Not only will the landscapes be vastly different during this four day tour but so will your opportunities to connect with nature. Arches and Canyonlands abound with incredible rock formations, landscapes and park visitors. Goblin Valley State Park and Capitol Reef National Park are similarly abundant in formations and landscapes but offer unparalleled moments to experience expansive desert scenes in complete solitude. In these less visited parks you may find yourself at viewpoints where you can see thirty miles but not see another car, building, or human!
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 while picture framing 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.
Capitol Reef National Park is an overlooked gem among the many extraordinary destinations in southern Utah. Rural highway 24 is the primary route for travelers visiting Utah’s national parks and it cuts through the middle of Capitol Reef providing the hurried visitor the feeling that they have seen the park. With no reason to deviate from the main route most tourists miss their chance to experience one of the most well preserved national parks in the west. Capitol Reef provides opportunity to do some dirt road touring which leads to where many don’t dare to go. These dirt roads provide access to the Grand Wash, Capitol Gorge, the Temple of the Sun and Moon, Glass Mountain, the Bentonite Hills, and views of miles upon miles of untouched landscapes.