Moab Journals

Moab, as inspired by Edward Abbey

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A September 1997 trip to Moab by lcampbell

Arches National Park Photo, Arches National Park, Utah More Photos
Quote: "The desert is a vast world, an oceanic world, as deep in its way and complex and various as the sea." -- Edward Abbey Our Edward Abbey-inspired trip to Moab, Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and Canyonlands National Park.

Moab, as inspired by Edward Abbey

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Overview

Desert Solitaire Photo, Moab, Utah
Quote:
I became interested in visiting Utah after reading the book, Desert Solitaire, by Edward Abbey. The book describes his first season as a Park Ranger at Arches National Park. Ed is probably rolling over in his grave at the thought that his writings would bring people to Utah - he would love nothing more than for people to STAY AWAY from his beloved desert. Mr. Abbey, it seems to me, was as wild and eccentric as the desert itself. On this trip we visited Moab, Arches National Park (my favorite), Dead Horse Point State Park, and Canyonlands National Park. "Strolling on, it seems to me that the strangeness and wonder of existence are emphasized here, in the desert, by the compara...Read More

Canyonlands National Park

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Attraction | "Canyonlands National Park – Island in the Sky"

Canyonlands National Park Photo, Moab, Utah
Quote:
Canyonlands National Park encompasses the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, combining green riparian areas with dry redrock desert. It is made up of three separate districts: Island in the Sky (north district-high plateau, many viewpoints), The Needles (southeast-shallow canyons, rock formations), and The Maze (southwest-wildest and most remote). The easiest one to reach from Moab is Island in the Sky. The districts are not linked by road, so if you plan to go to The Needles or The Maze, expect to drive 2-6 hours between each of the districts. We only visited Island in the Sky, which is on a plateau about 1000 feet above the rivers and canyons below. This area offers the best s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2002

Canyonlands National Park
Highway 211
Moab, Utah 84532
(435) 259-4711

Camping

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Attraction | "Free camping near Moab"

Camping Photo, Moab, Utah
Quote:
Free camping is allowed on certain Forest Service (FS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) areas. It is called "dispersed camping" and basically means that you can camp almost anywhere you want to on FS or BLM lands. In these areas, you will have to provide everything for yourself…. water, firewood, stove, etc. The bathroom is in the woods or behind a rock. ALWAYS follow Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics and pack everything out that you bring in. I usually find these "free areas" by driving down various FS or BLM roads and looking for spots where you can tell people have camped before (no vegetation where they park and usually a rock fire ring –sometimes they even leave firewood!). Some...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2002

Camping
Throughout Moab
Moab, Utah

Arches National Park

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Attraction | "Arches Natl Park–General Info/Hike - Devils Garden"

Arches National Park Photo, Arches National Park, Utah
Quote:
"Everything is lovely and wild, with a virginal sweetness. The arches themselves, strange, impressive, grotesque, form but a small and inessential part of the general beauty of this country. When we think of rock we usually think of stones, broken rock, buried under soil and plant life, but here all is exposed and naked, dominated by the monolithic formations of sandstone which stand above the surface of the ground and extend for miles, sometimes level, sometimes tilted or warped by pressures from below, carved by erosion and weathering into an intricate maze of glens, grottoes, fissures, passageways, and deep narrow canyons." -- Edward Abbey Arches National Park is located 5 miles north of M...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2002

Arches National Park
5 miles North of Moab on 191
Boulder Mountain, Utah

Arches National Park

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Attraction | "Arches Natl Park – Delicate Arch and Fiery Furnace"

Arches National Park Photo, Arches National Park, Utah
Quote:
"If Delicate Arch has any significance it lies, I will venture, in the power of the odd and unexpected to startle the senses and surprise the mind out of their ruts of habit, to compel us into a reawakened awareness of the wonderful – that which is full of wonder." -- Edward Abbey Delicate Arch is a world famous symbol of the American desert. It is almost a mandatory hike, but another alternative is to drive to the Delicate Arch viewpoint, and see it from one mile away (but its just not the same). The hike starts at Wolfe Ranch, and is 3 miles round trip with 480 feet of elevation gain/loss. The trail starts out as a typical dirt trail, but then changes into a hike on red slickrock ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2002

Arches National Park
5 miles North of Moab on 191
Boulder Mountain, Utah

Dead Horse Point State Park

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Attraction

Dead Horse Point State Park Photo, Moab, Utah
Quote:
Dead Horse Point State Park consists of a narrow peninsula 2000 feet above the Colorado River. The park got it’s name from a legend that long ago, cowboys chased wild mustangs onto the peninsula and fenced them in. They chose the best horses for themselves and left the rest. One time, the cowboys forgot to open the fence when they left, and the horses died of thirst. The park is 5362 acres, and is at an elevation of 5900 feet. It is located on Highway 313, 18 miles from Moab and near the entrance to Canyonlands National Park (Island in the Sky district). We had not heard of Dead Horse Point previously, but stopped because we had a little time to spare before heading down to our campsite in ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 20, 2002

Dead Horse Point State Park
off of Highway 313
Moab, Utah
(435) 259-2614