We departed the Ogden, Utah area heading south again.
We normally try to follow a general rule of 2 hours drive time or 200 miles, and stop for a minimum of 2 days. With that in mind, we look for top destinations that fall within a search area. We are trying to follow the fall color change and stay ahead of the coldest weather. That had us either dropping down the west side of Utah – heading towards St. George and the Grand Canyon, or take the east side and drop down near Moab.
We had never explored this part of the west so we decided to take the eastern route. And this would have us heading back towards Durango, Colorado and New Mexico. We want to check out the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area, but wanted to wait until the annual International Balloon Festival was finished. Without reservations months in advance, it would be tough to find any spot for the RV.
Our new route is where you see signs along the road that say “Next Services 115 miles”. There are long stretches of dry arid wide open country. That led us to finding a beautiful state park in the town of Green River, Utah.
Green River State Park is a pleasant green oasis in the middle of the small town of Green River. It’s adjacent to the town’s golf course, which also has a disc golf course. The train bridge crosses over the Green River close to the campground, but we are immune to the sounds of trains by now.
Arches National Park
Arches and Canyonlands National Parks are both close to Moab, which is about a 45 minute drive from Green River. Arches has the largest concentration of natural stone arches in the world. We were both blown away by the sights! It is hard to capture the size and scale of the landscapes in photos. We had a full day of driving through the park, stopping at the scenic overlooks and taking some of the shorter less technical hiking trails. I was glad that we were here in the fall when the temps were only in the high 70’s. In the summer months it can get into the triple digits. We had brought snacks and a water bladder in the backpack, but still needed real food. We headed to downtown Moab for a late lunch at the Blu Pig, a BBQ joint that has live blues bands.
While driving around Moab, we couldn’t believe the number of Jeeps that are in this area – Jeep heaven! Most of them were modified, jacked up and big tires – and covered in red dirt!
Canyonlands National Park
Another full day of exploring at Canyonlands, which some claim to rival the Grand Canyon. It’s one of the largest national parks, broken up into four districts. The different districts are divided by the Colorado and Green Rivers and are not connected by roads. We headed for the Island in the Sky area, which is close to Moab. Some of the other areas require multiple day passes and a high clearance 4X4 to explore.
The Island in the Sky mesa area is defined by sandstone cliffs rising a 1,000 feet above the surrounding terrain. Many places to view and declare “ooh!, wow!, and look over there”! And you have to take care walking around, there are no guardrails or barriers to stop you from going off the cliff wall. It was scary to watch some of the other people holding up there phones and backing up to the edge of the cliffs to take a selfie.
Walking the trails can be fun while absorbing the scenery and also looking closer at the trail for signs of different animal tracks and identifying the scat.
I’m still amazed by the big blue skies here.
During our travels we always try to update the blog page “Things you see while traveling” every now and then with funny or unique photos. We were driving through a small town with a cute sign and didn’t have time to snap a photo. The electronics store billboard stated: The Energizer Bunny has been arrested and charged with battery. Funny!
Next stop is a boon docking location at a dinosaur museum in Blanding, Utah.