Moab is the launching point to visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands, two amazing national parks. After three days of awesome, epic riding (sorry to contribute to the over-use of the word epic) I’m excited to get into some even MORE EPIC (not sorry) riding in our National Parks!
It was about a 30 minute line to get into the park, and that was at 10am. Once inside, there were no traffic jams and we largely had the park to ourselves. I would hate to have arrived much later considering the amount of traffic we saw heading our direction as we headed out. So, get an early start.
Riding through the landscape is just amazing. You’re dwarfed by these massive rock formations, some right beside the road. After the last leg of our journey into Moab—flat, straight, vast—it is quite a change to find twisties again.
Balanced Rock is the first major must-see on the park road. Here, you can hike right up to the base and get your fill of selfies. We did, but I don’t like how my chin(s) look, so you’re not seeing it. Here’s a photo of the rock.
Goodness it is hot. Maybe it would be wise to take a few photos before we get drenched in sweat?
Excellent. Thank you.
Next up, we’re off to The Windows Section of the park. Here, you’ll find my favorite spot in the whole park—Double Arch. But first, let’s visit North and South Windows. These two are right beside each other and they are massive.
A little further down the path you can walk over to Turret Arch.
Double Arch is obviously popular since it’s so easy to reach and it’s so cool. You can climb your little heart out jumping from rock to rock, as Whitney does in a photo below, and survey the impressive landscape from your perch.
Next on the map, we’ve got Panorama Point, a place I am not showing any photos of, but the road there was really nice.
Leaving Panorama Point and arriving at Delicate Arch, we realized we really messed up. At Delicate Arch I asked Whitney to hand over the camera bag.
“I thought you had it.”
Now, luckily, Whitney had the camera in her hand to take photos (like the one above) while we rode. It was also fitted with my most versatile lens. #blessednotblessed
Assuming I left the bag sitting on the ground and worried someone would steal it, I raced back up to Panorama Point. Sadly, it was nowhere to be found. Dejected, I returned to Delicate Arch where I saw Whitney holding my camera bag. How the…?
A fellow motorcyclist found it in the road and picked it up. Neither Whitney nor I secured the camera bag before setting off again. That means the camera bag fell off the top of one of my side cases and dumped itself onto the ground. The kicker—it had made it all the way to Delicate Arch road before it fell off just at the entrance. It almost made it!
Inside the bag, two of my lenses were cracked and unusable. But, we still had the camera body, a versatile lens, all of my batteries and my memory card. We weren’t completely sunk. Thank you, fellow motorcyclist.
I was happy to be able to capture more of our trip, specifically moments like this at Delicate Arch.
After I sucked it up and stopped sulking about my camera, we made our way to Devil’s Garden to hike to Landscape Arch.
Walking through here, I thought of all the old John Wayne westerns I had watched with my grandpa on Saturday mornings. This is the place. The unspoiled, thoroughly western frontier.
You can’t help but respect the bravery of early settlers embarking on journeys across these rugged plains—and in my case also think of the fun the actors must have had filming those “cowboy pictures” as my grandfather would call them.
You can’t get any closer to Landscape Arch, for fear of it collapsing on tourists. This is our final arch for the day.
All of the action isn’t just above you. The desert landscape is fascinating. The dry, foreboding soil somehow manages to grow a lot of scrub brush and incredible bright floral arrangements like the ones shown below. You’ll want to take some time to appreciate their perseverance and beauty.
I’m usually a MTGATT guy (most of the gear all of the time) but after hiking in 90+ degrees all day, I couldn’t bear to put on my motorcycle gear. We rode out of Arches with our t-shirts, shorts and hiking boots.
We’re headed back to Moab, get some drinks, an early dinner and take some time to process all of the awesome we just saw.
Arches National Park is wildly popular. With the close proximity to Moab, expect long lines to get in. Get there early to have the park to yourself for as long as you can. Hiking trails are busy and parking lots fill up. Get all the latest info at the official website.