Photos From Utah

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I said I would start doing a monthly post of pictures from my travels, but I haven’t been very good about doing that, so here is one. With a lot of the country locked in the grips of winter, I thought we would look at some desert scenery. These pictures are from Utah, specifically around Moab. What makes Moab a very special place is its close proximity to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. Moab is one of my favorite places anywhere! It is a wonderful little town that exists pretty much for tourists. It is home to many great activities such as

  • Rafting on the Colorado River
  • Jeeping/4-Wheeling is some of the best in the world
  • Mountain Biking is World Class there
  • Canyonering/Hiking/Backpacking
  • Rock Climbing

The town has a young, hippyish vibe to it that I always really enjoy. Being Southern Utah, it is hot! I only go there in fall and winter to avoid the heat. November is the perfect time to go, no longer hot but not cold yet. I was there once in December and it was cold with some snow on the ground. I didn’t have any problem stealth parking in town in December. The main draw to me is Arches National Park, which is incredibly beautiful. The first time I was there it literally moved me to tears. Having lived in Alaska all my life I had never seen anything like the huge Red Rock spires and I was just awestruck by its stark beauty.
Moab-Arches1
As its name implies the Park is full of arches and they are very inspiring. But none come close to the beauty of Delicate Arch. It’s a pretty good hike to see it, about 1 1/2 miles with a fair amount of climbing. It is over slick-rock which is easy to walk on but it does require some navigation skills. You must be familiar with walking on rock and following Cairns (small piles of rocks that mark a trail that couldn’t be marked otherwise). But it is well worth the challenges!! It is huge and beautiful beyond words. The pictures can NOT convey it all. What they don’t show you is that it is hanging on sheer, straight cliffs that drop straight down for 1/4 mile. It is not for those with a fear of heights! Fortunately, you don’t have to get anywhere near the cliffs unless you want to.

I left people in this picture at the bottom of Delicate Arch to give you an idea of its huge size. It is beautiful beyond words to describe!

I left people in this picture at the bottom of Delicate Arch to give you an idea of its huge size. It is beautiful beyond words to describe!

There is a limited amount of dispersed camping in the area. Stop by the Public Land Inter-Agency office in Moab and they can give you specific directions to places where you can camp for free. The campsites are pretty close to Canyonlands NP but fairly far from Arches NP.  But they are in a beautiful area so well worth the drive! Here are some photos from the area:
I sprained my ankle really badly while I was hiking around Moab, so I had to stay in the area for 2 weeks while it healed. I am very glad I did because I was there when I got this shot of a rainbow from my campsite.

I sprained my ankle really badly while I was hiking around Moab, so I had to stay in the area for 2 weeks while it healed. I am very glad I did because I was there when I got this shot of a rainbow from my campsite.

This photo was taken at the top of the hill just as you enter Arches NP. That is the Park headquarters and Visitor Center. Moab is just out of sight around the corner behind the hill.

This photo was taken at the top of the hill just as you enter Arches NP. That is the Park headquarters and Visitor Center. Moab is just out of sight around the corner behind the hill.

This area is called the Broadway in Arches NP.

This area is called the Broadway in Arches NP.

This is Double Arch in Arches NP.

This is Double Arch in Arches NP.

Since I was "stuck" (like you can be "stuck" in paradise) there for 2 weeks, I got this shot of the full moon rising behind the Red Rock cliffs. I took it within 2 feet of my camper.

Since I was “stuck” (like you can be “stuck” in paradise) there for 2 weeks, I got this shot of the full moon rising behind the Red Rock cliffs. I took it within 2 feet of my camper.

While you are there, be sure to go into Canyonlands National Park where I took this shot of a glowing arch at sunrise.

While you are there, be sure to go into Canyonlands National Park where I took this shot of a glowing arch at sunrise.

SONY DSC

This is a horseshoe bend of the Colorado River (which flows through the town of Moab.) I took this picture from Dead Horse Point State Park which is very close by. It is a beautiful Park so be sure to stop in there. It is well worth the time.

When I was there in December it was pretty cold and I got there at sunrise so there was fog settling in. This picture is of the Broadway with fog.

When I was there in December it was pretty cold and I got there at sunrise so there was fog settling in. This picture is of the Broadway with fog.

This is Balanced Rock in Arches NP. You can see the snow on the ground around it.

This is Balanced Rock in Arches NP. You can see the snow on the ground around it.

Previous Photos from the Snowy Range Scenic Byway, Wyoming
Next Photos of Arches NP and a Lesson on Overcoming Fear

34 Comments

  1. Kim

    Whoa! Jaw dropping scenery and photos, thanks for sharing them. I can’t wait to see it in person.

    • Bob

      Kim, the 5 National Parks of Southern Utah are some of my favorite places anywhere. Plan to spend a lot of time there! I’m spending June-September in the National Forests of Northern Arizona, then I will drop the trailer off in storage yard and travel Colorado and Utah in the van in October and November. Lots of big mountain passes in that country, life is simpler without a trailer. I am pretty sure there will be others with me, so if that works into your schedule we could loosely travel together.
      Bob

  2. gary

    Make sure you take 89 to Monument Valley, star of the John Wayne movies for more breathtaking views

    • Bob

      You are so right Gary, I love Monument Valley! I will show photos from it in the next month or two. Eventually I will do the whole Grand Circle.
      Bob

  3. Karen

    Wow, beautiful photography Bob!

    • Bob

      Thanks Karen! It was so good having you both in camp with us. Looks like you left Quartzsite and headed south to the ghost town. Where are you going after that?
      Bob

      • Karen

        We’re down in Yuma too! Visiting friends right now but we want to stop and visit with all of you guys for awhile – later in the week I think.

        • Bob

          Karen, be careful you aren’t blown away by this wind! We came down here to get warmer and got hit by this storm. I’d still rather be here than anywhere else in the country!!
          There’s a map to my camp on the blog, come by anytime!! In fact we were going to barbeque burger today but the wind is blowing too hard. When do you think you will be here and we will wait until then if possible. I’ve got 5 lbs of hamburger taking up a lot of room in my fridge!!!
          Bob

  4. Kathy

    Bob, those pictures are fabulous! I’ve wanted to see that area up close and personal for some time now, and your pics have made it that much more imperative. You’re a wonderful photographer; thanks for sharing.
    Kathy

    • Bob

      Thanks for your kind words Kathy. The Red Rock country of Utah is so different from anything else in the country it is a must-see! If I could, I would visit every year for the rest of my life and still not see it all or get tired of it. Go see it as soon as you can and take lots of time!
      Bob

  5. Chuck

    Wow! Some day I hope to be free. Thank you very much Bob.
    Chuck, Philadelphia

    • Bob

      Chuck, the freedom to explore this incredible country of ours is worth all the minor problems living in a vehicle cost me. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
      Bob

  6. Wayne

    Close but no cigar Bob. Broadway is actually Park Avenue. Beautiful place, spent two week in 2008 in Utah, Colorado , New Mexico, and Arizona, best vacation I ever had. I really enjoy your blog

    • Bob

      Right you are Wayne, it has been a few years and I got that mixed up. I love this country!!
      Bob

  7. Patrick

    I went to Zion, Bryce and Capital Reef canyons at the end of November, It was cold. It ‘s about 10 – 15 degrees.

    • Bob

      Patrick, you are right, it can be cold. Especially Bryce NP which is at very high elevation. Very cold in the winter there. When I was in Arches in December 2006, it was right after I had retired and drove down the Alcan from Alaska in December. In fact I washed off the thick mud I got from it in Moab. It was -30 degrees Fahrenheit when I drove down so I had my thick Alaska blood going, didn’t even notice the cold in Moab. Seemed like shirt-sleeve weather after that drive.
      I’ve since lost my thick blood, now I hate the cold, can’t stand it. Never again is my motto!
      Bob

  8. Cyrus Palmer

    Amazing Bob.

    • Bob

      Thanks Cyrus!
      Bob

  9. rick

    Thanks for the fantastic pictures, Bob. I am curious if the hike to see those areas in your photos is a difficult as it appears??
    Has anyone said why all those jutting rock formations haven’t worn away with everything else. I was looking at the picture of the balancing rock and it struck me as weird that that probably is what is left over from a huge massive rock formation. Why would it not be worn away by weather also? Is it some super rock that is harder than everything else around there?? Just curious.

    • Bob

      Rick, that’s the great thing about Arches, the only thing that is a real hike is to Delicate Arch. The back-country is all very difficult hiking, but the main attractions are almost all an easy stroll to.
      As far as the geology, you got it. There is a layer of very hard rock that acts to protect the base of the spires from erosion, so everything else erodes away but the capped spires remain. Utah is full of what are called Hoodoos. Arches just has a huge number of them and they are much larger than anywhere else. My pictures really don’t show the scale and huge size of them.
      Natural bridges are formed by the flow of water but Arches are formed by the erosion from wind and rain. It is spectacular country!
      Bob

  10. Wendy

    I really love Moab 🙂 I have been there when it was 114° and I have camped on the loop road in a snowstorm. I also ended up in their little ER with bronchitis and pneumonia. Oooops! I live in SLC now and am chomping at the bit to go camping when it’s warmer!

    • Bob

      Wendy, lots of beautifyl country all around you to go camping in!
      Bob

  11. Wandrin Lloyd

    Great photos. Always enjoy the greater Four Corners exploring. It would be easy to spend a couple of lifetimes there. The rock scenery and the hiking is the draw. Sun lit or over cast days and temperatures add to the changing beauty. Thanks for the memories.

    • Bob

      I couldn’t agree more Lloyd! If you told me I had to spend the rest of my life in Utah and Colorado, I would still be a happy man!
      Bob

  12. Susan

    Beautiful photos Bob !!!! I have spent some time in Utah. I love that state and yes, the red rocks make for incredible scenery. Can’t wait to go again and hit some places I have not yet been.

    • Bob

      Thank you Susan! It’s easy to take great photos when you have that grand a subject!
      Bob

  13. BIKER

    Love to see those pix’s thanks also I very much enjoy reading your blog.Wish I was able to get the wife to leave the farm for traveling.Have GMC one ton van and a 24′ toy hauler.

    • Bob

      Biker, sounds like some sweet-talking is called for!! With that combo you should be all set to travel in comfort. Maybe you can ease your wife into it with short, easy, very pleasant trips?
      Bob

  14. Patrick

    Hi Bob,
    I had been to Zion, Bryce and Capital Reef National Park. Where would you recommend “must see” in Southern Utah?

    • Bob

      Hi Patrick, my next post will be on exactly that subject! I will describe the “Grand Circle” and give numerous other places to visit in close proximity to the 4-Corners area. I should get it posted by tomorrow, hopefully this evening.
      Bob

  15. John

    Utah is one of my favorite places to go and my wife and I usually try to RV out there every couple of years. Thanks for sharing your beautiful pictures.

    • Bob

      You are welcome John, it’s one of my favorite places!
      Bob

  16. Carrie

    Knocked my socks off with knegeldwo!

    • Bob

      Thanks Carrie. Bob

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