Weekend Adventures in Arches NP

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. Here’s what Frank and I were up to.

Friday after work, we picked up a friend of ours (yes, we made a friend in Salt Lake City!) and drove down to Moab for a few canyons and a science march. We spent the night camping and woke up at 5:30 for an early start in Arches National Park.

By about 9:30 am, the crowds in Arches are pretty wild, so we made it to the trailhead at 7:00 and hiked into a beautiful canyon called U-Turn.


U-turn is a pretty nice beginner canyon with a 95-foot repel at the end.

Since Frank works as an ecologist, after the canyon we made sure to go to a science march in Moab. Despite the very small population size, there were over 200 people in attendance. We grabbed a few signs showing our support for Bear Ears National Monument and for land conservation. It was great to see so many people in support of science and conservation.


After the march (and lunch), we hit up an incredibly beautiful canyon called Medieval Chamber. This canyon had all of the best things Utah has to offer, slots, and arches. The end had us repelling next to a giant arch, with a rather big audience at the bottom.

The awesome 100-ft repel between the canyon walls and Morning Star Arch
My audience as I came down the repel… pretty weird.

After the long trek back to the car, we watched the sunset at Dead Horse Point and ate some tacos. Pretty much a perfect end to a perfect day.

Areli working on some dinner.
Frank and I at the Dead Horse Point Overlook

The next morning we got up at a more reasonable 7:00 am and quickly packed up to get back into Arches NP for one more canyon.

Frank had some pretty great morning hair.

Elephant Butte is the highest point in the park, but in order to summit, you need to repel down 100 ft into a canyon that leads to the summit. It’s a fantastic route and definitely had some pretty epic photo ops.

Coming down the 100-ft repel into the canyon leading to the summit.
Frank on the last repel down Elephant Butte.

After Elephant Butte, we hopped on the road and made it back to SLC early enough for me to go for an easy 5-mile run.

Next weekend I’ll be back in Moab for some more canyons and some climbing. I feel like I basically live in Moab!

How was your weekend? Have you visited any National Parks lately? What is the closest one to you?

17 thoughts on “Weekend Adventures in Arches NP

  1. I would love to go canyoneering! It would have been so cool to do it in Zion but you need a permit and they only allow a certain number of people per day in the slot canyons (plus i wouldn’t have gone anyway because I don’t know how to canyoneer!). I miss Zion so much. That place was amazing.

    Wisconsin is in a national park dead zone, unfortunately, and we just don’t have the terrain westerners have. The closest NPs to us are Isle Royale on Lake Superior, and Cuyahoga Valley in Ohio. Unfortunately though they are both still too far away for a day trip so any NP visit for us would have to be a vacation.


    1. I lived in the upper midwest for a while and hated how far I was from all of the parks. There are a fair amount of National Forests, which are awesome, but it’s definitely not easy to get outdoors. Utah is much much easier.

      Canyoneering is really fun. I’m looking into getting some permits for going to Zion, but they are often booked for a long time in advance. I haven’t made it there yet and I’m trying to plan a trip that way. If you’re ever in Utah again, let me know, I could take you into a canyon or two. 🙂


  2. WOW! The repelling! I’d be in the audience watching you too! Thank you for marching for science. 🙂 I think the closest National Park to me is Shenandoah. This past summer we were at RMNP and Shenandoah. This coming summer we will be going to Redwoods!


    1. Shenandoah is an awesome park! It’s so beautiful. I haven’t been to the Redwoods yet, but I’ll get there eventually. You should plan a trip out this way! Utah has so much to offer if you want to get outside!


    1. Thanks! We love it here so so much. It’s really a dream come true to live out here. I can’t wait for it to warm up a bit so I can go out more in the Wasatch Mountains (that’s the range right outside of SLC).


    1. Moab is awesome! I’m taking my parents out there in June to take a trip to Canyonlands. My dad has never been to Utah, so it’ll be an awesome trip for him.


    1. I need to get out to the Swell. Since Frank works in Moab often, I sometimes just meet him there. I do love it, but I really want to explore a bit more of the state.


    1. I am too! You just have to learn to trust the rope and harness, which takes time. Having a background in climbing has made the switch to Canyoneering pretty reasonable. Although there are often some pretty scary moments.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Repelling? I don’t think I could do that, but you go girl!

    It’s been a while since we’ve been to a national park, but we really enjoyed sedona — there should be one there! And we are looking forward to visiting parks in UT, that is if we ever get our butts in gear and plan something.


    1. It’s not as hard has it looks! You just have to trust the rope and the person leading you. There are tons of guides that do this kind of thing for a living and super know what they are doing.

      Let me know when you make your way out here! I’d love to do a meetup. The parks here are some of the best (in my opinion)!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s not that I think repelling is hard — scary, though, yes! I definitely don’t think I’d be comfortable with it.

        I imagine there will be a lot of meeting up in UT. But you never know, sometimes it doesn’t happen.


  4. It looks beautiful there. We didn’t get a chance to make it to Moab when we were in Utah in February, but I’d love to go. Unfortunately, the closest NP to me is Great Smoky Mountains, which isn’t really that close. I’d rather be on the west coast where there are so many great NP’s.


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