Based on schedules and permits, we had ten days of just playing around, dayhiking and visiting anything and everything in the Moab-ish/Blanding/Green River regions of Utah.
Natural Bridges National Monument – We spent the afternoon hiking to the Sipapu Bridge lookout and then to the canyon bottom to look up at the massive bridge. That evening we camped just outside the park on one of the BLM roads that had several cleared out campsites.
Butler Wash Ruins: Blanding Visitor’s Center staff pointed this gem out to us. Short 1 mile hike led to an observation point of some Native American Cave Dwellings. These looked amazing (because human visitation has been extremely limited).
Mule Canyon Ruins: The kids were able to walk around and inside a kiva and some old ruins that have been somewhat updated.
A peak we decided to climb with an awesome lookout over the Comb Wash. This is where Rosabell accidentally swallowed a butterscotch candy and her chest hurt the entire hike back down.
Todie Canyon Rim: Fun rim hike along one of the canyons that intersects with Grand Gulch. It was neat for the kids to observe what walking in the rim is like compared to walking hundreds of feet below in the canyons.
Muley Point: What a fun area to visit. This point sits high upon the mesa and overlooks the valley that leads up to Monument Valley. We decided to camp at this high point of 6200 feet. The kids made a campfire, roasted marshmallows and truly slept under the stars. That was the coolest camp site we had had on the trip so far. I loved seeing the kids so excited about seeing all the stars. We camped on the very edge (left tip) of the first picture below!
Bluff, UT: As we made our way east in Southern Utah, we passed through the small town of Bluff. The kids enjoyed exploring this old fort that displayed the original homes from the pioneer days.
Hovenweep National Monument: I was not really thrilled to check out this National Monument, but the kids really enjoyed themselves. It became one of their favorite places that we visited. They enjoyed seeing the old ruins and buildings.
Newspaper Rock: The rock art and petroglyphs in the Indian Creek area is fascinating. The kids loved trying to figure out what was being communicated.
Canyonlands National Park – Needles District: This is one the kids most favorite places. In fact, this is where we were going complete a second backpack trip (but plans changed). The kids loved the ruins, the caves, climbing rocks and just running all over the place.
Arches National Park: We checked out Arches on two different days. Delicate Arch was quite the adventure. Wind gusts of 40mph were going as we followed the open slick rock cairned trail toward Delicate Arch. When we made the final turn to see the Arch, Rosabell’s hat blew off and traveled a few hundred feet below the Arch. Some awesome visitors on the other side of the Arch, hiked down to the base and rescued her hat. It was exciting to finally see the Arch, but it was so cold and windy. What a neat experience for them.
Canyonlands National Park – Islands In The Sky: We hiked out to Mesa Arch and took in the incredible views.
Dead Horse Point State Park: Fun day at Dead Horse Point. I think the kids most enjoyed the rain that began to fall rapidly on them. My daughter was jumping up and down “I feel like we are at home…this feels like Washington”. For some homesick kids, this really lifted their spirits.
Moonflower Canyon: This canyon was recommended as a fun canyon in Moab to explore, climb and swim in . So we did just that, but explored more and didn’t take any pictures.
Corona and Bowtie Arches: It only rained two days while we were in Moab and this was one of them. We hiked out to Corona and Bowtie Arches and the kids really enjoyed this dayhike. Part of the hike requires climbing rock with a cable for assistance followed by a ladder climb (perfect recipe for a kids hike). We also found a spot where all the cairns hang out and of course the kids had to add to the cairn group.
Goblin Valley State Park: Pretty cool state park, however we went on a very windy day. The sand dust was so strong the kids didn’t enjoy having to hike and cover their eyes. They loved climbing the rocks and running between the taller rocks.
Rafting the Colorado (Class 1+): This is really nothing to brag about…it was a mere float. However, Rosabell had never been in a raft so the few ripples were really exiting for her. Plus, she and another client got to jump in an inflatable kayak for half the trip. This made the waves even more exciting for her.
Biking Moab Brand Area and Slickrock Trail: For one of our Moab days, I rented mountain bikes for kids and they biked a few miles on the Slickrock Trail, a few miles on the Moab Brand Area trails and a couple miles on a road trail system. They had a blast. Next time we are heading to Moab, we are definitely bringing bikes for the non-hiking days.
Acerson Mine: We stumbled upon this mine because we decided to spend a day “rock hounding.” My kids were convinced we could find precious gems. We may have, but we also found this neat looking mine and some old mining equipment.