Cedar city to Moab
Moab was a surprising little town for the middle of the desert. There was a heap of life and a bit of buzz for a little spot! We stayed in Moab for 2 nights: one day was to check out Arches and the second day was to check our Canyons National Park.
Arches National Park was unlike any of the previous national parks; it has over 2000 natural stone arches in addition to hundreds of pinnacles and giant balanced rocks. The story of Arches begins around a cool 65 million years ago… it was fascinating to see a landscape that was 65 million years in the making.
Canyonlands was epic. It’s basically just an enormous section of America which is total desert that they’ve slapped a “national park” label on. There are absolutely NO services and you are legit, in the dead of the desert. Canyonlands is broken up into three key areas of the park: Island In the Sky, The Maze and The Needles and are divided up by the Green and Colorado Rivers.
The Maze (if the name doesn’t give it away) is the most remote and rugged district, requiring a four-wheel-drives and heap more time. There are no roads that link the separate areas of the park and travelling between each area requires between 2-6 hours by car. As we didn’t feel like dying in the desert we didn’t hit up The Maze.
What was really fantastic about this park, was that expectations were made clear to everyone who visited. There were signs everywhere notifying you before entering the park that there are absolutely no services. No water, no petrol, no toilets. Boom, you’ve been warned. We were also informed that no cell service would be available once in the park. Everything that you need to know, was made readily available to us, and in hindsight we didn’t fully appreciate this until we got stuck in Yellowstone (story to come).
Both nights we went stargazing – both spots are “certified dark” which mean the stars were just sooo bright! We got some beautiful night shots, some with moonshine and some without. Photographing the Milky Way from here was the best by far.
Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Milky Way Shots
Moab to Dinosaur National Park
Next up, was the three hour ride north to Dinosaur National Park. We checked out over 1,500 dinosaur fossils which were discovered by Earl Douglass in 1909 – a paleontologist who faught to create a national park around his discoveries so that visitors could come see dinosaur fossils in years to come (good one Doug!). The park crosses two states, and we we entered via the Utah entrance because the Colorado entrance actually doesn’t have any dinosaur fossils to see!
Quick stop into Park City and then Salt Lake City
Had to check it out. It was pretty hot and steamy, and the road into Salt Lake City and Utah drivers were the perfect combination for the most dangerous part of our road trip yet (yes, even beating The Million Dollar Highway aka one of the most dangerous roads in the world). I thought the US 550 was dangerous. But then I got on the I-80 W. Friends, don’t go on the I-80W. It’s wild out there. (ps. what’s the explanation behind Utah drivers being so wild?)
Next stop…. Yellowstone National Park ? ❄️