It didn’t take long for me to hit up my favorite place in the country. I’d traveled the last two years sampling a bunch of what the US has to offer, and this year I think my attendance in certain areas will be increasingly refined.

As I was gunning it on I-70, I could have done that for most of the way and then come down past canyonlands and arches, but I most prefer the drive in where the I-70 portion is abbreviated in favor of entering town through route 128. It’s a beautiful scenic drive for the most part, (minus the beginning which is riddled with potholes), with an amazing view of the La Sal mountain range that looms increasingly larger with each passing mile. At this time of year they’re white and snowcapped, which will shortly change, so I felt fortunate for this. 128 also winds along the Colorado river, which is currently silty and muddy, likely because of recent rainfall.

I’d learned that this year, Arches National Park is implementing a timed ticketed entry system due to massive overcrowding in the park. And I get it; last year when I entered the park at 7am it had already closed due to overcrowding. That said, such a system makes it hard for spontaneous folks like myself to attend (hence, it’s working). It was set to begin April 3rd, so I resolved to explore the park before that date, fortunately.

I traveled to the Devil’s Garden area of the park, one I’d not frequented as much as others. There’s a bunch of hikes and arches here, a few of which I visited.

I felt refreshed! This was basically my first time hiking in the Moab area when it wasn’t like a trillion degrees out. People were probably wondering why I was basically cackling while huffing and puffing at ~5000ft elevation but I was so glad to be here.

I skipped over to the windows area of the park and visited the chapel-like double arch just as it started to rain. Rain in Moab! What a great time to be here.

I’d met a group of women while hiking who were a part of an adventure company called Adventure Chicks and they invited me to grab pizza with them for dinner at Antica Forma in town. The pizza was good but I am definitely spoiled from East coast pizza.

I went to bed early and rose very early for a hike up to delicate arch. I arrived to the trailhead right as the sun was just beginning to make its presence known. It was a great hike, beginning very cold and ending quite pleasantly warm. It is SUCH a better experience than roasting my ass off.

Feeling energized from this hike, I downed some leftover pizza and set off again, this time to hike up a trail called Hidden Valley. It takes you up the Moab rim which is an ass buster of a time but the views of the valley above felt very worth it.

I spent the late afternoon at Canyonlands National Park, and was just LOVING the snowy La Sals sitting atop the red rock landscape, particularly the canyon.

That night, I grabbed dinner with a friend I made hiking and was living for chicken parmesan. I basically vacuumed it into my mouth. The food here is great. Highly recommend. And the company! I meet so many great folks hiking. And sometimes I meet terrible people, like this fucking loserbag eugenicist. But we focus on the positive.

I rose early the next day and headed back out to the Canyonlands area and for the first time visited Dead Horse Point State Park. The price of admission had always scared me off as a single person, but coming there for sunrise meant that that didn’t matter. And what a sight.

After this, it was just a short trip back to Canyonlands to see Mesa Arch in the new morning’s sun. It’s a short hike, but worth it.

I also made another stop back at grand view point.

It’s maybe a 3 hour drive South of Moab to the Monument Valley area. I skipped that this time but did swing around to Mexican Hat (saw the hat, baby), Goosenecks, Moki dugway, and Natural Bridges with a short stop at Newspaper Rock on the way back up.

God, I fucking love it here. Look at all this stuff!

I slept at my favorite campsite and caught a glimpse of some stars before another early morning.

This morning, I woke up and headed east on 128 toward Moab’s Castle Valley and the La Sals on 127. I’d never driven up there before and it was awesome. Very worth it.

Up there and all over, frankly, are fossilized dinosaur tracks. Fucking neat.

I traveled across town to a spot off Potash road to see some more dinosaur tracks and some petroglyphs.

Right next door was the trailhead to Corona Arch, which I hiked even though my calves were DECEASED from all the freaking hiking.

I also checked out (read: bathed in) Faux Falls just at dusk. F R E E Z I N G, do not recommend not in summer.

I did a bunch while here. I certainly have SO much more to do here, and many more pins saved, but I appreciate you taking the time to join me in one of my favorite places.