THE HIKING TRAILS OF MOAB

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merrell moab hiking boots
DELICATE ARCH


THE HIKING TRAILS OF MOAB

My hometown is Moab, Utah and Moab is my passion and my niche.

My friends and I were very often out in the red hills surrounding Moab,  hiking and finding new trails.  As we grew to be teen agers, our trails expanded and we hiked to 7 mile, endless cave, and various sights down the river.

Moab is famous both for its jeep trails and its hiking trails.  The annual Jeep Safari is held over the Easter week-end, and it draws thousand of “Jeepers”, and the streets of Moab are crowded with jeeps of all sizes and makes.

The following are some of the hiking trails of Moab: (Partly taken from “Alltrails” site)

THE DELICATE ARCH TRAIL

Delicate Arch Trail is a short hike in Arches National Park – to Utah’s most recognizable natural arch.  You will likely recognize the famous arch that is now featured on the Utah license plates.

merrell moab hiking boots

The hike starts at the Delicate Arch Trailhead at the Wolf Ranch turn-off in the Moab area of Southern Utah.  There is a large parking area right off of the main park road.  From the parking area you will cross the bridge over the salt wash.

The hike to Delicate Arch is just over 1.5 miles each way, approximately a 3 mile hike round-trip.  It is best hiked in spring and fall when the temperatures are cooler, or during the golden hours after sunrise or before sunset when the rock seem to turn a magnificent color and the air temperature is bearable again.

Take at least 1 quart of water per person!  There is no shade.  Open slickrock with some exposure to heights.  The first half mile is a wide, well-defined trail.  Upon reaching the slickrock, follow the rock caims.  The trail climbs gradually, and levels out toward the top of the rock face.  Just before you get to Delicate Arch, the trail goes along a rock ledge for about 200 yards.  ENJOY THE MAGNIFICENCE OF DELICATE ARCH !!!

THE GRANDSTAFF TRAIL (taken partly from “All Trails”

As a native Moabite, I refuse to get into the controversy of the name of this trail.  Growing up, it was a favorite picnic site, and it  was named (N—– Bill,) after the black resident of the area, who apparently discovered it.  Through the years, the name became politically incorrect, and it has been re-named “The Grandstaff  Trail”.  Grandstaff was the gentleman’s last name.  Okay, with that, we will get back to describing the Grandstaff Trail:  (Actually, I believe it was Granstaff).

The Grandstaff Trail is a 4.3 mile, lightly trafficked out and back trail, located very near Moab, Utah,   that features a small tributary of the Colorado River, and is rated as moderate.  The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips and birding, and is accessible year-round.  Dogs are able to use this trail, but must be kept on a leash.

At the end of this hike, you come to Morning Glory Natural Bridge.  The arch is only separated from the cliff behind it by 15 ft,  and is  not as spectacular or photogenic as some other arches in the area that are not as big.  When you stand directly underneath the 75 feet above you, it is a very impressive piece of rock.  On the list it is ranked 5th largest span in the world.

Note:  The bridge over the tributary is a great place for a picnic, but be careful of the poison ivy !

                                                      CORONA ARCH

THE CORONA ARCH TRAIL (taken partly from “Visit Utah”

The Corona Arch Trail is a great 3-mile hike to one of the largest and most spectacular arches near Moab, Utah.  Corona Arch,  also called Little Rainbow Bridge, is your final destination, but the trail also passes Pinto Arch and Bowtie Arch along the way.

 

 

The trail is easy  to follow,  although  it does  cross some wide expanses of slickrock pavement.  These sections, however, are well marked with cairns.  A couple of slickrock sections also have metal cables to use as handrails as well as a ladder on one steep step. If you have a fear of heights, or unsure footing, its  best to stop after the first cable to  view the arch.

During the warmer months, do this hike first thing in the morning, since it gets sun all day.  Carry plenty of water and wear a hat.  Little shade is found along the trail, except beneath over-hanging cliffs, in the late afternoon.  Watch children, as the trail skirts numerous drop-offs.

Start at the trailhead on the right side of the parking area.  The trail quickly climbs  a rocky talus slope and reaches a BLM register box before railroad track at 0.1 mile.  Sign in and cross the track.  Trains use the tracks to haul potash from the Potash Mine, and North America’s largest potash deposit.  Potash, ussed as a water softener and fertilizer, is extracted by solution mining, and then processed and shipped by truck  and by  railroad.

The sandy trail follows an old road alongside a cliff, then bends right below the cliff.  Look up left to the high canyon rim to see Pinto Arch, a pothole arch.  The trail climbs up a shallow rocky canyon to a broad bench and heads northeast across sand and slickrock pavement, until it is below a tall slabby cliff.  Hike across sloping slabs below the cliff to a long cable anchored to posts.   Past the cable at 0.7 mile is your first view of Corona Arch a dramatic span above Bootlegger Canyon.  If you  are queasy about heights, this is the best turnaround point.

The trail, crossing slickrock pavement,  bends left here, along a wide stone bench and reaches another cable.  Grab the cable and climb steps chopped into a sandstone slab.  Climb a five-step metal ladder above, to a small, twisted juniper tree and a higher bench.  Follow the broad slickrock bench around the head of a cul-de-sac canyon and bend east toward Corona Arch.

Bowtie Arch towers above the trail to your left.  This pothole arch formed when a pothole above, usually filled with water, eroded into a cave below.  Continue hiking along a sloping sandstone slab and reach Corona Arch after 1.5 miles.

Corona Arch is a spectacular span composed of Navajo sandstone.  The arch opening measures 140 feet and 105 feet high.  Lie down beneath the arch in its long, narrow shadow on a hot day to get a true measure of both its size and its fragility

THE HAYDUKE TRAIL (taken partly from the web page)

Hayduke trail is an extremely challenging, 800 mile backcountry route through some of the most rugged and breathtaking landscapes on earth.  Located entirely on public land, the trail links six of the National Parks on the Colorado Plateau in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona with the lesser known, but equally splendid, lands in between them.

The Hayduke Trail was named after a fictitous character in Edward Abbey’s novel, “The Monkey Wrench Gang”,  George Washington Hayduke, III.

Thank you for viewing my post about The Hiking Trails of Moab, Utah – my hometown.

Janice Gustafson      January, 2019

 

 

5 thoughts on “THE HIKING TRAILS OF MOAB”

  1. Thank you so much. Your comment came through as one that counts for me. Did you see my whole website or just hiking trails? Thanks again…your comment came through as an official one and I get credit for it. Thanks…you always help me out.

  2. Amazing story about the Moab hiking trails in Utah. You to feel for the Navajo children being separated from thire parents much the same way African children were separated from their families during the middle crossing through the Atlantic Ocean to be chattel in America.Great back ground information on the history of the Moab Trails and surrounding counties

  3. Thank you so much Erick; for your reply and for your understanding of my post. It was years ago that I saw t Navajo chidren in the busses being transported to the schools, but I still remember the expressions on their faces.

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