Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
Arches National Park Car Camp
September 26-30, 2021
Moab, Utah
to: Arizona Trailblazers Hiking Club
from: Lin Chao
reply to:
subject: Arches National Park & Canyonlands Trip Description

September 26-30, 2021
Arches National Park & Canyonlands

Please let me know if you’re interested in this trip.

This car-camping trip description is certainly not final and may be subject to minor changes and adjustments during the trip itself depending on the weather or how things go.

We currently have a reservation at the Juniper Basin, Devils Garden Group Campsite, which is located deep within the heart of beautiful Arches National Park in Southeastern Utah, for the nights of Sept 26 through Sept 29. The campsite can hold a maximum of 25 people and 7 vehicles. Camping fees are $20 per person, for 4 nights, tent only. Flush toilets and drinking water are provided, and campsites contain picnic tables and fire rings.

September 26, Sunday morning, we will meet at Denny's and Fry's on the southwest corner of I-17 & Bell Road and head out at 7:00 AM.

We are planning on stopping at Target in Flagstaff to refuel. Our next stop is at Burger King in Kayenta in Monument Valley. After lunch, we will turn off onto Utah 261, heading to Gooseneck State Park. After a quick stop at Gooseneck Sate Park, we will continue traveling to the town of Moab. Arches National Park is 5 miles north of Moab, and our Campground is 18 miles from the entrance of Arches.

September 27, Monday morning, we will start our first hike of this trip—Devils Garden (7.2 miles) includes primitive loop (we will hike Primitive Loop only if the rock is not wet). The first 0.8 miles of the mail trail, which is graveled and well graded, winds among the tall fins to a spectacular view of Landscape Arch. Beyond Landscape Arch, the trail becomes more challenging. It has sloping surfaces, goes across or on top of sandstone fins and in close proximity to drop-offs. If we still have time, on our way back to trailhead, we can take the side trails to Pine Tree and Tunnel Arches (0.5 miles). Since this will take most of the day (4-6 hours), we’ll plan on bringing a lunch with us.

Sunday night we’ll have our big potluck. After dinner, we can make our way to the camp’s amphitheater for the evening ranger talk, or relax at the campsite.

September 28, Tuesday morning, we are planning to tour nearby Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. We will visit the Canyonlands first, about 51 miles from our campground in Arches. We will start with a visit to the Visitor Center, where we watch the short video introduction to Canyonlands. Then we will drive all the roads to check out all the scenic overlooks, and hike as many short trails as we can. First start with a short half-mile loop hikes out to Mesa Arch, perched spectacularly at the edge of a 500-foot sheer cliff, dropping into Buck Canyon. We next make our way south to the end of the scenic drive at Grand View Point Overlook. Grant View Point Overlook is the grandest overlook in Canyonlands. Grand View Point offers a spectacular panoramic view of hundreds of square miles of Canyonlands and surrounding areas.

However we have one more park to visit before dark—Dead Horse Point State Park.

Dead Horse Point State Park is one of Utah’s most spectacular state parks. The view from Dead Horse Point is one of the most photographed scenic vistas in the world. This is a STATE park: entry fee is $10.00 for a carload of up to 8 passengers, and is good for three days. First we will start with visit to the Visitor Center, a great place to learn about geology, flora, and fauna and indigenous history of the park. After we leave the Visitor Center, we will drive the Scenic Drive and hike the paved path providing some of the best overlooks of easy-to-moderate trails along the rim. Here is a link to read Dead Horse Point State Park brochure.

After we say goodbye to Dead Horse Point State Park, we will stop at Moab Mirco Brewery at Moab for dinner and ice-cold beer. For those people that want to take a quick shower, here is your chance. After dinner, we will make the long drive back to camp. After we get to camp, we can make our way to the camp’s amphitheater for the evening ranger talk, or relax at the campsite.

September 29, Wednesday morning, we are planning to take MUST see Ranger-led three-hour Fiery Furnace tour. Since our group is too large to go as one group, we will have to divide our group into separate tours. Half of us will go on the morning tour, while the other half will do the afternoon tour. The morning tour group will do the three-hour Fiery Furnace tour first and then hike to Delicate Arch. While the afternoon tour group will simply reverse the process. The Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons and fins. The route requires minor scrambling and squeezing through tight spaces. This relatively small area is one of the most incredible and spectacular places in the park.

Delicate Arch is one of Utah’s most famous icons. You see images of it everywhere. But photos do not adequately convey the stunning beauty that hits you as you come over the ridge and see the arch in person for the first time. It is a spectacular sight. The hike to Delicate Arch is just over 1.5 miles each way with a gain of 500 feet in elevation from 4300 feet to 4800 feet.

September 30, Thursday morning, break camp and pack, time to go back home. Before we leave, we will do our full 18 miles drive and hike as many short trails as we can: Balance Rock (0.3 miles); The Windows (1.0 mile); Sand Dune Arch (0.3 miles); Broken Arch (0.4 miles); Courthouse Wash Rock Art Panel (1.0 mile); Park Avenue (1.0 mile).

As we get closer to the trip date, I will be sending out more detailed information to all trip participants. In the meantime, if you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact me: