Hiking and Blogger Fests – Moab, UT

For those of you who are counting, this is my 5th (and final) post about our activities in Moab.  And hopefully you’re not tired of seeing red rocks, canyons and fins, because Moab is filled with them.

Since we saw bad weather developing at our next destination,  we extended our stay in Moab for another week and got to experience more of what it has to offer.  So far we’d had lots of outdoor fun, and here are those stories in case you missed them:

Blogger Fest

Springtime in Moab brought several of our blogger friends to town.  Our neighbors at Portal RV Resort were Dave and Sue of Beluga’s Excellent AdventureJoe and Gay of Good-times- rollin and John and Pam of Oh the Places They Go.  Also in town were Hector and Brenda of Island Girl Walkabout and Tim and Amanda of Watsons Wander (who we met for the first time).  Our Spring blogger fest was full of laughter, food and conversation.  It’s so great to meet up again with friends we’ve met on the road through our blog site!

Lowes Travels
Pizza dinner gathering: John, Dave, Sue, Steve, me, Tim, Amanda, Amanda’s parents, Hector, Brenda and Pam
Lowes Travels
Happy hour: Pam, John, Sue, Dave, Gay, Joe, Hector, Brenda, Steve and me.  Where’s the food?

Unpredictable weather

At times our best-laid plans were thwarted by the fickle weather in this part of Utah.  During our stay we dealt with rain, wind, snow and hail – sometimes catching us off-guard during our hiking and driving expeditions.

Snow brought our trek into the La Sal mountains to a slippery halt
Hidden Lake Trail
An unexpected hail storm cut this hike short, we’ll do the Hidden Valley hike again when we return

Hiking around Moab

WARNING: More images of arches, fins, towers and red rocks ahead – you may exit now if you’re getting tired of seeing them!

Arches National Park
A short explanation of how arches are formed

There were numerous hiking opportunities to choose from, and since this was our first visit in Moab we followed the most popular trails with a firm plan to do more on our return visit – probably next year.

The longest and most rugged hike within Arches NP was the Devils Garden Trail, a challenging but fun 7.2 mile loop.  Completing the initial .9 mile paved walkway and passing the popular Landscape Arch, the trail became primitive and we left the crowds behind.  This trail had us walking among sheer walls of sandstone fins and peering through eight awe-inspiring arches.  We climbed over sandstone slabs and trekked through rugged beautiful backcountry on a sandy trail.

In one of the more difficult sections we saw a woman who had some anxiety while climbing along a wall, and she sat frozen in place.  I told her to take a deep breath and she’d be fine. We don’t know if she made it or not:

That lady in the middle was having a panic attack, we had to walk around her
Double O Arch
Double O Arch

Devils Garden Trail

Devils Garden Trail
One of the open areas of the Devils Garden Trail

The Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons and fins, and a permit is required to hike there.  We paid the $16 each and took a 3-hour ranger-led hike on a 2-mile loop.  During this trek we learned not only the geology of the area, but also some techniques for climbing on narrow ledges, squeezing through cracks and “crabbing” along rock walls with our hands and feet.  These techniques proved to be helpful on some of our future hikes – money well spent!

Fiery Furnace
One technique – slide on your butt and use your foot to stop
Fiery Furnace Trail
Navigating a crack with a drop at the far end
Duck-walking between rocks

We volunteered to be the “sweepers” on this hike, bringing up the rear which allowed more freedom for picture-taking.

Fiery Furnace

Surprise Arch
Surprise Arch

Emerging from the Fiery Furnace, we were treated to the first unobstructed view of the La Sal mountains in several days:

la Sal Mountains

On another day we drove the 7-mile dirt road to Tower Arch, a moderately difficult and scenic trail near the far end of Arches NP.  We hiked through some sandy and rocky sections, then scrambled over slickrock behind the arch.

Tower Arch
Some sandy areas with slight elevation
Tower Arch
The view from behind the arch
Tower Arch
Here’s the slickrock scrambling part
Tower Arch Trail
The reward – lunch with an awesome view!
Marching Men
The Marching Men behind Steve watched as he shook sand from his shoes. These are large chunks of red rock that look like soldiers lined up in a row

The Fisher Towers Trail passes through an amazing array of rock formations from 4-foot tall goblin-like rocks to the 900′ Titan.  We learned that the towers are some of the most spectacular and difficult summits to climb in North America, frequently attempted by skilled rock climbers.

Fisher Towers
Fisher Towers viewed from the north

Sure enough, as we walked the trail we spotted several climbers queuing up at Corkscrew Summit:

Ancient Art
Corkscrew Summit
This is a little beyond our skill level
Hey, look at me! I’m totally insane!
Fisher Towers
Steve felt completely safe as he craned his neck to watch the climbers

Another climbing challenge is the Titan, the largest free-standing tower in the United States.  We enjoyed watching the climbers as we had our lunch almost 1,000′ below.


Titan Climbers
Close up of the inset

Not only are the summits difficult and spectacular, they are among the most unusual and unique in the world.  A Citibank commercial was filmed here several years ago, featuring a woman climber who instantly became popular in the rock-climbing world.  We won’t be trying it, that’s for sure!

Fisher Tower

Well, that wraps up our 4-week stay in Moab.  We’ll definitely be coming back to meet up with our friends again, and to resume our explorations of this wonderful place.

So long for now Moab, we’ll be back!




  1. Devil’s Garden Trail is our favorite hike at Arches. Love your pictures of it. Thanks for sharing all of your red rock country adventures. Utah is certainly high on our favorites as far as hiking goes.

  2. What a great gathering and some wonderful hikes! I feel bad for that lady having a panic attack. I get those on steep trails sometimes.


  3. We loved that area and enjoy all your posts. We are in Williamsburg, VA currently and making our way to Nova Scotia and the Maritimes and then across Canada and into Glacier National Park the end of August. Hope to cross paths one day! Follow us at Whichie wagon on Facebook.

  4. I really I joyed the blogs so much. We were there last
    June but did not stay as long as I would of liked

  5. LOL, you are so funny with your captions — “Look at me, I’m totally insane!’ I don’t understand how (or why) people want to make those crazy death-defying climbs. Hiking the Devil’s Garden Trail is enough excitement for me (we love that hike). We need to try Tower Arch — although it looks pretty crazy from the photo of you like Spider Woman climbing up that slick rock! What a great time you had with friends in Moab.

  6. I just love your header picture. How wonderful to meet up with so many people both old friends and new. Looks like so much fun. Never tire of seeing arches and fins and Moab. Your pictures are fantastic. Very sorry for the woman having the panic attack. Hard to enjoy the beauty. I am so happy you took the Fiery Furnace hike. We SO wanted to do that but were forced to leave before our reservation so some lucky person got our spots. That La Sal mountains shot at the end is just wonderful. Boy those people on the summit make me very nervous. They must be so young they don’t realize the danger or think “it could never happen to me”. Sure hope we can get back to Moab though I wouldn’t do that. Your posts make me really enviousl.

  7. What a nice recap of Moab. Thoroughly enjoyed every post MonaLiza! It was great being here with you and Steve, Pam and John, and Sue and Dave.

    FYI…October is awesome here!

  8. I love Moab and think it would be rather difficult to get bored there. After 3 visits (although somewhat short), I still have a list of things to see and do. I think we need to stay a month next time and tackle some of these hikes.

  9. What?!, you hiked past a lady frozen due to anxiety? Was she alone? Why didn’t you help her down? I love your entries, but think you’re in error here.

    • Of course we stopped and talked to her. She was not alone and her friend that sat next to her (see picture) told us to keep going for she will be fine.

  10. Looks like we need to plan a month there one of these springs. Looks like a fun blogger fest, sorry the one in Bryce didn’t happen. Really enjoyed all of your pictures from your hikes.

Comments are closed.