24 Hours in Moab, Utah | Part 2
Moab has easily become one of my favorite places. There is absolutely nothing like the red rock views and the warmer temps! It's even got us dreaming about buying property and building a getaway house! Maybe someday ..
This trip we had 3 girls with us instead of just the 1 sister. It was intense, I do not reccommend it to anyone .. Just kidding, I love traveling with my sisters and I think it's good practice.
The first day of our trip we focused on things we could do for free and basically just burn time until we were able to check in to our hotel.
So this isn't the order in which we did things, because we didn't know what we were doing or where we were going and we ending up back tracking a lot. So i'm going to go through all these places you can visit for free, in the order I would do them next time! All of these sites can be seen without a 4x4 and are even rental-car friendly.
- Potash Lower Colorado Scenic Byway (Route 279)
Shortly after the road joins up with the Colorado River, you'll arrive at a popular spot for rock climbing called Wall Street. Here you'll be able to spot plenty of individuals scaling the red cliffs along the side of the road.
About 5 miles in - a little after the main climbing areas on Wall Street you'll see a sign that says "Indian Writing" as well as a pull off on the left side of the road where you can view petroglyphs etched into the cliff. Strangely, the etches have been carved about 30 feet off the ground, which led us to wonder how the artist got up there. But apparently before the road was constructed, there was a sand embankment that made the etching roughly ground level.
Then about 6 miles in you will see signs for dinosaur tracks! I was pretty stoked about this one. There is a little trail, and by little I mean short but there is a lot of walking on the edge of a cliff and steep steps you have to take along this trail. You'll come across a plaque that tells you about this three-toed dinosaur footprints that have been captured in stone. Don't look too hard, you might miss them!
Also can we all just scold Alec for this ledge he stood on to get the dinosaur footprint photo?!
After this you can follow the road further and make your way to Corona Arch & Bowtie Arch - we were just tired of driving all day, and running out of daylight!
Next if you go back to Main Street you'll head down Kane Creek Blvd. the first half of this route is paved, while the second half is a well-maintained dirt road.
First you MUST stop at Moonflower Canyon - you'll see a pull off about 2 miles in. Theres a short trail that leads back into the canyon to a reflecting pool. There are also campsites along here so be sure to stay on the path, otherwise you might wander into somebody's campsite.
Next is Birthing Rock or Birthing Scene Petroglyph Boulder. This was extremely hard for us to find, we drove right passed because there is no markings and it's hidden off the side of the road. So about 1.3 miles from the beginning of the dirt road you'll see a pull off - pull off there and you should be able to see the Birthing Rock!
With petroglyphs on all four sides and the famous "Birthing Scene" on the eastern side of the boulder, which faces the road.
Lastly - crazy switchbacks! This is cool, from the passenger seat .. So this might not be for everyone, but a few miles down the canyon after the birthing scene petroglyph, you'll arrive at some gnarly switchbacks. If you're timid about driving next to steep ledges then this probably isn't for you.
There is also a few more campgrounds down past the switch backs if you're looking to camp in the canyon.
Being that we have little to none camping gear plus it was February (even though we saw campers) we decided to opt for a hotel! I aboslutely loved our stay at the Homestead Suites by Hilton last time but for some reason the weekend we were there they had a minimum night stay of three nights and we were planning on staying one!
So we stayed at Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn - make sure if you want to book this hotel that you are sure its Canyonlands Inn, there are two Best Western hotels in Moab, on Main Street within a block of each other! It can be confusing.
I loved this hotel as well, the room was average, clean but the hot tub was the holy grail of hot tubs! It was huge, like 3 hot tubs put together, although it was packed we managed to find our own little space and hang out before heading to bed.
The next morning we decided to do Canyonlands before we left. We had also been told by a local that all the parks are free on Sunday's - which is crazy because just a month before we paid to get into Arches on a Sunday. But sure enough we pulled up to Canyonlands and there was no fee for the day! I'm not sure if it's just with this park or what is happening here so just be prepared to pay the fee, if you don't end up paying it then you have a little extra cash!
So I had been pinning all of these gorgeous places within Canyonlands that I wanted to see from Pinterest. Well when we got there and pulled out the map we realized it would take about 3-4 hours of just driving to get to any of the places! Also, they reccommend you be packed to be fully self sustainable for 3-5 days if you want to enter certain areas of the park, which we were not.
Completely bummed, we were still able to visit Mesa Arch. Which has a beautiful view, its an easy walk in and there was only one other couple there!
After this we decided we had enough time to visit Dead Horse Point - which I had been wanting to stop at! We did have to pay the park fee at this one which was $15 (still not sure what those locals were talking about). You drive a little ways into the park and then you come up on a parking lot and then you walk on a cement path to a view area. We however did not stay on said designated path, because whats the fun in that?!
Plus you can't beat the view.
We were again able to fuel up and be on the road within 24 hours of our arrival.
* Also heres a tip for my Vegetarian eaters - I have had THE hardest time finding something veggie friendly at Wendy's besides a salad, but they have an amazing Broccoli Cheese Potato that will do the job!