We stayed in Salt Lake City for a week anticipating some warranty work to be done on the BasecampX at Airstream of Utah, and when we dropped it off, we found out it would need to stay at the shop a few days. That meant we would have some more time in Utah, and we would be trading the BasecampX in for a hotel room. My assumption was that we would stay in the city and explore the area some more, but I was wrong!
After breakfast at one of our favorite spots, Cracker Barrel, David started driving a lot longer than it would have taken to get into the city, and as usual, he didn’t tell me where we were going! 3.5 hours later and we passed the sign for Moab, Utah! I was stoked, because we already discussed Moab, and since it’s so hot and we’re living in a travel trailer, we were going to wait until Fall to circle back around and visit when it cooled off a bit, but since we ditched the BasecampX for a few nights, July became the perfect time for a road trip to Moab!
Hoodoo Moab, Curio Collection by Hilton
We stayed at Hoodoo Moab, and it was a treat! If you’re planning a trip to Moab and not camping, I would highly recommend this spot. The construction was complete in 2019, so it’s a new hotel. It’s conveniently located 10 minutes away from Arches National Park, 30 miles from Canyonlands National Park, and only a block from Main Street. Many amenities are offered as well, including free WiFi, outdoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, business center, meeting rooms, concierge, room service, and an on-site restaurant.
We took advantage of the outdoor pool, the fitness center, and the on-site restaurant, Josie Wyatt’s Grille, each day of our stay.
When we were there in mid-July, temperatures surpassed 100 degrees every afternoon, so we spent each afternoon at the pool to cool off! The chairs were amazingly comfortable, the pool is handicap accessible, and the pool has a connected whirlpool!
Each morning, we started our day at the fitness center. It is equipped with everything you need for a solid workout, including treadmills, dumbbells, medicine balls, and a Precor FTS Glide Functional Trainer. It was always very clean, and we were usually the only people in there, so don’t expect a crowd!
After our workout, we would go to Josie Wyatt’s Grille for breakfast each morning. Our first time there, I got steel cut oatmeal, with dried fruit, nuts, and brown sugar, and David got Farm Eggs Any Style, which included two eggs, crispy potatoes, toast, honey & spice sausage, chicken apple sausage, or bacon. He ordered with scrambled eggs, sourdough toast and bacon. David got the same meal each time, and the next few times we went, I got it as well, except with an English muffin. Everything we had there was delicious. We never went for dinner, so I can’t speak on that menu, but we did order wings and the cheese plate off the bar menu one day, and it was good, but not compared to the breakfast.
Arches National Park
The day we arrived in Moab, after checking into the hotel, we went straight to Arches National Park. The road through the park is 36 miles round trip, with many monumental spots to see along the way. We were only there a few hours, and there is so much to do and see, we could’ve spent a full day exploring.
Our first stop was at Balanced Rock, pictured below. Balanced Rock is one of the most popular features of the park, and is located about 9 miles from the park’s entrance, next to the park’s main road. It is also one of the few landmarks in the park fully visible from the road. The total height of balanced rock is 128 feet, with the balancing rock rising 55 feet above the base. The boulder atop Balanced Rock weighs approximately 3,577 tons!
Sand Dune Arch
Our next stop was at Sand Dune Arch. It is one of the more hidden arches in the park, and only a short walk from the parking lot, 0.3 miles out and back. Take your shoes off to enjoy the sand between your toes! The trail to Sand Dune Arch is a narrow canyon for a few hundred yards. It continues past the arch a little ways and then becomes impassible. Since it is set in a cave like place, it is shady much of the day, so it’s a good place to take a break from the summer heat.
What made our experience in the park most memorable was not the arches themselves, but when we were leaving the park right around sunset, and as we were walking back to the Jeep from Sand Dune Arch, we saw the most beautiful double rainbow! What an amazing thing to see at Arches National Park of all places!
And that wasn’t the last surprise. As we were driving out of the park, we saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen. We were in no hurry to get anywhere, so we stopped on the side of the road to enjoy it.
When planning a trip to Arches National Park, I would highly recommend being there for sunrise or sunset, because the views are breathtaking and it’s a special experience.
What is the most famous arch in the world and where is it?The most famous natural stone arch in the world – Delicate Arch – this arch has become iconic due to its freestanding shape – located in Arches National Park
Do arches ever fall?Arches do fall, but in geologic time, not as often as one would guess. In 2008, Wall Arch in the Devil’s Garden fell. All arches and features in the park experience erosion and may some day fall.
Canyonlands National Park
Our second day in Moab, we woke up early, and we were on our way to Shafer Trail. This 4WD trail leads to Canyonlands Visitor Center, or you can start at the visitor center and ride the trail down to Potash Road. We Started on Potash Road and took the 19.6 mile Shafer Trail to the visitor center. The trail took a little over 2 hours and we stopped several times to take photos and film. We were there in mid-July in the Jeep Gladiator with the freedom panels off, remember it is HOT that time of year, so if you’re riding in a Jeep with the top off, or with the windows down, put sunscreen on and bring it with you for re-application. The Jeep gladiator had no problems at all on this trail, but I would recommend a high clearance vehicle. If you’re afraid of heights, be prepared for some steep drop-offs close to the Canyonlands side of the trail.
As you drive this trail, you will see endless views of red rock, pictographs dating back 2,000 years, and if you’re lucky, you may even see some mountain goats like we did! (look closely at the photo below to see the goats).
When we finished the trail and made it to the welcome center, we had a picnic that we packed and I went into the welcome center to purchase a sticker to add to my collection (shown below).
It was so hot, we opted to go back to the hotel pool for the rest of the day as opposed to further exploring Canyonlands, and I don’t feel like we missed out on anything. In my opinion, if you have the capability of driving Shafer Trail, it’s the best way to experience the park.
Our favorite lunch spot in Moab was Quesadilla Mobilla. Open 11am-5pm every day, this gourmet food truck houses one of the best quesadillas I’ve ever had. Definitely the best quesadilla I’ve ever had from a food truck! It is located on Main Street and right across from the Hoodoo Moab, so we could walk there from the pool for some mid-day grub.
We both enjoyed the Enchanted Chicken quesadilla filled with green chile chicken, corn, refried beans, onion, and red bell pepper for $9/piece. Even if you won’t be in the Moab area anytime soon, you can enjoy Quesadilla Mobilla in Philadelphia, Houston, and San Francisco as well!
I Want to Hear from You!
Have you been to Moab, Utah? As always, I would love to hear from you. Drop a comment below and let me know your favorite places visited and where you stayed. I’d love to hear your favorite restaurants and if you preferred Arches National Park or Canyonlands National Park. If you have any advice for future Moab visitors, leave that in the comments as well!
If you’re planning a trip to Moab, I hope this post inspired you. Leave me a comment and let me know what you’re most excited about, and if you have any questions about anything Moab related that I didn’t answer, please feel free to ask!