Utah Trip Recap: Arches National Park
Last week I recapped part 1 of our trip to Utah, which included Zion and Bryce National Parks. Today I want to share the 2nd half of our trip.
Day 5: Fish Lake and Drive to Moab
After hiking at Zion and Bryce National Parks, we were exhausted and thankful to take a rest day. We knew we had a 4 hour drive from Bryce to Moab. Instead of trying to get there quickly, we split up our day with a stop at Fish Lake.
We spent the afternoon relaxing in our hammock and reading by the lake. The temperatures were quite cold and in fact most people were bundled up, but we made the most of it. It was so nice to have no agenda and take no steps! Colby was crazy and decided he didn’t mind the 40-50 degree water and managed to get on a float!
After we left Fish lake we drove to Moab and checked in to Sunflower Hill, an amazing bed and breakfast. I don’t even know where to start because Sunflower Hill was absolutely fabulous. We have stayed all over the world and this was by far our favorite place we have ever stayed in.
The owner and all the staff were so friendly. Sunflower Hill had absolutely everything we needed and I mean everything! They went above and beyond to make our stay fabulous, including answering our questions about the local restaurants and hikes.
They also provided boxed breakfasts for two mornings in a row that we could take on the go. They had afternoon snacks and cookies, ice for us and places to store our food. The grounds were absolutely amazing. The flowers were beautiful, the pool was heated and the hot tub was just what we needed after a day of hiking. The pictures don’t quite do it justice, but if we could have stayed here forever, we would have!
Day 6: Arches National Park – Day 1
Just like our mornings in Zion and Bryce we woke up at 5:30am to start our day. After grabbing the yummy boxed breakfast Sunflower HIll provided we were on our way to start our hike, the Devil’s Garden Primitive Trail, which was a 7.2 mile loop. This trail has several of the main arches in the park. We started by going counter-clockwise and on the left side of the loop we saw most of the trails.
As the trail went on it got much more difficult to follow and navigate. Several times we got off trail and had to back track, trying to find our way. The last 1.5 hours of the trail we didn’t see much at all and we definitely regretted doing the full loop.
As we got closer to the finish it became so crowded as most of the tourists were just starting. By the time we got back to our car, the parking lot was completely full! It took us 4 hours and because the last leg was not our favorite, we were so glad to be finished!
After leaving we grabbed lunch and then headed back to Sunflower Hill to enjoy the pool. It was absolutely fabulous and it was so nice to finally be able to get in the water without freezing! It was the perfect relaxing afternoon after a hard hike.
Day 7: Arches National Park + Rafting
Our last day of hiking we woke up early again. We hiked one of the more popular trails in Arches to the Delicate Arch which was a 3 mile out and back trail. It was pretty quick and only took 1.5 hours, which included quite a bit of time to enjoy the view once we arrived at the arch. Since we got there early we were able to enjoy it without hundreds of other people around.
We left Arches National Park by 8:30 am and the line to get into the park was already so long! We drove about 20 minutes and went to the Corona Arch Trailhead, which was a 3 mile hike. I assume since this trail was out of the park not many knew about it. There were only a few other people on the trail which was wonderful. I really like this trail and the arches were just amazing!
After we left the trail we headed to pack up at Sunflower Hill before going rafting with Mild to Wild on the Colorado River! Colby and I have rafted a few times, but we thought it would be the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
We had so much fun! It was definitely a longer drive than we expected, but the rafting trip made it worth it. Our guide was so nice and helpful and she let me ask her so many questions. It was about a 2 hour trip down the river. For the most part we didn’t even paddle as we just floated on down. However, there were three sets of rapids we went through over the span of the trip. I was hoping we would could get in the water but it was 55 degrees, so I lost interest immediately!
After rafting we grabbed a quick snow cone and made the drive to Salt Lake City. All the drives throughout Utah were amazing! I just couldn’t get over how pretty the whole state was. And that was the end of our trip! We grabbed a quick dinner before heading to bed and the next morning we flew home.
Just for fun: We took 146,000 steps, drove 1,200 miles, climbed 846 floors, hiked 60 miles and always the best part… spent 192 uninterrupted hours together!
I know I already mentioned this, but if you are going to the national parks then get there early!
It was freezing in the mornings at all the parks, around 40-50 and then 80-90 by afternoon so make sure to pack layers!
For so many years we hiked without a camelbak and I don’t know how we did it. It’s definitely worth the investment. I would pack lots of snacks too. We used the round towel I have displayed below every day as well. It’s so handy to have when you want to sit in the park.
If you want to book an Airbnb you can use this link for $40 off!
I promise you want to stay at the Sunflower Hill in Moab!
Our Prior Vacations:
I didn’t start sharing our traveling adventures on the blog until the end of 2013, but you can see some of our vacations below. You can also see our best tips for traveling on a budget here!
Western Caribbean Cruise
South America: Argentina
South America: Torres Del Paine
South America: Lake Region
South America: Santiago + Coast
Costa Rica: Manuel Antonio
Costa Rica: Santa Teresa
Costa Rica: La Fortuna
Caribbean Cruise – Grand Turk + Dominican Republic
Caribbean Cruise – Aruba + Curacao
Colorado Ski Date #2
Europe: The Netherlands
Europe: Montenegro + Greece
Colorado Ski Trip #4
Northern California + Lake Tahoe
Yosemite + Napa
Eastern Caribbean Cruise: Grand Turk + San Juan
Eastern Caribbean Cruise: St. Kitts + St. Maarten
Colorado Skip Trip #5
Utah: Zion and Bryce National Parks
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