tldr; so much space… for activities!

We had another week to explore Moab after our friends headed out on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. On Saturday, we headed to Canyonlands since Choi hadn’t gotten the chance to see it during the week. Rather than do a long hike like we had done on my first visit, we decided to do a bunch of shorter hikes and see as much of the park as we could.

We ended up doing four short hikes, Aztec Butte, Upheaval Dome Overlook, Whale Rock, and Grand View Point. Like the last blog post, here’s a short photo overview of each one –

Cairns leading our path at Aztec Butte
Granaries dating from AD 1200–1300. Amazing how well these were preserved tucked into the cliffside
Looking down at Upheaval Dome. We’d hiked down into and around this crater earlier in the week!
Different colored sand and stone at Upheaval Dome
View from Whale Rock
It was windy!
Super windy!!
Epic view from Grand Viewpoint

On Sunday, we met up with Christina and Jeremiah who happened to be in town for an engagement shoot. We planned a big day together, bouldering at Big Bend Bouldering in the morning and then a hike called Mary Jane Canyon a bit further outside of town.

After climbing for a couple of hours and a quick lunch in the vans, we followed Christina and Jeremiah to the Mary Jane Canyon Trailhead. It was a beautiful drive on seemingly random, dirt, country roads.

It was a warm day, for which we were really grateful since the hike went in and across a chilly creek nearly the whole 4 miles in. We heard birds singing along the hike and spotted their nests tucked into the canyon walls.

We even spotted a slot canyon off to the side of the creek! We followed the slot down a bit until we came to what’s called a “choke boulder” with a rope hanging off the side of it. After peering over the top of the boulder, we headed back to the main creek trail to try to make sure we finished our hike before dark.

After many twists and turns and chirping birds, we turned a corner and there it was, a huge boulder stuck in between the canyon walls with a rushing waterfall pouring down on either side of it.

This was one of our favorite hikes because it was so unique. The twists and turns, the surprise slot canyon, the water at our feet, the birds leading our way, and the double waterfall the end, it was all incredible! We even managed to make it back to our vans just before dark and saw the last bit of sunlight shining back on the canyon.

After an amazing weekend with two full days of exploring the Moab area, we were rested up and (somewhat) ready for a week of work. We’d checked out of the Airbnb on Saturday morning so we spent the rest of the weekend and the next week sleeping at Willow Springs and working from Lion’s Park, not too far away. This park had everything we needed, clean bathrooms, fresh water (from a natural spring!), grass for Choi to kick around the soccer ball, picnic tables, and even outlets to charge our laptops. We also went in to town a couple of afternoons to get our work done over quesadillas, gelato, and lattes.

Even though we had to work during the week, we took full advantage of the extra hours of daylight we’d gained from “springing forward” the past weekend and did some sort of activity every weekday evening.

Monday’s activity was a thrilling ATV tour, something that we never would have thought to do but had come highly recommended by Frankie and Dan. We absolutely loved it and both took turns driving our ATV up and down the sandstone slickrock. We also got to watch some more adventurous Jeep-drivers take on obstacles with terrifying names like “Hell’s Gate” and “Mickey’s Hot Tub”

On Tuesday afternoon, we went on a short hike on Grandstaff trail to see a natural land bridge. I’m still not sure how this differs from an arch but it was beautiful either way.

On Wednesday, we decided to take our bikes out on a beginner mountain biking trail I’d found. Up until now, our bikes had only been used on paved or fairly well packed dirt roads and neither of us have any experience with “real” mountain biking. We quickly discovered that this “beginner trail” was outside of our league when I fell to the ground twice and Choi took a major hit to the cajones. We exited this trail as quickly as possible and hopped on something a bit more our speed, a true “family friendly ride” along a mostly smooth dirt path with minimal elevation changes.

If you were thinking that something was missing when I listed out how Lion’s Park had “everything we needed”, you would be right. Lion’s Park was lacking showers, an important component of our hygiene needs, especially after all of these dirt-encouraging adventures. We tried out some $4 showers at a hostel in town on Monday night but after disappointingly cold water we decided to go for “baby wipe” showers the rest of the week and spend our money elsewhere (like on more gelato).

That meant that when we headed to meet my parents in Duck Creek Village on Thursday evening, after a week full of hiking, biking, running, and soccer-ball-kicking, we were more than a little bit stinky and excited to spend the next week at a cabin they’d booked.

Moab, we love your hikes that end in epic views and waterfalls, your easy mountain biking trails, and your thrilling ATV trails. We can’t wait to come back. Along We Go!

Categories: Travels

1 Comment

Gaye · April 7, 2021 at 9:20 pm

Hi Alayna and Choi! We are friends with your grandparents, Sharen and Marvin. We’re enjoying your blog!
We spent a few days in Moab in November 8-10 years ago. We enjoyed our time there. I remember taking
a Jeep tour. Our guide was a super guy, had left his job as a pharmacist and over several CVS pharmacies.
He decided to go and do something fun for a while, was not married with a family so he thought why not….Colin and I were the only takers for the Jeep tour that morning. One thing I remember he told us was that Moab got its name because when the settlers came they found it to be strikingly ugly. Of course, we didn’t agree with that. Another thing he told us that in a 90’s movie Thelma & Louise we were led to believe they were committing suicide by driving into one of the large drop offs at the Grand Canyon. Our guide told us it was not permitted to film within the Grand Canyon National Park. That scene was actually over one of the canyons in Moab. As my husband would say, some useless information. Have fun!!!

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