Day 6: Moab (Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands and Castle Valley)
Arches National Park
We leave at 8.30 from our Ramada Inn hotel. Today’s first stop is Arches National Park, which is a few miles from Moab. Arches is a wonderful park. The visitor center is located in the Colorado plain, but the park is located on the plateau above where you arrive after a short but winding climb.
The park is full of red rocky pinnacles. We visit Balanced Rock, a huge boulder hovering over a pinnacle. Then we visit, along a path, the North and South Windows and the Turret Arch which are spectacular forms of erosion. Through another short path we reach the Double Arch: a true spectacle of nature! We see the Delicate Arch from the lookout and finally we walk the Devil’s Garden Trail to the Landscape Arch: one of the largest natural arches in the world.
Dead Horse Point
After lunch we set off to explore Dead Horse Point, a scenic spot on a fabulous gorge formed by the Colorado River. Truly a place worth the trip.
The show is truly magnificent, here the river has carved the rock forming a beautiful canyon and a fabulous loop. Colors play a lot: red, green, white and all shades of brown predominate. At the Visitor Center where we stopped for information (I always recommend a preventive stop in each Visitor Center of each park) we were surrounded by many small squirrels. They are really nice animals.
Canyonlands National Park
We continue to the nearby Canyonlands park (Island in the Sky area). Here we follow the sign for Mesa Arch. We stop at the parking lot and we see the sign that indicates a path that in 20 minutes (round trip) leads to the Mesa Arch. The weather is cloudy and the first droplets begin to fall, but we armed with umbrella we walk anyway.
The path winds on the plateau and allows a view of the local vegetation, many plants also have tags indicating their name, after 10 minutes we arrive at the destination. The Mesa Arch is truly unique, we are faced with an arch located on the precipice of the canyon. Through the arch the view sweeps over a fantastic natural setting: the desert valley of the Colorado River made of canyons, gorges and mesas. This is really an unmissable excursion!
Grand View Point
We continue south to Grand View Point Overlook here it seems to be on a plane while flying over the Colorado Canyon. The view embraces the gorges formed by the Green River and Colorado for hundreds of km. The huge excavation work that the two rivers have carried out on the plateau is clearly visible and the result is truly amazing!
After stopping at other scenic spots, we return to Moab and decide to travel a stretch of the Castle Valley along Colorado about 15 miles from Moab. Here we are inside a gorge with very high red walls with the Colorado River in the center.
Today we traveled 210 miles from Moab to Moab. Visiting Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point, Canyonlands (area of Island in the Sky) and Castle Valley.
Night: Ramada, Moab