First off, we stayed at Portal RV Resort. Now this place has two different sections you can book. One is an owner’s section and is much more plush. The other section is for non-owners and is more of a campground, although still nice. We chose to stay in the owner’s section even though it was a little more money. We wanted to be parked on cement rather than gravel and have more space between our neighbors and us. I’m glad we did. The campground section was tight for a big rig. Although it could be possible to park there, we would not have been comfortable. You are pretty close to your neighbor. Our Verizon worked well out there and surprisingly enough, their wifi actually worked. So that was a plus.
The resort itself is right off of the main street that travels in and out of Moab, however, it is really quiet. It’s far enough off of the street that road noise is not an issue. We would definitely go back there.
I can’t believe this is the only picture I took of our site. We sat up on a little hill so we looked over the top of other rigs. Our view was of the mesas and red rocks found throughout the region. There was plenty of room to stretch out and our SUV could be parked behind us without issue. Although I am lacking in the picture department, David did a nice video of the resort so check that out here.
So just up the road from Portal, about 5 miles, is Arches National Park. Touring National parks is not high on David’s priority list. He would rather travel off the beaten path where there are no people and explore the unexplored. I would have to agree but I did want to see the park since we were here.
There is a nicely paved road in and out of the park with many overlooks and hiking trails along the route. The one place that was on my radar was Delicate Arch.
The parking lot was full by the time we got there at 9:30 in the morning. So we already were not starting out well. The hike itself is a 3-mile (round trip) strenuous hike. You find yourself on dirt trails, high inclined slick rock and finally hiking around a cliff face. You gain 480 feet in elevation on this hike and seeing that some of that is on a side of a long drop-off, I would not recommend it for someone afraid of heights.
The reward for all that hard work is certainly worth it when you finally reach Delicate Arch. It’s a magnificent view all around. We, along with many others, were sitting around a large alcove catching our breathe and taking in the scenery. Others were hiking that little bit more down to the arch to get the iconic picture of them standing underneath it. You can really get the feel of the shear size of this arch with the people underneath it.
Once back at our car, we headed further down the road to more overlook areas. Being early afternoon now, everywhere we turned was full of people.
Arches National Park
We visited the Fiery Furnace, another popular hiking trail that actually requires a permit because you could easily get lost. We did not hike it, just took some pictures at the overlook and moved on.
We were getting tired of all the people so we decided to call it a day. After looking back, I have to say that Arches, while nice in itself, was not my favorite place to visit. Way to many people. It seemed like a free-for-all. Tour buses everywhere with the people just inundating the trails and overlooks. It doesn’t really make for a fun time when it’s so crowded. Maybe that’s just us though.
One place we did enjoy more was the Manti-La Sal National Forest. Now when you think Moab, I’m sure you picture slick rock and red rocks, rock climbing, off-roading and mountain biking adventures. While that is all good and well, what you may not think of is a lush National Forest with lots of trees, cooler temperatures and views of the snow capped mountains.
Being only a few short miles from Moab, we drove the loop road to experience this place for ourselves.
October seemed to be the perfect time of year to visit. With the trees in full-on Fall colors and the cooler temps, it made for a lovely afternoon drive.
When you hit the loop road, you quickly gain altitude and with that, spectacular views. I just cannot say enough about the saturation of colors we saw.
So I’m going to end this post here. We did some other adventures in Moab but I’m going to leave you hanging.
Here’s a teaser…
Until then, enjoy this video David did of all the nature shots around the Moab area. He did a really great job on this one. Enjoy!
I was in Arches NP last month. I agree with your perception of all the buses and people. Try the “primitive” trails. Few people, but more dangerous slippery rock.
Great video. I thought drones and quadcopters were NOT. Permitted in National Parks.
Hi Steve. While in Arches we did enjoy some of the more non-touristy trails. That was lovely.
The video however was not shot in Arches. It was shot in the Manti-La Sal Forest Loop Road and the Sand Flats Recreation Area which is public recreational land.
Great work David. You made my lunch hour worth while!