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Trip Report Oct. 2008 Trip Report: Beginner’s Guide to Arches, Canyonlands, and Moab

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I first remember reading about Arches and Canyonlands in National Geographics my grandfather left lying around his house. I was mesmerized by the pictures, but had only the vaguest of notions about where in Utah these parks were, or whether they were even in Utah. School, work, and travel to other locations intervened through the years, and I’d separately relegated Arches and Canyonlands to that mental List of Places I Intend to Go Sometime. Well, that sometime finally rolled around. Having read rave review of the Moab area in the fodors.com travel forum and seeing my work schedule clearing for the first few weeks in October, I got the urge to finally find out what the hoopla was all about. I immediately sought guidance here:

www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=1&tid=35157676

www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=1&tid=35159150

Big thanks to Dayle, spirobulldog, WhereAreWe, dutch, myer, katyslc, StantonHyde, and many others whose made great suggestions. Our tentative itinerary flying in and out of Salt Lake City was to rent a car, drive to Moab, stay five nights at the Desert Hills B&B (which was the only place we could find five consecutive nights on such late notice), and do/see most or all of the following:

ARCHES hikes:
1. Delicate Arch
2. Devil's Garden Loop
3. Fiery Furnace

CANYONLANDS:
4. Island in the Sky drive
5. Chesler Park hike

MOAB area:

6. Corona Arch hike
7. Either canyoneering with Desert Highlights or scenic flight with
Slickrockair

MOAB restaurants to try:

1. Desert Bistro
2. Center Cafe
3. Moab Diner
4. Jailhouse Cafe
5. Eklecticafe
6. Miguel's Baja Café

A surprisingly early onslaught of winter weather intervened to force multiple alterations to our intinerary. What follows, as time permits, is our trip report.

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