Arches, etc non-hiking trip report

Old Oct 19th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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Arches, etc non-hiking trip report

One of us is unable to take long hikes and the other has altitude issues sometimes. Moab area is 4-6000 feet. (Alpine drive is higher).

We flew non stop to salt lake city arriving in the evening of Sunday Sept 27th.

Stayed at the Springhill suites Marriott near the airport- was fine this part of the trip. ( see trip advisor for more detailed reviews of motels).

Left Monday morning for Moab. 4 ½ hour ride if drive straight through but longer with stops- which we did. Gets to be a rather barren drive the last 2+ hours or so. But did see several herds of pronghorn on the way down.

Arrived late afternoon - checked in to the Hampton Inn. Fairly new. Had a suite - 2 queens with couch. Room larger than we really needed. One size down would have been more than enough.
Spent rest of the day and evening with a family member who was conveniently passing through.

Had dinner -salads mostly at Eddie Mcskiffs - quite good. Poked around town a bit. Not crowded. Was there during the week but never had trouble parking anywhere.

Tuesday started out early and headed for Arches. Was going to be hot - so skipped the visitor center and went exploring. Did lots of stops and very short walks. Took lot of pictures. Headed into town for lunch . Ate at Peace Tree. - great roll-ups but the one with homus is spicy but doesn’t say so on the menu. (Will make you a custom sandwich as well - which we did the next time we ate there). That afternoon did the shops and explored around town.

Wednesday we did Rt 128- the drive along the Colorado River. Quite worth while - some great scenery. Stopped again at various places.

Thursday it had cooled off and we went to Dead horse point and Canyonlands. Dead horse point definitely worth it we felt. And loved canyonlands as well. Did a hike here to Mesa Arch - ½ mile roundtrip. Brought our own food and water on all these day trips. Had dinner at the Thai restaurant near the visitors center. Quite good.

Friday morning we went bird watching (saw more deer than birds) at Matheson Park - on the outskirts of Moab. Then we went back to Arches to finish seeing the rest of the park. We also went south a bit on Rt 270? To see the petrographs on the rocks. Then we headed back towards Salt lake city stopping in Provo at a Hampton inn - for the night . Provo is quite a bustling city. Arriving when we did there was a fair amount of traffic and the restaurants near the hotel were crowded and noisy. So went to grocery and got take out chicken and salad and ate in the room.

Saturday we did Alpine Drive which goes through the mountains. It was a lovely windy ride with lots of overlooks. The leaves were changing. There was some snow on the mountains, definitely a worthwhile side trip. We stopped at Sundance for lunch.

After this we continued north of Salt lake city to Bear River refuge - a birding refuge outside of brigham. We drove the12 mile loop through the refuge that evening 5-7PM as it was predicting rain the following morning. Definitely worth it. Stayed at Crystal Inn

Sunday morning it was very rainy and windy but finally let up enough that we did the loop again. Then we headed for the Springhill suites motel at the airport in order to catch our Monday AM flight home. This time there was a group of junior high kids staying over, running around slamming doors, etc. till almost midnight.

Overall it was a great trip. We filled up the days without any major or even minor hikes, Just driving, stopping, short walks, taking photos, bird watching and enjoying the great scenery.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions from people on this board.

Will eventually add a link to photos we took
Joanel is offline  
Old Oct 20th, 2009, 03:05 AM
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Sounds like you had a good time. I drove the Alpine Loop myself this past weekend and found the fall foliage to be really good.
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 03:52 AM
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Nice report, glad to hear that you enjoyed the parks without a lot of hiking. They are really fantastic.

Thanks.
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Old Oct 20th, 2009, 06:12 PM
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Glad you had a good trip! One of the things I really like about the Moab area is that you can really those 2 parks and the scenery without having to be a serious hiker. My parents sure enjoyed visiting Arches 50 years after they had taken us there as little kids!

Yes, Provo is an extremely busy college town. I have no idea how many students BYU has now! I try to avoid Provo, but do love Sundance, where I learned to ski.

Thanks for the trip report. You went to a couple places not many Utah visitors go!
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Old Oct 21st, 2009, 09:35 AM
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Thank you! We hope to be in Moab a week from now, so reading about that part of your trip is very helpful. I just love this forum!
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Old Dec 11th, 2009, 06:11 PM
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Pictures from this trip are finally up at http://www.pbase.com/joanel/utah.

enjoy, any comments or corrections or additions to descriptions would be appreciated.
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Old Dec 12th, 2009, 03:24 AM
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I looked a lot of your pics, not just Utah. You are bird people You might check out The Great Sand Dunes in Colorado sometime, that is a big birding area at certain times of the year. Since you don't hike, I'm not sure if you can just drive to the areas or how what, you would want to read a lot about it and find out when is the best time to go. There is absolutely nothing there but sand, a neat creek, and wildlife. There are small cabins to stay at and one place to eat.
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Old Dec 12th, 2009, 03:53 AM
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Very nice pictures. Thanks for sharing. It makes me want to get out there sooner than we have planned.
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Old Dec 12th, 2009, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the report and beautiful pictures. We have yet to make it to this part of Utah but keep planning on doing so. Our son was just there and loved it.
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Old Dec 13th, 2009, 03:34 AM
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Thanks for sharing your pictures. They are beautiful!
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