Now where were we? Oh yeah – Moab, UT!

It’s been several weeks since I returned from the Philippines, and just like my previous visit I came home coughing and sick, with about a week required to deal with jet lag.  But I had a grand time with family, former high school classmates, coworkers and friends in the sweltering heat and humidity.  I survived that journey, and I’m sure glad to be back home!

So where were we?  Oh yeah, having a blast with friends in Moab a few weeks ago!

We stayed in Moab for two weeks, exploring and hiking trails we had missed during our first visit.  Although it’s been a few weeks, the photos I took then are bringing it all back to me now…

Beautiful freestanding Delicate Arch sits on the edge of a natural sandstone bowl, as seen through Frame Arch

We revisited Arches National Park to see a few new-to-us arches, and to get up close to Delicate Arch which is a widely recognized symbol of Utah.  It’s described as “the most delicately chiseled arch in the entire area.”  Although sunset is said to be the best time to photograph it, we are morning people so we hiked out to it at sunrise before the crowds arrived.

Delicate Arch
Depicted on Utah vehicle license plates, Delicate Arch is 60′ tall

We then continued our explorations, checking out Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch, all of which we hiked in one big loop.

Sand Dune Arch
The base of Sand Dune Arch is covered by wind-driven sand and is hidden within a slot canyon created by two massive, adjacent sandstone fins
Broken Arch
Broken Arch is not really broken, although it is wearing a bit thin at the top with a crack running through the middle of the span
Tapestry Arch
Tapestry Arch shares a sandstone fin with two “proto-arches”
The La Sal mountains were covered in snow during our visit, a gorgeous contrast to the nearby formations

Here is more information on the other popular arches we visited at Arches NP.

The small resort town of Moab is surrounded by stunning red rock landscapes, making it a huge playground for outdoor enthusiasts.  We tackled as many hikes and activities as we could during our stay.

Rock climbers along Potash Road

Hidden Valley Trail

A thunderstorm with hail made us turn around during our first attempt on this trail a couple of years ago.  The first part of the hike is a steep uphill climb, then at the top we reached a low divide to the valley as it traversed between awesome towering cliffs.  We were rewarded with scenic views, solitude, and a fine rock art panel.

Hidden Valley was a beautiful surprise

Looking down at a rock wilderness
Overlooking the south end of Moab
Colorful lichens brightened some of the rocks

Long Bow Arch

One of the many trails along Potash Road, this trek is known for the dinosaur tracks and petroglyphs that can be seen along the way.  Wildflowers had already started showing off blooms while we were there.

Tracks of theropod dinosaurs left behind some 190 million years ago
Petroglyphs on the walls
Long Bow Arch
Long Bow Arch has a span of 60′
La Sal mountains peek through gigantic sandstone fins

Jeep Arch Trail

This trail is also accessed from Potash Road and leads to a photogenic, jeep-shaped arch situated in a large sandstone cul-de-sac.  On our way in we followed the trail along the canyon ridge, then climbed high above the side of the wash.  On the way back we wandered through the canyon bottom for some variety.  The views here are wonderful and impressive, with multi-hued sandstone walls lining both sides of the canyon.

The trail begins with a walk through a large culvert
Can I climb up there?
Steve “driving” the Jeep Arch, although he didn’t think it looked like a jeep at all
Pondering how to get to the bottom of the canyon
Water in the desert canyon – we really enjoyed this route less taken
Water marks on the canyon floor
In sandy areas we got a whiff of fragrant yellow Desert Holly flowers

Stair Master Trail

This trail lived up to its name, gaining over 900′ in the first mile on slick rock.  After catching our breath at the top, the reward was excellent views of the Colorado River, Moab Valley, La Sal mountains and even part of Arches NP in the distance.

Window Arch in Arches NP was visible from this trail
Looking down at the Colorado River and towering cliffs along Potash Road

We had some fun with friends Dave and Sue during this hike.  We could see our RV park from the summit, so Steve called them to see if they could spot us with their binoculars.  After we waved frantically like a couple of maniacs, they finally did see us!

Portal RV Resort was waaaaaaaay down there!
Zooming in on Dave and Sue as they zoomed in on us

The trail runs along a ledge of purplish sandstone on an anticline rising next to the Colorado River.  It forms the cliffs that define the western side of Moab Valley, and also a gnarly jeep trail for “extreme jeepers”.

The trail runs parallel to the Moab Rim Jeep Trail
The guy in the pickup didn’t do so well!
Taking it all in – Moab Valley and the La Sal mountains in the background
Heading back down the Stairmaster Trail – this one didn’t disappoint!




  1. sigh……such a spectacular place. Right now, sitting beside the lake here in western New York, it seems like a long time ago that we saw you two up on the top of the bluff. Thanks for taking me back! Glad you’re home and back in your element. It’s nice to get away but really nice to get back!

  2. So happy you had a wonderful trip MonaLiza! And way happy you are back at home with Steve enjoying the great outdoors! Great photos of your hikes in Moab!

  3. Love every one of these hikes! I am sorry we missed our visit to Moab this year. But taking time away will make it even better when we do return. My favorite photos are your first shot through the arch to the Delicate Arch and Steve looking down on Hidden Valley with his foot up on the rock. All the photos are beautiful. Have fun in Idaho!!

  4. I always enjoy reflecting on a place we’ve visited, and I understand what you mean about the photos bringing back all the memories! Love your beautiful photo tour of Moab. We’ve really been wanting to get back there, but don’t like that it’s become so crowded. It looks like you were there at a good time.
    The Stairmaster Trail is a new one to me—it sounds like a real thigh-burner!

  5. Triple WOW!! You showed great tales of wonderful adventures, thank you! Enjoy your photos so much!

  6. Love the pin-cushion cactus! Isn’t it amazing that when we were growing up (you in the Philppines, me in South Florida) we never even noticed that it was hot and humid 🙂 Now it is a shock!

  7. Tiny Steve under those magnificent arches! Moab is one of my favorite towns. I hope you are feeling better now. Enjoy your freedom! I love all your photos!

  8. Moab certainly looks like one of those places worth a month or more, though we’ll want to make sure we visit when it’s not too hot. It’s gonna be in the high 90’s here all week (we’re in Bluff at the moment) so I think it’s gonna be hard to get in all the hiking we had hoped to. I’m sure Moab is even worse than here. You definitely went at the perfect time. Anyway, wonderful photos as always… love that framed one, and the Stairmaster hike sounds awful, but awesome at the same time. 😁

  9. I agree with Steve — Jeep arch doesn’t look like a Jeep at all! Those platform rocks by the water on the return of that hike are just stunning. Now I gotta see ‘em in person!

  10. Good to hear from you again. Glad you got back safely and recovered. What gorgeous arches pictures. So envying you being out there. Not too hot yet??

  11. I too wish that Utah has not become so overrun but I guess all the good places are beginning to feel that way. Your photos are gorgeous MonaLiza!

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