Where The Freeways Don’t Go – Arches National Park and CanyonLands

September 16-17, 2015

After spending the afternoon in Monument Valley we pulled into Moab, Utah hungry and ready for a rest. We found the Blu Pig barbecue joint sharing the parking lot with our hotel – La Quinta. Carla and I shared a plate of burnt ends with a side of gumbo. Delicious! We don’t normally stay at La Quinta but this hotel was located in town rather than out in the boonies so we gave it a try. In the morning we discovered the toilet wasn’t flushing; we had to use the lobby toilets. The front desk said they’d get right on it. So we took off for the day to visit Arches National Park and Canyonlands trusting everything would be fixed when we returned that evening.

The red pin shows Arches National Park; Canyonlands (much bigger) spreads down to the southwest.

Arches National Park and Canyonlands overview

Arches National Park and Canyonlands overview

We hiked out to Delicate Arch in Arches back in July 2007 so wanted to take in a different view. We drove out toward the end of the road to view Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch. The hiking trail we took is the light gray lines with a loop connecting Arches Scenic Drive with the campground at the end of Campground Road.

Sand Dune Arch to Broken Arch hiking trail

Sand Dune Arch to Broken Arch hiking trail

The hike was easy; we covered the two mile loop in an hour, leaving plenty of time for sight-seeing.

After a short walk on an asphalt trail we came to a narrow path to Sand Dune Arch which is hidden back in the rocks.

Pathway to Sand Dune Arch - Arches National Park

Pathway to Sand Dune Arch – Arches National Park

Sand Dune Arch - Arches National Park

Sand Dune Arch – Arches National Park

Then we headed out on the hike proper toward Broken Arch

View from the trail looking at Broken Arch - Arches National Park

View from the trail looking at Broken Arch – Arches National Park

The sign in the foreground says “Path continues through arch.”

Broken Arch isn't really broken - Arches National Park

Broken Arch isn’t really broken – Arches National Park

View from Broken Arch - Arches National Park

View from Broken Arch – Arches National Park

At the far end of the loop is a campground where we saw an awesome old bus converted into an RV.

Margaritaville bus at the campground - Arches National Park

Margaritaville bus at the campground – Arches National Park

As I said, the hike was mostly easy but there were a few challenging parts going through the arches and over some rocks. We also had another narrow, fairly steep path to go down on the way back.

Pathway back to our car - Arches National Park

Steep path back to our car – Arches National Park

It’s a good thing we woke up early and headed out; the line of cars waiting to get in at the entrance was 1/4 of a mile long at least when we left to go over to Canyonlands.

Canyonlands was nice, but it is so vast you can only see bits of it – and you mostly drive to a parking lot and take a short walk out to the viewpoints. The viewpoints were spectacular.

Canyonlands

Canyonlands

Canyonlands

Canyonlands

Teeny-tiny baby canyon starting in Canyonlands

Teeny-tiny baby canyon starting in Canyonlands

Like the night before we were hot and sweaty when we got back to the hotel – only to find the toilet had not been fixed. We had seen the maintenance man in the parking lot and he told us the toilet was fine but would probably need to be replaced in the coming week. I told the assistant manager I was  unhappy and would like a refund on the room for that night if we could find another place to stay – we couldn’t find a place and they wouldn’t give us a refund. We went over to the Blu Pig again for dinner while the hotel made another attempt at fixing things. When we got back, the toilet would flush, but it would slowly leak from the tank into the bowl causing it to refill every 30 seconds (I timed it). The next morning we asked to see the manager but she wouldn’t come out of her office; the assistant manager did what he could, giving us a $70 discount on the second night.

I get it; things happen. I was irritated by three things.

  1. They had all day to fix it and didn’t.
  2. The manager wouldn’t talk to us in person; she made the hapless assistant manager deal with unhappy customers.
  3. The refund was a pittance for the trouble we had

Moab is a big tourist town and the hotels are usually sold out before, during, and after the summer season. The La Quinta in Moab doesn’t have to be good to get business; they just have to open the doors.

We tried not to let that ruin our day. We had a great day touring but were happy to check out and head up to Ogden then Boise on our way home.

About howardwthompson

I'm a person who likes to travel, read, cook, and eat
This entry was posted in Foliage and Landscape, Travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Where The Freeways Don’t Go – Arches National Park and CanyonLands

  1. mukul chand says:

    Great Post. lovely pics.

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