Utah | 6 Oct 2021

by Jim and Melanie

We love the mountains and scenery of the western states. Being cooped up due to COVID has prevented us from visiting those places. We decided it was time to venture out. Instead of driving from Iowa to Utah, we flew to Grand Junction CO, rented a car, and drove the rest of the way to Moab UT. We stayed five nights in Moab and made multiple visits to Arches and Canyonlands N Parks, Dead Horse Point S Park, and numerous other less advertised attractions. Hiking was our primary goal.

The Road to Moab

Part of the way from Grand Junction to Moab we drove on I-70. We got off at hwy 128 which followed the Colorado River to Moab. It was a good choice. Little traffic, smooth road, and fabulous scenery made the ride perfect.

We used Google Streetview to preview places to stop. The first hiking opportunity was at Fisher Towers. A gravel road took us from 128 about 2 miles toward higher ground. We grabbed our equipment and set out on the trail toward the Titan. The trail was marked moderate and even difficult in places. We were still not acclimated to the altitude. We paced ourselves and drank plenty of water.

Closer inspection revealed a surprising feature. There was a cable strung between two points which allowed skilled climbers to walk the high-wire from tower to tower. It is barely visible in this next picture. Click to enlarge and make it more visible. No one was doing that when we were there.

Sunset at Balanced Rock

After hiking the Fisher Towers trail we proceeded to Moab, checked into our hotel, had a nap, and dinner. The clear skies meant sunset in Arches NP would cast some beautiful color on the rocks. Park reviews suggested Balanced Rock was a good location to watch the colors change.

We weren’t the only ones there to enjoy the scene. Others had gathered with cameras on tripods or with their phones. The most entertaining were some Ravens flying around the rocks. Here is one of them perched on top barely visible.

Arches fills quickly in the mornings. Parking spaces are limited at the various viewing sites. By mid-morning, park officials close off new entries. It re-opens in the mid-afternoon. We planned to arrive the next day at about sunrise in order to visit the Devil’s Garden.


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