Posted by: Patrick | October 16, 2009

southern utah express

Moonrise over Arches NP.

Moonrise over Arches NP.

After saying farewell to the Green River canoe crew, we spent two nights relaxing and enjoying Moab. I went for a spectacular 20 mile mountain bike ride on the Porcupine Rim trail while Caroline chilled at the Love Muffin Cafe, a favorite spot of ours. Before we left we resupplied with food and fuel then headed off into the National Park filled southern region of Utah.

On our hit list was Arches NP, Goblin Valley State Park, Capital Reef NP, Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion NP and then down to the Grand Canyon. One could spend five days exploring any one of these parks, but we had only 5 days to visit all of them and get down to Prescott (pronounced Preskit) Arizona to meet up with our good friend from back home: Jesse VonFange and his brother Steve.

Jesse was flying out to meet up with Steve and us, so we had to get there on time. Steve’s lived on and off in Prescott for the past nine years, and knows the area extremely well. He and Jesse put together an action packed 5 days of adventure that we were very excited about.  Look forward to that in the next post!

So we had a problem, too many great parks and not enough time to properly check them all out. We ended up deciding to pass Zion and the Grand Canyon on our way south, then go back north and fully explore them both after we left Prescott. Of course this added a couple hundred extra miles to the journey, but we’ve already driven over 6000 miles, so what’s an extra couple hundred? It turned out to be a good call, we had plenty of time to explore Arches through Bryce Canyon, then made a quick dash south to Prescott and made the rendezvous with Jesse and Steve. I’ve included a map of our route so you can better follow along, and so you’ll know where to find all these great places in case you’re ever out west with a little time to explore.

Click to Enlarge.

Click to Enlarge.

Click here for the full Google Map, opens in a new window.

We visited Arches National Park an hour before sunset and took a short hike to view the Delicate Arch, enjoy a few of the better shots of the journey south:

Great light at sunset .

Great light at sunset.

We love Utah.

Delicate Arch at sunset.

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Splash down.

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Delicate Arch - hoards of peole.

Self portrait.

Self portrait.

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Caroline.

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Purple sky after sunset at Arches.

Hiking in Goblin Valley State Park.

Hiking in Goblin Valley State Park.

Some of the Goblins.

Some of the Goblins.

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Utah is full of crazy rock formations...

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Too much time on our hands... fun with the self timer.

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Southern Utah amazes you at every turn.

Capital Dome at Capital Reef NP.

Capital Dome at Capital Reef NP.

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Petroglyphs at Capital Reef.

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The view from the visitor center at Capital Reef.

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Sunset over the mountains of Capital Reef NP.

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I'm trying to retrieve a shirt out of my pack in the Jeep without unpacking it, doesn't work so well...

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Tasty empanadas at Cafe Diablo in Torrey Utah.

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Mmmm rattlesnake cakes!

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Clean plate club.

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Another great free campsite in a National Forest, thank you United States Department of Agriculture!

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The Jeep on the road to Boulder Utah, the aspens were thick and colorful on Boulder mountain.

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Utah route 12 from Torrey to Boulder was one of our favorite roads thus far.

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Another great restaurant, we had a delicious brunch and got some info for a nearby hike in GSENM (Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument).

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Upper Calf Creek falls in GSENM.

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I took a dip in one of the pools above the falls. Ooops, water temp was around 56F.

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STEEP hike out of Calf Creek falls but worth it.

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Views of GSENM from route 12.

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Is it all rubbed in? Pat taking sunscreen application very seriously at Bryce Canyon NP.

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The hoodoos at Bryce Canyon.

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On the Worlds best 3 mile hike.

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Dressed for success.

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Ridin' dirty. Don't ask.

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A window into another world.

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Looking up at the hoodoos from the valley.

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The trail called Wall Street at Bryce.

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Great hike done, back at the rim.

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Hoodoos at sunset.

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Goodbye Utah, see you in a week!

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Responses

  1. With all these great photos you guys are going to have to make a coffee table book when you get back. Maybe title it “Jeep Sleepers from the Downstairs”. Who knows with the right marketing it could fund the next trip!

  2. Again, the pictures are fantastic! The food this time seemed very interesting….. Miss you.
    Denise/Mom

  3. Oh no! ridin’ dirty already? Maybe it was the snake eyeballs on top of those snake cakes…

  4. Wow! You two have inspired me to start a South western bucket list! First will be Bryce. I need to get more into Utaw.
    -Stay well.


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