It took us nearly two weeks but we finally crossed the border to Utah. Our first stop was Moab which is home to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. After some research we also discovered that Deadhorse Point State Park is also in Moab and this is where we were able to find a camping spot. It’s a great park with a terrific campground…clean, spacious campsites, electric hookup and beautiful views. Deadhorse landscape reminds me of the Grand Canyon with the deep colored red rock and the Colorado River meandering through it. We learned that this is where the movie Thelma and Louise was filmed and where Geena Davis and Susan Sarandan, escaping from the police (and their former lives) plunged over the edge. I don’t remember much about this movie but I do remember this scene.
Canyonlands NP is just a few miles up the road from Deadhorse so we finally entered and explored one of the five parks we’ve had on our bucket list for years. It was exhilarating! We hiked our way through colorful sandstone formations to view deep brown velvet covered canyons, intricately carved cliffs and a beautiful backdrop of baked red earth. The park did not disappoint and this is just the first of five.
Rather than use lettered signs to direct hikers along a trail we’ve noticed that many parks are using piled rocks called cairns. I like the simplicity and artistic design of each individual cairn and discovered later after looking through my photos that I captured more than twenty images. Even so…and we were grateful for the directional cairns on several of our longer hikes.
Arches NP is probably the most well known of the Utah Jewels. The iconic delicate arch is photographed and placed on many calendars and is the photo on the Utah license plate. We waited until late in the day when the sun was lower to make our way towards delicate. It was a tough uphill climb and not for anyone afraid of heights. Even though I’ve seen lots of photos of this arch nothing can prepare you for the size and beauty. It was wonderful to see it up close and personal. Another hiker offered to photograph Stephen and me at the arch…we are glad for the memory.
The following day we visited as many Arches as our legs would carry us…Navaho, Landscape, Partition, Double O, and Tunnel. Such beauty.
Two parks complete and three to go.