Moab Utah

Old Aug 20th, 2021, 09:38 AM
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erp
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Moab Utah

Hello,
My husband and I are planning a 2-3 day trip to Moab UT in mid September. We want to visit Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. We think that 2 days may be too rushed, but we want to make sure there is enough to do to be busy over the 3 days. I'm looking for general suggestions on the parks, including hikes, as well as other guided activities, such as a Colorado River Cruise, 4x4 guided tours, etc. We are in our early 60's and while healthy, are looking for light- moderate hikes and activities.. My husband is interested in white water rafting, but I'm a little too timid for that! Any ideas, suggestions would be helpful. We are hoping the parks won't be too crowded during this time, but we know a lot of people are starting to travel. Much thanks!
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Old Aug 20th, 2021, 10:24 AM
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I suspect the parks will be jam packed.

We've found that 4-5 nights is a good amount of time to work with. This allows 1-2 full days in Arches and one full day each in the two districts of Canyonlands, which are some distance apart and cannot be covered in just one day.

I guarantee you will not run out of things to see and do.

My two trip reports might give you some ideas:

Into the Great Wide Open - A nine day road trip

Into the Great Wide Open: Winter Edition



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Old Aug 20th, 2021, 04:06 PM
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I am also planning a trip that will include Moab, including Arch's NP in Mid September. Everything I've read talks about how crowded all the parks are - but especially Arch's. So I've been monitoring the entrance station webcam since spring. I leave it open in a corner of my computer and check it frequently. While there were pretty long lines back last spring, for the past two months (July and August) there have been almost NO long lines - rarely more than 5 or 6 cars at a time. So what's up? I gather high summer is a bit less crowded because the temps are so high but it certainly doesn't look like crowds are a problem. Can we really expect the crowds to pick up dramatically in September?

https://www.nps.gov/media/webcam/vie...250E8F4CC1E74A

Last edited by isabel; Aug 20th, 2021 at 04:19 PM.
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Old Aug 20th, 2021, 04:58 PM
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My recollection is that with a National Park senior pass we by-passed the line (the same might apply for a Golden Eagle pass), and once in the park, crowding is not an issue; Delicate Arch might be the exception.

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Old Aug 20th, 2021, 05:11 PM
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Thank you. Isabel, are you planning any guided tours/activities or going to Canyonlands?
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Old Aug 21st, 2021, 05:12 AM
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Our trip includes a giant loop including many national parks including Capitol Reef and Canyonlands while in the Moab area. We are not taking any 'guided' tours/activities but I've done extensive research and have a pretty detailed idea of how I'll organize our days in each of the parks. In addition to the official park websites there are about a zillion you tube videos and blogs that are really helpful. This page from the Arch's website for example details how long/hard each of the hikes are. https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/hiking.htm Unless the crowds are a real problem I think we can see most of what we want at Arch's in one full day (I plan to get to the gate by 7:30 at the latest). The longest hike we're planning is the 3mile Delicate Arch hike, the others all seem to be 2miles or less. Still, if you do 6-8 of those it can add up. Same for Canyonlands (only planning on Island in the Sky section) but I do also plan on stopping first at Dead Horse Point on the way to Canyonlands. And if time allows I want to drive the the Scenic Byway that goes in both directions from Moab along the Colorado River. We're doing Capitol Reef en route to Moab and then we have 3 nights there.
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Old Aug 22nd, 2021, 07:01 AM
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If you have been researching, you know that there are no places to dine in these parks. Do pick up an inexpensive cooler, fill it with lunch materials and drinks so you do not have to go back to Moab and get in line to come back in.

spring and fall temperatures tend to be much nicer than mid summer in this area, so perhaps that is the reason for smaller lines now, or maybe the covid situation in Utah has had an effect.
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