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Moab + Arches National Park

Our travels through the desert continued through the town of Moab, Utah and nearby Arches National Park.

delicatearchThese sandstone arches occur naturally (obviously), are massive and plentiful. There are over 2000 arches in the park!

Because these arches were new to us, we did some googling to figure out how they are formed. If you’re curious, here is a great explanation.

Coming off of lots of National Parks and plenty of hiking, the kids were not super inspired to walk miles upon miles so we just chose one hike for the day to Delicate Arch. It is considered a strenuous hike, but at only 3 miles and mainly on flat rock, it was very doable for our family and probably my favorite hike of all we’ve done.

delicateaudreyhiking

bradycairnesThe trail is marked with these stone cairns. The kids loved adding to them. And apparently posing with them.

delicatearchkidscornerDelicate Arch is not visible until you round the final corner – which is a bit of a drop-off and mildly nerve-racking when you’re hiking with squirrely boys – but once you come around the bend, there it stands.

delicatearchusAlthough not shown in the photos, there were tons of people up there, sitting all around the edges and the bowl that leads to the arch. The kids and I walked to stand under the arch and Ryan played photographer.

Side note: it’s like a fun game to try to capture photos and avoid other visitors in them. We’re getting quite good at it :)
delicatearchusunderIsn’t the arch huge?!

It was a bit intimidating to stand under and truly a site we’ll never forget.

After our hike, we walked through the cute town of Moab for ice cream and window shopping.

walking through moabOn the drive back to our rv site, we passed a funky looking gem, rock and fossil shop and pulled over to check it out. It proved to be so much fun!

gemsethanmoneyWe gave each kiddo $1 and they loved looking at everything and picking their treasures.

gemssmokeyquartz gemskids gemsmoonstone gemsstonesBut what topped it all – at least for this girl –  were the horses who pastured next door to our campsite. Audrey named this one Beau and spent all her free time talking to her, petting her, feeding her baby carrots and growing quite attached.

beauOne of the greatest joys of our travels has been watching each one of the kids find what they are interested in.

On this particular stop, it was super clear:

Our oldest loved the hike. Our second favored the town. Our third has a thing for spending money, so he was very happy in the gem store. And little miss just couldn’t get enough of Beau the horse.

Ryan and I remain so very grateful for this dedicated time to be a family, get to know our kids and watch each one explore, be pushed outside of our comfort zones and process each adventure together.

As always, thanks for following along on our journey!

20 thoughts on “Moab + Arches National Park”

  1. Canyonlands Trading Post in Moab has this adorable Moab pin with a cairn rock stack. I think it would make a terrific momento given the pictures I just observed. FUN!

  2. We’ve been to Utah twice – probably to that same rock shop, too! My husband loves the Southwest, and I enjoy hearing about your experiences.

  3. Oh man! I am so jealous of your talent for keeping other folks out of your photos!!! Of course my problem is a little different – my husband, who has a predilection for wearing very bright shirts, always seems to wander in whenever I’m trying to get a shot with no one in it. I’m starting to collect them, it has happened so much :-D We’ll be heading to the Pacific Northwest for our vacation in August and I’m hoping at least that’s BIG enough for him to wander but stay out of my shots!

  4. I so wish we had done this with our kids …. good for you that you are taking the time for this adventure. I am enjoying living vicariously through your posts. Safe travels!

  5. Omgosh! My son and daughter-in-law are also in Arches today and sent me a picture of them from the same spot! What a coincidence. Thery are celebrating their first anniversary. I hope your family is having the best vacation adventure ever!

  6. I always look forward to these travel posts and seeing what adventures you have experienced. It brings back many memories of exploring some of these areas myself.
    My only disappointment is that I wish there were more posts and pics. I hate to come to the end of each one. More please.

  7. Emily, I love your page and updates. I’ve taken you classes and gained so much. Your style is easy to follow. Can you do a class on how your video your classes to offer on-line. I could use that so much at my job to help clients.

  8. Great job getting a picture with no other park visitors!! We have been to delicate arch a few times and I don’t think we have a single picture with only our family members in it :)

  9. Emily, this is amazing! Thanks for sharing everything you’re doing!

    My husband and I live in Austin, but we’re doing an international long-term travel this year. We’re planning on doing something similar to your trip next year, or after, and I’d love to know: how do you get wifi? Do you get it at campgrounds? Do you have a hotspot? Do you go to coffee shops in towns? It’s the #1 barrier for us, since we’ll work from the road.

    I’m loving following your trip! So amazing!

    xo
    Rachael

    1. Great question. We have been using my husbands phone hotspot. We have an amplifier as well that has helped in more remote places. We have avoided all public wifi (security is a concern since much of what we do is password protected and we don’t need hackers in our life!). Ryan is working on a post with the tech we’ve used and I’ll double check to make sure he adds in wifi details.

  10. This might be my favorite one yet! I love how you describe which each child likes to do and how you’re handling this as a family. Also, I love rocks and gems, so it’s fun to see that selection. I’m enjoying your photos too. So, I guess, everything! ha! Safe travels.

  11. I am SOAKING all of your travel posts up! Such great ideas for taking your kids on family vacations. I don’t think we’ll ever do a trip as long as yours, but we can break it up into several summers. Keep them coming! Can’t wait to see where you are off to next! When you are finished with your trip, do you plan on posting your route and where you stayed / went? It would be so great!

  12. Moab is a magical place! If you have time, go to Canyonlands National Park as well – you can search for scorpions at night with a UV light… kids will love it. Be sure to view the phenomenal night sky for stargazing before turning in – great views.

  13. This is so cool! I am loving following along on IG and here. You’ve visited places I’ve never even heard of… like Moab, Utah. What an amazing place!

    What a wonderful experience you are giving to your kids. Way to go!

  14. Visited Moab in the fall ….. What a lovely little town….reminding me of a movie set! Loved discovering all the movies actually filmed there and talking with the local shop owners! Recommend it to anyone in the area!

  15. Moab is my favorite place on earth (actually – it’s tied with Yosemite)! I am glad to hear you guys enjoyed it :) It offers endless adventures, especially when your kids get a little older and you can do things like mountain biking or repelling! There are a lot of local guides that will take you to repel an arch. Pretty amazing experience!

  16. I love Moab! About 10 years ago (sheesh, time flies), we had an amazing trip to Yellowstone and were coming back to Texas through Utah. The plan was to drive straight through Utah and hit up Mesa Verde National Park before coming home. We got a flat tire outside of Moab on a Friday night, lucked into a hotel room, and had a great meal at the Moab brewery. A few years later we made it a purposeful vacation spot and hiked around Arches. It’s beautiful up there. Reading your posts these last few weeks have been like a tour down memory lane for me. These are some of the most beautiful parks in the nation, and I have loved visiting them with my family as well!

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