know… sometimes I get lazy on vacation! haha! That van is pretty cool!

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