It’s hard to imagine that the landscapes can be so different in such a small portion of Utah. Arches National Park has the highest concentration of stone arches in the world and is entirely unlike its next door neighbor Canyonlands National Park. Goblin Valley State Park is named for the thousands of rock hoodoos that fill the valley in maze-like formations, perfect for exploration. On this three day tour you will visit each of these parks in addition to evening expeditions to discover the desert around them.
The world famous Arches National Park is a ruggedly scenic landscape boasting magnificent and unique red rock formations. Over time erosion has shaped an ancient seabed into sandstone fins, bridges, cliffs, spires and arches. Visitors enjoy an 18 mile (28.9 km) winding drive through beautiful vistas. The park has many overlooks and roadside stops for those wanting a relaxed experience and easy to moderate hiking trails for those who like to explore. While Arches National Park claims over 2,000 arches most of them are secluded in the far reaches of the park. During your visit you will see the most famous formations and have the opportunity to do a moderate hike of your choosing.
Canyonlands National Park, with its towering cliffs and deep canyons, is separated into three districts by the Colorado and Green Rivers. The Island In The Sky District of Canyonlands is in close proximity to Arches National Park and is the district visited on this tour. Short walks to overlooks and driving along the scenic roadway allows visitors to see much of the park. An optional short, moderate hike leads Mesa Arch, an unassuming arch whose fame is not for its size but rather its placement as it clings to the cliff edge and picture frames an expanse that can be seen for 30 miles. After touring Canyonlands you will have the option of returning to Moab via Long Canyon, an off road drive that descends from the cliff tops down to the Colorado river which carved these magnificent canyons.
Goblin Valley State Park is a quirky landscape scattered with bizarre rock formations called hoodoos. The unearthly rocks laid out in a maze are often compared to the planet Mars. The haphazard formations spark the imagination in childlike wonder while you make your own path through the mysterious hoodoos. Here visitors can explore at their leisure for miles, scrambling on rocks while they discover some out-of-this-world terrain. A few established trails lead to distant points of interest but there is no right or wrong way to navigate the park.