24 Hours In Moab
We packed up and left Ouray for the easy three hour trek to Moab. I was so excited for a shorter ride this day too. The weather was perfection. I always love seeing the beautiful snowcapped San Juan Mountains on this ride. And driving by Ralph Lauren's beautiful Ranch which occupies some 16,000 acres is always such a thrill too. I've driven by this wooden fence which stretches almost 30 miles along his private ranch in the Rocky Mountains twice now and would love to be invited over for a weekend. Ha!
So from Ouray take that route into Utah. County Roads 5, 7, and 9 are overlooked because they’re not in the “high country.” But the views are just as spectacular. The GPS track shows the location. The road is a bit hard to find—while driving west from Ridgway on Colorado Hwy 62 look for a brown “Forest Access” sign on the left—it’s not very large. If you come to County Road 24, you’ve gone too far. Upon turning onto County Road 9, you’ll immediately go under a sign announcing the RRL (Double R – L) Ranch. That’s Ralph Lauren’s property. Don’t worry—the road is public, but do mind to stay on the road. The map shows lots of side roads: these are all private!
Moab is a hidden desert gem for sure!
A mecca for mountain bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts alike, the tiny desert town of just over 5,100 is a stone’s throw away from two beautiful national parks (Arches and Canyonlands) and a stunning state park (Dead Horse Point). Set against the backdrop of rocky, crimson landscapes and desolate desert sand, Moab is a year-round destination for festivals, races, and events. This was my second time here and I am so glad we got in early enough to explore it a tad more.
Here are my suggestions for your trip to Moab.
Spend the day discovering Arches National Park. Take a quick jaunt up to see the Delicate Arch and snap a tourist-y photo standing under its shadow. For a longer day hike, explore the Devil's Garden Trail, the longest in the park. Arrive early to beat the crowds (and the heat). The entrance fee is $25 per vehicle or $10 per person (if entering on bike or foot).
Rent an Off-Road Vehicle from High Point Hummer and ATV. If you’ve wanted to try a new Polaris RZR UTV Side by Side this is the place for you! They offer the newest selection both street legal and non, at the best value! Their expert mechanics always ensure they are in top working order. They provide everything you need to safely enjoy a great day on the trail including helmets, coolers, water and even a trailer to get you to your destination. Much of the public land surrounding the National Parks is open to ATV travel on existing trails. (However, please note that ATV riding is not allowing within either Arches or Canyonlands National Park.) I knew you were thinking about it! We sure were.
Moab has a full range of backcountry trails, from easy 2-wheel drive backcountry scenic drives to the ultimate in challenging 4-wheel drive trails, providing an opportunity for all to experience the beauty and solitude of an off road adventure. Trails such as Secret Spire and Chicken Corners are great for beginners, while Pritchett Canyon and Golden Spike will get the adrenaline pumping in even the most experienced drivers. Always obtain the most up-to-date information prior to departing for a trip, and be prepared. Remember, turning back is usually an option as well. Please choose your trail wisely, with honest appraisal of your equipment and experience in this terrain. We opted for the beginner trail and I am so glad we did. It was pretty challenging to navigate at some parts.
In order to get to Chicken Corners, you have to first travel the 5.5 miles of Hurrah Pass Trail via Kane Creek Road. (This was seriously so beautiful) Then travel down the other side of Hurrah Pass on the actual Chicken Corners Trail. The trail is bumpy, rocky and moderately difficult. It gradually decends along a rough shelf road, finally leveling off above the Colorado. The trail ends at a small parking area, where you now must proceed on foot to a short, very narrow trail to the actual Chicken Corners. This hike is not for anyone who fears height. The trail is over 500' above the Colorado River and on a ledge no wider than 2 feet at its narrowest. Um....we did not take the hike and turned back as we only had the Side by Side for three hours....
Sooooo much fun! Worth every penny my dears!
If you are a biker...try your skills on Slickrock Trail. This 10.6-mile ride, ranked one of the most difficult in Moab, is entirely on Navajo sandstone—white stripes zigzag over the rocks marking the trail. Not a rider? Off-roaders can play around on the nearby Hell’s Revenge Trail, which crosses over Slickrock in multiple places.
Sip: After a long day exploring a cold beer is in order. Plus Moab is really hot in the summer. OMG! Grab a Black Raven Oatmeal Stout brew at Moab Brewery, and take home a six-pack of the award-winning Rocket Bike American Lager. If you prefer a non-alcoholic thirst quencher, get a much-needed caffeine boost with an iced vanilla latte (don’t forget to order frozen coffee cubes) from Moab Coffee Roasters. The cozy café sits on 191, the main drag through Moab’s downtown. They have gelato too !!
Eat: Perched on a cliff overlooking Moab, the iconic Sunset Grill boasts “million-dollar views” and fine cuisine for a fancier evening. For more casual fare, hit up Eklecticafe, especially if you love vegan food as much as me. Grab a burger from The Spoke on the main drag. If you are a pizza lover hit up Paradox Pizza. They specialize in thin crust and take inspiration from the east coast. The salads are fresh and they make their own dressings too if you prefer that! They deliver too. We opted for delivery so we could watch Le Tour de France. Plus we had to wash all that dirt out of our hair.
Stay: I was not thrilled with our hotel's service so here is a list of Moab hotels for you! Grab it here.
Have a freakin' blast!!!!!!