We just recently took a four hour drive South East from our home to Moab, Utah to spend some the weekend camping and hiking around Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
*This is a picture heavy post…I apologize in advance…unless you enjoy that sort of thing :)!
Camping is one of our favorite things to do as a family. I grew up backpacking in the High Uintah Mountains east of Salt Lake City and LOVED every minute of it. So, it has been nice to keep that going in my own little family.
It had been several years since both my husband and I had been to Arches and the kids have never been, so we knew we had to get down there before the kids started moving out (which is coming faster than I ever imagined it would.
We camped in the Devil’s Garden Campground which is right in Arches National Park. It was absolutely gorgeous here. Probably our family’s favorite campground as far as scenery goes. They also had really clean flush toilets…which is always a plus in my book.
We got there about 5:00 Friday evening and had a quick bite to eat in downtown Moab and then we headed straight to our campground. We set up camp and then spent the evening exploring the area all around our camp.
There was even an arch right by us up on a little hillside. My brother and his kids were able to join us (my sister-in-law, who we missed, unfortunately ended up having to go in to work at the last minute).
We sat around the campfire and chatted while roasting marshmallows and eating smores. One of my favorite parts of camping is the campfire time. There is just something so relaxing and bonding about sitting around a campfire with your friends and family.
The next morning we got up and headed over to Sand Arch so we could be there before the crowds of people. We had it all to ourselves for quite a while. This can tend to get a bit crowded because it is a cool arch surrounded with great sand that the kids loved playing in.
There is also a pretty easy access for getting on top of Sand Arch for anyone who dares. A few of us were more daring than others…and I was the official photographer…so of course I had to stay down and take the picture :)!
There were some fun narrows in this area that we spent some time climbing through and exploring.
After thoroughly exploring Sand Arch we headed over to Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is one of the most breathtaking arches in the park. It is by far my favorite must see. It is a bit of a strenuous hike (3 miles round-trip) but up you gain some serious elevation. But it is so worth it.
On our way up we saw a boy in a climbing wheelchair going up to see the arch with a group of people helping him to the top. It was an amazing site. We also saw a cute little grandmother with cane making her way slowly to the top with the help of her two granddaughters.
Tired and hungry we headed back to camp for a late lunch. We took a nice break and then headed over to go hiking in Devil’s Garden to see a few different arches.
The scenery here was so amazing. Blue skies as far as the eye could see and red rock formations all around us.
The first arch we came to was Landscape Arch.
Then we continued on to see the Double Arch. This hike was a bit more technical in few areas and had some amazing panoramic views of the La Sal Mountains by Moab (the snow capped ones).
If you look closely you can see there are two arches on top of one another below.
All in all, we hiked about 7 miles on Saturday and in total over 9 miles. The kids were such good sports. I think it helped that they had some fun cousins with them to hike and chat with along with way. It also helped that we brought along the child carrier backpack with us so our youngest (5 years) could ride in it when her little legs were tired. But she ended up hiking on her own for quite a bit of it. There is so much more of Arches we want to come back and explore that we were not able to see.
The next morning (Sunday) we had to be out of the camp at 10:00 am. So we ate breakfast and packed up. Then we headed over to Canyonlands National Park which is just about 10 miles away from Arches. We didn’t spend a lot of time here but we did hike to Mesa Arch.
Mesa Arch is absolutely amazing. It overlooks a HUGE canyon and you can see for miles. This arch made my feet tingle peering over the edge.
We hiked to a crater which could possibly have been where a meteorite hit and finally we stopped by the Green River Overlook.
We didn’t even make a dent in seeing all the amazing things there is to do in this area. We will be coming back for sure.
If you are still reading along…
Have you ever been to Arches or Canyonlands?