Sunday, April 18, 2010

To Moab and Back

Some of our best trips are the ones that we don't start out taking.
We were on our way to a place called "Trail Through Time" to take
a hike when we decided to drive further on down the road to Moab.
Moab Utah is kind of an outdoor enthusiast's mecca, primarily
catering to mountain bikers, hikers and jeep four wheelers. It's also
home to Arches National Park and Canyonlands Natonal Park. We've
been here many times before, but it's always interesting to check
out the scenery. We decided to take a back route and this led through
the small ghost town of Cisco.

At one time, about 400 people lived in Cisco and it was a center
for sheep ranching, the railroad (the Union Pacific still goes through
town) and minerals. Not much is left now besides lots of junk cars
and a few dilapidated buildings.

We turned toward Moab on Utah State Route 128. This is also known
as The Upper Colorado River Scenic Byway. After crossing the Colorado
River at Dewey Bridge, we checked out the first of many BLM
campgrounds we would drive by. We plan to camp at a few of
these later this summer.

There definitely isn't a lot of shade here, but the valley along
the river is really pretty and there are also lots of hiking trails

While driving through Castle Valley, there are numerous spots where
the valley opens up, exposing huge red sandstone monoliths.

I'm a big fan of all the different types of sandstone and how it
settled over the eons. This particular sandstone formation was
laid down in lots of layers. All of this was once an immense amount
of sand on the bottom of an ancient sea.

Summer is still a bit away, but the weather was perfect and because
it was a Sunday. lots of rafters were out on the river. This particular
guy reminded us of the Punters on the Avon in New Zealand. I don't
think anyone would confuse these sandstone canyons with Christchurch,
New Zealand however.

When we got to Moab, it was past lunchtime and all of our exploring
made us hungry. I had seen on the internet a small drive in named
Milt's Stop & Eat. It's a tiny little place that's been open since 1954.
It looks like they cater a lot to mountain bikers and jeepers, and they
didn't have any car hops, but they had great hamburgers and it was
delicious enough for us to want to come back some time. On our
way out of town, we picked up some information from the Visitor's
Center for hiking trails and campgrounds for later this summer. We
plan on spending some time in this area this summer taking advantage
of everything this area has to offer.


Jude said...

I took my daughter across the old Dewey bridge the last week it was open. Apparently, the old bridge has burned. Recently, I scanned some photos I took back in 1988 of the new bridge from the old bridge. They're online at and

Anyway, don't wait until summer for Arches and Canyonlands--it's way too hot then. May and October are the best months to visit. I figure that June, July, and August were made for mountains, not desert. But that's just my opinion. My daughter is working for the Park Service this summer at 5 parks in Colorado and Utah, so she might disagree.

Brett Rodgers said...

This is a really good comment on Moab. Its like on of my favorite places in the world to go visit and hike. I cant wait until spring comes and I can go hiking there again or in Zion. I have been thinking about going down there to have our wedding. The only problem that we are encountering is the catering. There really are not to many places to go.