After our week in Colorado we continued west towards Utah, in search of another American National Park.
It was very hard to find budget accommodation close to Moab, Utah and Arches National Park (B), so the most reasonable we could get, that wasn’t too far away, was Super 8 by Wyndham Green River (A) (See our Wyndham Properties review here). After a good nights sleep we were up early to have breakfast and get to the park to try to beat the crowds and the heat. We had to drive 75 kms to reach the park and managed to arrive by 7.00 am. Arches is open 24 hours a day and the entrance cost is $30 USD/$42.86 NZD per vehicle (and up to 15 passengers) and your ticket lasts for seven days, like a lot of the other national parks. If you are thinking about visiting more than three American National Parks then look at getting the ‘America the Beautiful’ annual pass for $80 USD.
We had been seeing images of the incredible landscapes of Arches National Park for awhile, so we were pleased that we were able to work in a visit this time around. The park has over 2,000 natural sandstone arches as well as hundreds of pinnacles, fins and giant balanced rocks. The landscapes as you drive through the park are jaw dropping and as with other parks we have visited, it was hard not to stop at very turn. Our first stop was the famous ‘Delicate Arch’, so famous that it’s on the Utah number plates. Unfortunately we didn’t have the time to do the 5 km round trip to the actual arch as well as seeing the other landmarks we wanted to, so we settled for the upper viewing point. Sadly it was a little disappointing as up at the viewpoint we weren’t quite on the right angle to get a clear view through the arch without more rock formations in the background. We will have to put the actual trail on the list to do another time.Nonetheless we continued exploring the park and stopped at the Wolfe Ranch Cabin. Built by an ex Civil War Veteran in 1888 for him and his oldest son. They built the one room cabin, a corral and a small dam. We stopped at more viewing points and points of interest with shorter trails and the boys really liked the ‘Sand Dunes’ and ‘Broken Arch’. Along the way they were also completing their Junior Ranger activities, keeping them more interested as they explored around these fantastic formations. Broken Arch was definitely one of my favourites too.
By around 11.00 am carparks near the major trails and attractions were getting very full and many had people waiting to try to get a parking space. We finished with a circuit around the trail to visit the North Window, the South Window and the Turret Arch.We could have easily stayed all day (or even longer) but we needed to get going. So just before midday we stopped by the visitors centre on our way out so the boys could get their Junior Rangers badges. Another amazing day, another amazing National Park.From Arches (B) we drove four hours and 450 kms to spend the night at Travelodge by Wyndham Cedar City, Utah (C). Next up was a very nice four night stay at one of our family members favourite U.S places…. any guesses?? (Here’s a hint, you can see it on the map…)
Average Daily Spend for 2 nights – $251.81 NZD ($35.69 under budget per day)