This was our 3rd trip to Moab. Our first trip was in 2014 where we camped for the weekend with our son Forrest and his family, our second trip was in 2015 where we spent a few days visiting our friends Dino and Lisa. This time….we were alone.
OK RV Park in Moab the next day. This is the campground where Dino and Lisa worked for two seasons and once we mentioned we were friends of theirs we were given the royal treatment! Given the best spot in the park, a welcome basket that included caviar, Champaign and chocolate covered strawberries, free passes to the spa and turndown service every night. Well, maybe not but the owners and their former co-workers do miss them.
At $20/night with Passport America this is a great little park to stay at for a few nights.
We were staying 2½ days/3 nights so we thought we would get a couple of hikes/jeep adventures in but between the chores and rain we only ended up getting one adventure in. But what an adventure it was! Friends John and Pam have been here multiple times so we searched their blog for the ultimate hike. After reading several of their posts and texting back and forth we chose two hikes in Arches National Park; Tower Arch and the Fiery Furnace ranger led hike if we had time.We had never been to Arches so we were looking forward to the visit. There are over 2,000 arches in Arches National Park. I am happy to report that only have about 1,995 left to see! Needless to say we have many visits ahead of us if we plan on seeing any more.
At the Visitors Center we discovered that the Fiery Furnace hikes were not starting for a couple of weeks so we just got our Passport Book stamped and off we went! The Tower Arch trailhead is in the northwest corner of the park meaning we had to drive almost the whole length to get to the trailhead. Perfect opportunity to see the varying landscape within the park!We had originally planned on taking the 3.5 mile roundtrip hike to the arch but while reading the trail description on the way to the trailhead we discovered that there is a jeep trail that leads to another trailhead only .3 miles from the arch. The description said that it was a rough jeep trail requiring 4 wheel drive, high clearance and was often impassible after rain storms. Looks like the perfect opportunity to do a combo adventure!
When we left the main road onto the jeep trail it was smooth sailing for the first mile or so. We thought this was going to be a piece of cake and we would be at the .3 mile trailhead in no time. We soon learned at we were wrong……very very wrong. What started out as a 25mph gravel road quickly turned into a 1-5mph rock crawl.
|The road started out pretty smooth|
Then it got rough.... these pictures just don't do it justice
|View from the top.....with the road leading off|
|There were views in every direction!|
|Tower Arch is just to the right of the Jeep|
|Which way to the arch?|
|You can see Barb in the lower right corner (blue dot)|
....while she went to the right where there is another smaller arch that is worth exploring.
|If you look really close you can see me on a ledge in the middle under the arch|
|The second arch in the area|
|The yellow line shows our route for the day. We entered on the south end and exited to the west|