Last month I headed West to Utah to meet my Mom for yet another amazing adventure. We always have a blast together, and I love having her take me to spots that she’s crazy about. This was my first visit to Moab and, to quote a friend of mine, it’s just other worldly. I could not get over the colors, the layers, the history, how often the scenery changed, how gorgeous and mind blowing it is. I love the red rocks. I love the massive Colorado carving it’s way through. And I loved being in awe next to my Mama and, for a few of the days, some of her friends.
When Mom picked me up at the Salt Lake City airport, I knew we were heading to Park City for the night. I did not know, however, that our first stop would be at High West Distillery. They’re responsible for some of my favorite whiskeys and my favorite barrel aged Manhattan. I was geeking out the entire time as we tasted every one of their products on the menu. We also snagged a bunch of bottles to sip on for the remainder of our trip which was perfect.
And onto Moab where we remained for the rest of the week. This was the view from dinner on our first night at Red Cliffs Lodge. Kind of magical. Our room was down to the left right on the river so we had this view each night after as well. Sipping that Manhattan on our back deck and watching the cliffs light up by the sunset was too perfect.
First hike of the trip: Fisher Towers.
That first afternoon we made our first trek to Arches National Park for the short, touristy Delicate Arch hike. Despite that, it’s a must see (it’s the largest free-standing arch in the park). When I made the last turn and saw it for the first time, I forgot about everyone else there. Then the voices slowly came in and I heard a handful of languages and all the cameras snapping and instead of being annoyed, I found it kind of amazing. Hey, I’m here, too. We were all just there to see something beautiful. We truly in an incredible world worthy of exploring together!
Day 2: Negro Bill Canyon.
Morning Glory Bridge.
Before dinner at Desert Bistro.
Day 3: A full day starting in Arches National Park (Landscape Arch, Devil’s Garden, Double O and Double Arch) followed by Canyonlands and Dead Horse State Park. I’ll walk ya though. Up first, Landscape Arch.
Devil’s Garden, followed by the hike to Double O. You can also see Landscape Arch below on the right.
This was a fun little scramble to get up. Overall, the hike to Double O may have been my favorite of the entire trip.
Then on to Double Arch. This is a mere stroll to get to and is covered with tourists but it was a must see for me.
Afternoon in Canyonlands National Park. I loved crossing 2 National Parks off my list in one day. Goal? ALL OF THEM!
Mesa Arch, Mom’s favorite. Just an hour-ish before we were in Arches. Suddenly, now the landscape was drastically different and beautiful in an entirely new way. This is why Moab makes you say “wow” about 100 times a day.
Dead Horse Point State Park. That’s 2 National Parks and 1 State Park in 1 day. That’s a full day! And, much like everything seen so far, photos just don’t do any of it justice. Trying to photograph this place was like my attempts (and, really, all attempts) of photography Grand Canyon. You just can’t get it all. This is beautiful. Every attempt is beautiful, but you’ve got to see it with human eyeballs to truly take it in. It was amazing!
Day 4: Corona Arch hike.
Below is a little Instagram video of the serious 40+ winds on the edge near Corona Arch (make sure your sound is on before you play). We took this after crawling (literally on hands and knees) to a handful of spots for the dropping edge view. One of my favorite memories from the week.
“It’s a little sketchy up here!”
That’s the the screaming dialogue you can’t hear. Mom’s face says it all! So much fun.
It was just the two of us on our last full day. Mom suggested we find the Onion Creek Narrows hike which was vaguely described both in books and online. We attempted to find the “trail” via creek crossings in the truck (an estimated 27 crossings total). Though kind of a fun little drive, we finally pulled over to a spot that seemed as good as any. “Let’s just walk this way and see what happens,” Mom said. I followed her, a tad hesitant, but lo and behold she found a way down and we did a little Canyoneering. We had the whole place to ourselves which made it the perfect adventure for our last day in Moab.
We had an incredible last evening at Sorrel River Ranch, easily the coolest place in Moab.
We pulled over a handful of times on our drive back to Salt Lake City to admire million(s) of year old rocks and killer views.
The final meal before my last minute decision to take the Red Eye home. Lucky 13 in SLC gave us some killer burgers and an impressive whiskey selection.
Can’t stress enough how amazing this week was! Thanks forever to my Mama for the fun and unforgettable memories.
All photos shot with the Fuji x100T.