SingleRoadTrip: Leg 4 – Montrose, CO to Moab
Catch up on Leg 3 of my trip here.
Day 16 – Montrose, CO to Grand Junction to Moab – 213 miles
Montrose is just outside one of the lesser known National Parks: Black Canyon of the Gunnison. So before setting out for the day, I made a morning visit to the park. While not as spectacular as the Grand Canyon, the Black Canyon is so named because of the narrowness of the canyon that keeps the walls shaded for much of the day.
After stopping in Grand Junction for lunch (and to repair a chip in my windshield from an airborne rock), I made my way up to the Colorado National Monument. While not a National Park, it is run by the National Park Service.
I made it in to Moab early enough that I made a stop in the Windows section of Arches National Park.
I checked in to the Hyatt Place, only about 4 miles from the Visitor Center of Arches.
Day 17 – Arches National Park
When I arrived the evening before in Moab, it was 102º. Fortunately, when I woke up the next morning it was overcast with some rain. It meant that when I arrived at the parking lot for the Delicate Arch hike, it was only about 75º and misting. It made the uphill hike to Delicate Arch much more bearable. There is no shade along the way and your hiking on open rock face. I can’t imagine doing it in direct sun and 100º+ heat.
The hike is absolutely worth it.
I went back in the evening to the Windows area of the park to watch the sunset, do some stargazing, and catch a glimpse of the Neowise comet.
Day 18 – Canyonlands National Park
The Island in the Sky portion of Canyonlands National Park is about 45 minutes from Moab. As it is a higher elevation, it is also a bit cooler. I started with a hike to Murphy’s Lookout before checking out Grand View and Mesa Arch.
A few miles before the entrance to Canyonlands is Utah’s Dead Horse Point State Park. It offers some fantastic views of the canyons of the Colorado River. Note that the America the Beautiful Pass does not cover the $20 entry fee.
Total Miles: 2,908
Continue reading about the road trip with Leg 5 here.