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Three Days in Moab

by tropicdiver Online Now Mar 26, 2006 at 9:41 AM

I have three days that I will be spending in the Moab area towards the end of May. My main focus will be landscape photography, specifically sunrises and sunsets. I've read about the crowds to be expected and realize the further I hike, the less people I will see, but of course, I'm not that crazy about hiking in the dark, either, nor am I camping out. I won't be 4WD'ng it, as I really have no experience doing that. Any small tour groups anyone can recommend that might suit my needs?

Any suggestions on whether I should spend more time in Arches or Canyonlands? Should I see both the Islands in the Sky area as well as Needles in Canyonlands?

How about Goblin Valley? Is it worth the drive?

Thanks for any suggestions.

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4 Answers
  • nada1712's Profile Photo

    RE: Three Days in Moab

    by nada1712 Online Now Mar 26, 2006 at 10:01 AM

    Hi Tropic ...So it's not Bimini this trip! Haven't seen you round in a while. Hope you are keeping well!
    Nada

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  • worldtrekker's Profile Photo

    RE: Three Days in Moab

    by worldtrekker Online Now Mar 27, 2006 at 3:36 AM

    For photography, I'd say you'd have more possibilities in Arches. Delicate Arch is a must for sunset. To get to it, you have to hike up for about 1 hour. It is really popular, so you might want to get there a little earlier to stake out a spot. The drive from Moab to the Delicate Arch trailhead takes about 45 minutes - an hour. There are photo opportunities in Arches at every turnout - Balanced Rock, the Windows section, etc. Devil's Garden is a great hike which takes you past numerous arches. You could spend at least several hours hiking there and photographing. Devil's Garden is at the end of the road in the park. Since you have 3 days, you might have time to sign up for a ranger led hike into the Fiery Furnace. This is only accessible with a ranger.
    In Canyonlands' Island in the Sky don't miss Mesa Arch. It involves a short hike (loop trail) - maybe a half hour...
    I haven't been to Goblin Valley or Needles - but Needles is a 75 mile drive from Moab - not sure if it's worth a day trip. I hear it's beautiful, but I don't know how much you can accomplish if you're going back to Moab the same day... I don't think there's any accommodation there besides camping...
    Another place that's not very well-known is the hike along Mill Creek just at the edge of town. Ask at the visitor center about how to get to the trailhead - it's down Millcreek Rd. It's the only place in the area with running water that you can actually take a dip in to cool off. The Colorado River is too dangerous for that. It's a very scenic hike as well - unfortunately I only found out about this hike on my last trip to Moab - I would like to explore it some more. If you are interested in photographing mountain bikers, you can check out the Slickrock trail just outside Moab as well.
    There are 4wd tours available, but I've never done them. I always rented a jeep from Farabees and spent the day in Canyonlands on my own. It's worthwhile going down the 4wd tracks, but I don't know if the tours would allow you ample time to photograph. Something to check into... There are also hummer tours that take groups down into Canyonlands.

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  • worldtrekker's Profile Photo

    RE: Three Days in Moab

    by worldtrekker Online Now Mar 27, 2006 at 3:36 AM

    Deadhorse State Park is another popular spot for sunset. It overlooks Canyonlands and the Colorado River.

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  • RE: RE: Three Days in Moab

    by tropicdiver Online Now Mar 27, 2006 at 8:10 AM

    Ernst,

    Thank you very much for the rather detailed information and tips. I do appreciate it.

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