Canyonlands & Arches National Park – 2021, Epic Road Trip v3

Days 12 & 13 of our Epic Road Trip were spent in Moab UT.  This area is an easy drive to two parks: Canyonlands and Arches National Park.  After a short drive from Capitol Reef (also in Utah), we arrived at Canyonlands.  I didn’t know a whole lot about Canyonlands, but of course we had our trusty touring app (GyPSy guide) to give us the details. We were glad that the majority of the things to see and do were a short walk from our car.  July is a hot month in deserts of Utah!

Canyonlands is a very large park that is split into different areas.  We toured the Island in the Sky area.  That area mainly consists of the White Rim road on top of a mesa.  All along the route you can gaze into the intricate details and colors of the canyons.  

They have their own famous arch at Canyonlands, and you don’t even have to hike to get to it!

We only spent half a day at Cayonlands which was enough to complete the scenic drive at Island in the Sky.  As we hit the turnaround point on the mesa, a storm was rolling it.  It was quite a sight to watch the clouds and rain get closer.

Our campsite in Moab was the least scenic on our trip.  It was basically a stone filled parking lot within the town, next to a hotel.  But hey, it did have all the amenities we needed – electric, water and sewer.  The electric was really appreciated when the temperatures got up to 102 and we could run the air conditioner to cool off the camper.  That night I actually said it was too hot to eat in the camper and we went to McDonalds 🙂  Luckily it was fine by the time we went to bed.

I had hopes of getting some sunset pictures in Arches National Park, but you need to have a plan, and we didn’t have one.  Instead we drove around chasing the fading light.  I did get a couple of shots, but could have planned it better.

On Day 13 we woke up early to tour Arches National Park.  The park is best seen at sunrise because as I mentioned, it’s so darn hot here in the summer!  And, the early morning sun casts a warm glow on all of the rocks. It’s so beautiful!

A lot of the hikes were short and not too difficult. Sandstone was my favorite. It’s so smooth!

In one location there was very well preserved Ute Indian petroglyphs!

My favorite formation is Double Arch.  This was also the filming location of the opening scenes in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade!

After a long day of touring Arches, we headed into Moab for some shopping. It’s a funky town with lots of interesting shops.

In the evening we tried again for sunset pictures (this time with a plan!), but our plan was thwarted by a storm.  We played cards and waited out the storm, but it didn’t pass in time.  As a consolation prize, we got some cool pictures of lightning!

This area is very beautiful and I highly recommend a visit!  You will be in awe of how tiny we are in this world 🙂

To see all of the destinations on our 2021 Road Trip v3, please visit my recap page!

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