A busy day around Moab

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
Utah is pretty awesome. Last weekend I went down to Moab on a solo trip. My goal was to zip through Arches hiking and re-hiking many of the most popular trails. Not so much because I had a burning desire to do so, but more because I am currently working on another 60 trail guides for Intermountain Healthy Hikes. By July it'll be up to 180 hikes on there!

With an awesome forecast, I loaded up and headed south late Friday afternoon. Going solo is one thing, but leaving my pup Sage behind was tough, especially when I pulled into my campsite just outside Arches NP around 8:30pm. But the killer gas mileage I got in my truck (3.5 L Ecoboost) from SLC to Green River sure made me happy. I never even came close to that in my v6 Taco! I won't even mention the Tundra...
File Mar 03, 11 18 34 PM.jpeg


The first spot I shot for was full of cows and ranchers camped out so I kept heading south toward Arches. Part of me thought I might just head for the campground. I wouldn't normally consider it, but when camping solo there's sometimes something nice about having people nearby. But on the way down, I found a little pull off to a sweet campsite in Salt Valley. I pulled in and settled in for the night.

arches-isky-md-1.jpg


The next morning I took the back door in to Arches. I thought about starting with a hike on the Devil's Garden Loop, but I decided I'd better knock out a few short ones on the main drag before the crowds showed up. First, Sand Dune Arch. Yeah, I know, at under a half mile, it's not so much a hike, but that's the scope of work for this project.
arches-isky-md-2.jpg
arches-isky-md-3.jpg


After that, Double Arch. Still no one around at this point.
arches-isky-md-4.jpg
arches-isky-md-5.jpg


After Double Arch I went over to Balanced Rock and then up to where Abbey's trailer was at the picnic spot. The sky was increasingly overcast which just doesn't work for trail guide photos. I had Balanced Rock and Park Ave on my list, so to burn time until the sun came out, I decided to drive out to Eye of the Whale Arch. I made it about half way there until I got to a crazy twist in the road. It doesn't look like much in this shot...

File Mar 03, 11 26 57 PM.jpeg


But my truck was already way tilted, 15˚ to the side and the grade probably doubled after that. I know, it looks fine in this photo, but it was much worse in person. The photo doesn't show it well, but the wall of dirt on the right was a good 7' tall - well over my head. I got out and scouted it. It leveled out around the bend. But I was alone out there. Something about having no one else around that makes my tail crawl way up between my legs. I put it in reverse and went back to Balanced Rock for the leisurely .3 mile stroll around that precarious pinnacle. I'm sure many of you who have driven this road will get a chuckle about me turning back, but I promise if you want to go out there with me, I'll follow you. I'm just a little gun shy when solo for some strange reason.

File Mar 03, 11 26 32 PM.jpeg


There wasn't much blue out, but between these photos and some photos from another trip, I was able to squeeze out enough to make it work.
IMG_1039.jpg
IMG_1060.jpg


After Balanced Rock I drove up to Park Ave and waited for the clouds to clear. I did some work on my bike that I had to do some paved trails in town as I waited. After an hour or so, I was out there by my tailgate as the cars whizzed by. A couple of them went by with girls hanging out of the sunroof and some god awful hip hop blasting out the windows. I looked behind them hoping to see a park ranger in pursuit, but nothing. 11am on a Saturday in February. Time to get the hell out of Arches.

Next stop, Canyonlands: Island in the Sky. I stopped along the way to see some rock art for personal enjoyment. Nothing to do with the trail guides.
IMG_1094.jpg
IMG_1097.jpg
IMG_1088.jpg
IMG_1087.jpg


I eventually made it out to the end of Grandview Point as the clouds vaporized. It was still a little cloudy over by Arches, but from the west over, it was perfect. I started with the 2 mile round trip hike to the Grandview Point Overlook.
arches-isky-md-6.jpg


I couldn't help but think of the chapter in Desert Solitaire, Dead Man at Grand View Point, on my way out. From my recollection, Ed was called out to help look for a missing person. They walked all over the area and eventually found him expired under a Juniper. It's certainly a different place now. Plenty of parking stalls, some toilets and lots of beautiful stone steps lining the way.
arches-isky-md-7.jpg


No complaining about the views on this hike.
arches-isky-md-8.jpg


I made it out to the end where the views were awesome, but really not much different than the rest. It was nice to put eyes on the Maze again though.

Next stop was the White Rim Overlook trail, starting from the picnic area just north of the Grand View Point parking area. This on sees far less traffic. I guess it's not as fantastic for the first .6 miles or so, but the last .4 are way better than Grand View Point! For views, this was my favorite of the trip. And I only saw a few other people for the entire 2 miles round trip (park service lists it as 1.6).
arches-isky-md-9.jpg


A little knob toward the end of the White Rim Overlook Trail
arches-isky-md-10.jpg


The end of the White Rim Overlook. Mountain goats like @slc_dan would undoubtedly hop right on out to the bleeding edge. I bravely made my way out onto the first pedestal and then said hell no to the next one.
arches-isky-md-11.jpg


Instead I got out a water bottle, some dried pineapple and my long lens and took some shots of the White Rim and Monument Basin, directly below.
arches-isky-md-12.jpg


This hike finally made me want to drive the White Rim Road. Monument Basin looks so awesome.
arches-isky-md-13.jpg


Fun rocks on the way back.
arches-isky-md-14.jpg


It was getting late in the day now. I debated whether to race back to Arches to hit Delicate for sunset. The thought of a few dozen of the 'sunroof girls' up there taking selfies quickly solved that dilemma. I was now 5 hikes deep into my day. I know, it's a stretch to call stuff like Sand Dune, Double Arch and Balanced Rock 'hikes', but this is a business trip! My goal was to do 6-8 for the weekend, so I decided to race over to Whale Rock. After a quick hike to the top, I was taking in a new view. Instead of looking down from the edge of iSky, I was looking down on it. I spent a little extra time exploring on top.
arches-isky-md-15.jpg


The view toward Upheaval Dome from on top of Whale Rock
arches-isky-md-16.jpg


I had a bit over an our of daylight left when I got back to my truck at Whale Rock. I was kind of toast as I haven't been hiking much, but I thought if I could just squeeze out one more, then I could run home that night and spend the next day writing rather than feeling sore and trying to get a couple more done. I decided to make a run for the Upheaval Dome Overlooks. I'd never done it, and all I knew was that it was 1.8 miles round trip to the second overlook. I refilled my bottles and headed up the trail. I found out quickly that this trail has a lot more elevation change than the others I'd done that day.
IMG_1306.jpg


I made it to the first overlook with the light fading fast.
IMG_1310.jpg


I was seriously tempted to just call it and go home, but this hike would be worth nothing if i didn't finish it. On to the second overlook. This is the rim looking down toward the second overlook. Somewhere out there...
IMG_1334.jpg



arches-isky-md-17.jpg


It was significantly more difficult getting to the second overlook. A good amount of up and down and even some interesting constructed sections where the trail is carved out of the side of the rock. But if you really just want a view of Upheaval Dome, it's good at many points along the trail.
arches-isky-md-18.jpg


The final descent to the second overlook. As cool as this trail was, I was bent that I had to drop another couple hundred feet.
arches-isky-md-19.jpg


Success at the second overlook. Now just to get my gimpy self back to the trailhead.
IMG_1372.jpg
IMG_1374.jpg
IMG_1392.jpg


I arrived back at the first overlook just in time for the last rays of light on the landscape.
arches-isky-md-20.jpg


I got back to the truck, hopped in, and drove all the way back to Salt Lake. I made it home a little before 11pm. The next day I sat in front of the computer writing and processing photos. Good times. 33 hikes to go.
 

IntrepidXJ

ADVENTR
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
3,349
A couple of them went by with girls hanging out of the sunroof and some god awful hip hop blasting out the windows. I looked behind them hoping to see a park ranger in pursuit, but nothing. 11am on a Saturday in February. Time to get the hell out of Arches.

It didn't used to be this way in Arches in February....getting busier earlier and earlier each year...
 

Jackson

I like to go outside.
.
Joined
May 31, 2015
Messages
2,394
The thought of a few dozen of the 'sunroof girls' up there taking selfies quickly solved that dilemma.
I laughed out loud at "sunroof girls", and I agree wholeheartedly. I have a big internal dilemma about stuff like that because everyone has the right to enjoy the outdoors, but the way some people behave drives me crazy.

You got a lot of good, quick hikes in for one day. Looks like it was fun, especially since you get paid for it!
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2013
Messages
122
The crowds were the reason I didn't enjoy my one day in Arches. I gotta go back during the off season. I'll use your guidebook. Great photos.
 

Absarokanaut

Member
.
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
603
That is an awesome resource Nick, thanks for the great work.

I lived in southern Colorado so I rarely made it to "Mobe." I did however get to the Needles, Cedar Mesa, etc. a fair amount. SE Utah is some of the best of the best of anything. thank you for sharing. Hope you choose to bring your eye up here some time. Keep your stick on the ice.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
The overcrowding in Arches is baffling to me. I thought I'd be well ahead of the insanity being there in February. I'm afraid to say it, but I think a Zion-style shuttle bus system might be the answer for the main roads.
 

slc_dan

Desert Rat-Weekend Warrior
Joined
Jun 7, 2012
Messages
1,686
The overcrowding in Arches is baffling to me. I thought I'd be well ahead of the insanity being there in February. I'm afraid to say it, but I think a Zion-style shuttle bus system might be the answer for the main roads.

I was in Zion a few days after Xmas break and was really wishing the shuttles were open. It was a madhouse.
 

Vegan.Hiker

Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,090
What a weekend! ...and to get paid for it?!? You are a lucky guy Nick Wooley. Not sure why you didn't have a burning desire to do these hikes... I definitely do. Nice shot of the campsite with the truck and stars. I'm guessing it takes some real skill to get both the truck lights and the stars focused and exposed at the same time like that.
 

Nick

-
.
Joined
Aug 9, 2007
Messages
12,918
What a weekend! ...and to get paid for it?!? You are a lucky guy Nick Wooley. Not sure why you didn't have a burning desire to do these hikes... I definitely do. Nice shot of the campsite with the truck and stars. I'm guessing it takes some real skill to get both the truck lights and the stars focused and exposed at the same time like that.

They were very nice hikes, I'm a bit of a solitude junky though. :) I'm heading out on another whirlwind trip like this next weekend. Hoping to get 10 or 11 done in 2 days through Arches, The Needles and Capitol Reef. And in May/June I'm going to go do 5 or 6 in Bryce. It's great to have a good excuse to do a lot of this front country national park stuff that I've avoided or not done in years.

The truck lighting was quite tricky. I had to time it so that I started the exposure 1-2 seconds before the lights on the truck went out (25 seconds after hitting unlock), otherwise it would all blow out. Took a lot of tries watching the stopwatch.
 

kimbur96

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
194
The truck lighting was quite tricky. I had to time it so that I started the exposure 1-2 seconds before the lights on the truck went out (25 seconds after hitting unlock), otherwise it would all blow out. Took a lot of tries watching the stopwatch.

I loved that picture. I have to say it was that picture that inspired me to try some start shots this past weekend. :)
 

Artemus

I walk
.
Joined
Jun 25, 2012
Messages
4,400
Thanks for the tour, Nicholas.

I am looking forward to showing you some comparison screenshots from the trip computer on my truck when it comes for MPG. :scatman:
 

Dave

Broadcaster, formerly "ashergrey"
.
Joined
May 5, 2012
Messages
1,722
I know exactly where you're talking about with the off-camber area on the way to Eye of the Whale. Even in the wagon (with a low center of gravity) I feared rolling going through there a couple of years ago.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
Nick Busy in Bryce Hiking & Camping 11
HomerJ Timp on the 24th - Crazy busy? General Discussion 5
OldBill In and Around the Winds, Sept 2020 Backpacking 8
U Any recommendations for 5 days hiking in Wyoming, Idaho or MT? This is around July 15-20. Not counting on Glacier being open Trip Planning 9
P Question about going around Shoshone Lake in Yellowstone Trip Planning 0
Nick What to do around Juneau or Haines Trip Planning 8
Dave Kickin' around the Strip, November 2017 Hiking & Camping 10
balzaccom Showing the kids around Yosemite Backpacking 0
andyjaggy Bug bites around ankle General Discussion 5
JohnP Ideas around Silverton, CO - Hike + Camp Trip Planning 8
Kyle P Day Hikes around Denver Trip Planning 0
IntrepidXJ Easter Weekend Around the Paria Plateau Hiking & Camping 1
WasatchWill A Recon Trip Around Comb Ridge Hiking & Camping 6
Nick Around Utah Hiking & Camping 22
Craiger Camping around Moab next weekend General Discussion 6
Vegan.Hiker A weekend traipsing around Virginia Backpacking 13
Bob Shuttles around Yellowstone Resource Discussions 1
Matt Price One Day in or around Zion Trip Planning 0
TrektheWorld Zion Canyoneering around June 20th Trip Planning 12
M Anyone been down around Cedar Mesa lately? Trip Planning 5
IntrepidXJ A Drive Around the San Juan's Off Road 4
Jammer Around-Zion Hike Backpacking 11
Nick Dog-friendly hikes around St. George Trip Planning 28
Jammer Invite Around St. George 3/7ish + Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Nick Looking for a place around Joshua Tree? General Discussion 2
IntrepidXJ Last Weekend Around Moab Hiking & Camping 3
Nick Best easy day hikes around Salt Lake General Discussion 25
IntrepidXJ All Around Death Valley Hiking & Camping 2
JamesM Playin in and around Zion Hiking & Camping 1
IntrepidXJ Around the Grand Valley Hiking & Camping 2
Archbishop Short hike around Deam Wilderness Indiana Backpacking 6
regehr adventures with kids around Hanksville Everything Else 4
Ross Partner(s) for less-beaten routes in & around Zion NP Trip Planning 0
Sandro Suggestions: hikes and places to visit around Kanab General Discussion 5
A Invite Bryce/Zion around May 14th or May 21st Meet Up (Members Only) 0
Nick Best portrait and all-around lens Photography 14
IntrepidXJ Light, Clouds and Hiking Around Moab Hiking & Camping 2
Henk Moab rock art vandalized General Discussion 1
J Dayhiking Moab's awesome geography, couple hikes to summits and rock art April 8-9, 2021 Hiking & Camping 0
J Family hike in the Maze in June? (Canyonlands / Moab) Am I crazy? Trip Planning 5
TrailScot Quite the Adventure, South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 4 Backpacking 17
TrailScot Quite the Adventure, South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 3 Backpacking 8
TrailScot Quite the Adventure - South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 2 Backpacking 14
TrailScot Quite the Adventure - South of Moab, Across the Colorado Plateau, May 2019 - Part 1 Backpacking 10
Stephanie B Grotto, Hidden Valley, and Moab Mastadon Hiking & Camping 2
blueeyes Devil's Garden, Moab Hiking & Camping 5
chandlerwest Needles Loop/Druid Arch, Moab Area Hiking & Camping 11
Perry Moab Area Fire Bans Coming? General Discussion 14
J Dayhikes GSENM, Cap Reef, Behind the Rocks: Deer Cr, Tanks, Sheets Gulch, Moab Rim Apr. 4 to 8, 2018 Hiking & Camping 0
misSOULa Weekend in Moab Hiking & Camping 6

Similar threads

Don't like ads? Become a BCP Supporting Member and kiss them all goodbye. Click here for more info.

Top