We drove from Salt Lake City to Moab Friday afternoon. We headed east on
I-70 so we could come into Moab on the Upper
Colorado Scenic Byway, a wonderfully twisty stretch of state highway meandering
through red rock canyons carved by the Colorado River. It was a stormy afternoon,
so we were driving with the tops up. The afternoon sun made for some interesting
photographs of the red rocks and cars under cloudy skies.
We got an early start Saturday morning, which we spent driving around in
National Park's Islands
in the Sky district. This area of the park is north of the junction of
the Colorado and Green Rivers, and it is literally an area of buttes and plateaus
that are islands towering up into the sky. We visited several spectacular
overlooks. With strong winds, the views stretched for well over a hundred
miles. From Grandview Point, we could easily see the La Sal mountains, which
the information markers indicated are 156 miles from the overlook. We also
visited Upheaval Dome and the Green River Overlook before heading to Dead
Horse Point State Park. Surely one of the most photographed geographic
features in Utah, this vista was well worth the cost of admission.
After lunch in Moab, we spent the afternoon in Arches
National Park, mostly hiking the easy trails out to some of the Park's
well known sites. Our longest hike was through the Devil's Garden area, but
we also hiked out to the vista point below Delicate Arch and climbed up a
slick rock hill to get a better look at the arch. It was late afternoon by
the time we were leaving the Park, and we got some great shots of the cars,
again under stormy skies.
We had planned to try to take a drive down the Lower
Colorado Scenic Byway Saturday afternoon, but ran out of time. We started
daylight savings time Sunday morning, so most of the crew chose to sleep in
while Kay, John and I drove this byway. We were amply rewarded for getting
up early by soft morning light, a deserted road, and a beautiful drive along
towering cliffs. The road was not particularly twisty, more huge, sweeping
turns with long straights that we enjoyed a great deal on the return drive.
This was also a good opportunity for getting a few pictures of Kay's Oriental
Red Boxster on the road.
We left Moab at 10:00 Sunday morning so we could take the long way back to
Salt Lake City, driving I-70 through the San Rafael Swell. We encountered
a few snow showers, but nothing significant enough to wet the road. The main
result was some very dirty cars by the end of the drive.
This was a great weekend get away. One could easily add another day to the
trip to drive the Needles District of Canyonlands that is about 45 miles south
of Moab, and the La Sal Mountains are also worth exploring, although there
was still too much snow in early April to make this an option. Check out the
site for links to area information, and also take a look at the photo
links below to see all the pictures taken by participants who have posted