Good afternoon readers! Hope your day is going well.
I have been working on my post for Utah for awhile now, and it’s been tough to narrow down the photos to use for this blog- the state is so photogenic! There is so much to say about Utah that I decided to break up the posts into three sections- stay tuned for a post on Zion National Park as well as the Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon review!
When I signed up to run Big Cottonwood Canyon marathon (Salt Lake City, UT) in September, Mark and I decided to make the most out of being out there. We booked a week-long trip, with the marathon falling in the middle of the week. Neither of us had been to Utah, so we wanted to see as much of the state as possible! Thank you to friends and bloggers such as Hungry Runner Girl for inspiring us to visit Utah!
Canyonlands National Park
After landing in Salt Lake City, we picked up the rental car and headed directly east to Moab (about a 4 hour drive from SLC). We checked into our glamping site, Moab Under Canvas, and headed to Canyonlands National Park for a quick afternoon visit.
Sun rising slowly over Moab
Canyonlands is a beautiful national park, and we loved the areas we explored on the Island in the Sky side of the park. We checked out Mesa Arch via a short hike, and then chose a slightly longer hike up Aztec Butte. Both hikes offered incredible views of the canyon.
We wished we had more time in Canyonlands, but it was hard to fit everything in!
Looking over Canyonlands
View from Mesa Arch
Our stay at Moab Under Canvas was a memorable experience as well. It was truly glamping at its finest! Everything you would need under a tent, with hot coffee and breakfast each morning and relatively clean portable bathrooms with showers. Camping under the Moab sky allowed us to see a night sky that was nothing like I’ve ever seen- everything from the milky way to the north star was glowing. We would highly recommend staying at MUC if you’re in Moab.
Our glamping site
Following our first night in Moab, we spent the day at Arches National Park. This majestic park has over 2,000 stone arches, and amazing sandstone rock formations molded over thousands of years by the elements. The sunsets over arches national park are also incredible, lighting up the red rocks so they appear to be on fire.
Arches at sunset
Arches is accessible by car, with lots of parking at many of the must-see sites (we did go slightly off-season, in September, as opposed to the peak July and August season). Many of the sites require walking and/or more intense hiking. Given that we were running a marathon a few days from our visit, we decided to stick to the easy to moderate trails. Some highlights include balanced arch, skyline arch, delicate arch (only saw from ground), fiery furnace, and park ave.
We can’t say enough about how much we enjoyed Arches National Park. It was a stunning and unforgettable, very different from anything we have ever seen. Words do not describe the incredible beauty of the park, and it is a must-see when you are in that area of the country!
Arches at sunset is incredible!