Finally, we arrived in Moab! Not only is Moab close to Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park, it is the mountain biking capital of the US! First on our to-do list while in Moab: hike the Devil’s Garden Trail in Arches National Park.
The Devil’s Garden is the longest hiking trail in the park at about 7 miles RT. With side trails to many different arches and cool rock formations, it was high on my list !
At one point the trail got a little hairy. It went up and over these big slickrock ledges, with cairns marking the path.
How do these arches form, you ask? According to NPS.gov, “drops of rainwater soak into the porous Entrada sandstone easily and then slowly dissolve the calcite bonding the sand together – in other words, rotting the rock from the inside out. Water puddles just above the denser Carmel layer where it erodes a cavity, like food trapped between your teeth. In winter, water trapped between the two layers expands when it freezes and pries the rock apart.” Geology is cool!
My parents had turned back about a mile into the hike due to heat. Jordan and I had wanted to do the whole thing, but it was quickly getting hotter. Jordan’s legs were also still sore from the half marathon, so after we saw Navajo Arch we turned back.
Protip: Get to Arches early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid traffic, crowds, and heat. Bringing a lot of water on your hike is also ESSENTIAL! It is recommended to drink 1 gal of water per day when in the park.
My dad brought hand held two-way radios with him on the trip, which Jordan and I used to communicate with my parents when on the trail since we separated often. There is little to no cell phone service in the parks so this was a great way to talk to each other.
Devil’s Garden Trail
4.5 miles RT to Navajo Arch (trail continues on via a primitve loop)
~ 2 hrs
On the drive out, we stopped at the Delicate Arch viewing area. It was so far away! My dad was determined to hike up to the actual arch. It is Utah’s most famous arch after all. Hiking to the Delicate Arch was on the agenda for the next day, our last full day of the trip.
From the car we saw a little jack rabbit. Too cute!
After going back to the hotel and getting some food, we drove back into the park for the sunset.
The colors are just spectacular here! I was not ready for the trip to be over.