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Category: 2018

Upheaval Dome Trail

Upheaval Dome Trail

Canyonlands National Park

One trail we wanted to hike in Canyonlands National Park was the Syncline Loop. It’s an 8.3 mile route that surrounds Upheaval Dome in the Island in the Sky District. The trail is long and difficult, so unfortunately we didn’t have the time to do the hike. Instead, we decided to do Upheaval Dome Trail, a short 1.6 mile out and back hike. The path goes to two overlooks with views of Upheaval Dome. We hoped it would give us…

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Aztec Butte Trail

Aztec Butte Trail

Canyonlands National Park

A butte is a striking rock formation, defined as an isolated steep hill with often vertical sides and a flat top. It was time for us to hike to one in Canyonlands National Park. Aztec Butte is a 1.6-mile out and back that leads to the top of a butte, with a side trail to see some Puebloan ruins. We were particularly looking forward to the archeological features of the area. The drive to the Aztec Butte trailhead was only…

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Mesa Arch Trail

Mesa Arch Trail

Canyonlands National Park

After setting up our tent at Willow Flat Campground in Canyonlands National Park, it was time to go hiking! We were in Island in the Sky, the most easily accessible district of the park. The two closest hikes to the campground are Mesa Arch and Aztec Butte. We planned to hike both, and we started with Mesa Arch Trail. If you’ve ever seen a photo of Canyonlands, odds are it was of Mesa Arch. It’s one of the most photographed…

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Willow Flat Campground

Willow Flat Campground

Canyonlands National Park

After exploring Arches National Park for five days and hiking the majority of its trails, it was time to hit the road and head to Canyonlands National Park. There are three main districts: Island in the Sky, Needles, and the Maze. With only a couple days, we decided to focus on Island in the Sky, the most easily accessible. There is one campground in the district: Willow Flat Campground (also referred to as Island in the Sky Campground, but that’s…

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Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Best Hikes, Itinerary and Planning Guide

Arches National Park

Our trip to Arches National Park was an adventure. We’ve captured our favorite hikes, dislikes, what we wished we had done, and other tips. We also provide information about visitation statistics and weather which are important considerations when visiting any national park. Here are our takeaways – we hope you can use it as a planning guide for your trip to Arches. Overview Arches National Park, located in eastern Utah near the town of Moab, was established to protect the…

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Moab Restaurants and Accommodations

Moab Restaurants and Accommodations

Arches National Park

Arches National Park has an advantage that few parks share: access to an abundance of great restaurants. Its location just down the road from the town of Moab provides a choice of many cuisines, such as sushi, barbecue, quesadillas, Asian fusion, burgers & fries, and vegan options. Moab is also about 1.5 hours from Canyonlands NP, which isn’t that far in park terms. We visited Moab in the spring of 2018, and again in 2019, so we were able to…

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Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnace

Arches National Park

It was our last full day in Arches National Park, and we wanted to go out with a bang. We decided to do the only day hike in the park that requires a permit. Fiery Furnace is mazelike due to its many tall sandstone fins. It’s a set route but not quite a trail. GPS doesn’t work well within the narrow canyons, and maps are useless here, too. It’s located deep inside the park, near the Devils Garden area. The…

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Delicate Arch Trail

Delicate Arch Trail

Arches National Park

When I think of Arches National Park, the iconic Delicate Arch immediately comes to mind. It’s the largest freestanding arch in the park. Images of it are everywhere – on tourism literature, Utah license plates, and more. And it was finally time for us to visit it. Frank Beckwith, the leader of a scientific expedition in the area between 1933–1934 is credited with naming the arch. And it is delicate. Some day Delicate Arch, formed by erosion of a sandstone…

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Windows Loop and Double Arch Trails

Windows Loop and Double Arch Trails

Arches National Park

It was going to be a busy day in Arches National Park. We decided to hike two trails, including Delicate Arch. But we started with the less strenuous Windows Section. The area boasts numerous arches, and a fairly short trail leads to North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. Double Arch is also nearby – it’s unique in that it has two arches that share a central pillar. We decided to explore them all. The trails to the Windows and…

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Devils Garden and Primitive Loop Trail

Devils Garden and Primitive Loop Trail

Arches National Park

This is the big one – the longest maintained trail in Arches National Park. The one with the most arches. And the second-most crowded (beat only by Delicate Arch Trail). Devils Garden Trail is a full-day hike, and worth every minute. The featured arch on the hike is Landscape Arch, the longest in North America. There are also six other main arches, a large obelisk called Dark Angel, and a few other formations that aren’t as well advertised. The trail…

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