Arches National Park & Surrounding Areas
Moab, Utah • July 2003

βð and I were married in July 2003, and for our first "little" honeymoon, we travelled to Moab, Utah, at the end of July for a few days exploring the region. We spent one day hiking the highest peak in the La Sal Mountains, Mount Peale. We spent the remaining days touring the national parks in the area, mainly Arches National Park. We also made a day trip to Canyonlands National Park, to Deadhorse State Park, and up the road from Moab into the Colorado River canyon northeast of town. I won't mince words here. This is the most amazingly beautiful and varied place on the planet. We spent just a few days up here. We could easily spend 20 years. There is so much to see, to explore, to do, that you'd never get tired. What a remarkable part of the world.

Most of the photos below are from our Arches National Park tour. We didn't do any huge hikes while in the park, instead focusing on the "main" hikes, including one up to the signature arch of the park, Delicate Arch. We did some other short hikes to other arches, and drove the road to about as far as one can. It was more of a driving tour than a hiking tour. The hot weather (100 degrees-plus) didn't help, but the conditions were spectacular nonetheless.

Delicate Arch is a "must-do". The hike is mainly up slickrock, where the way is cairned since no trail really exists. There's a small stretch of clambering through rock piles, then you round a bend and there it is, magnificent Delicate Arch, just standing there, all delicate. The one-way hike is moderate, just under two miles. The arch is much larger than you'd think. See our photos below for an idea, especially where we're standing beneath the arch. After pawing around the arch itself we retreated into the shade of a nearby cliff to relax and enjoy the scenery. There were many people here, which was not surprising, but it did not detract from the experience. It was a good crowd.

We also made short hikes to other arches, including to a pair in what I think is called the Parade of Elephants. I honestly don't recall the names of these arches. These hikes were short. We had a full, long day up in the park and enjoyed every minute of it. This is definitely a "go-back-to" park.

One of the other days was spent at Deadhorse State Park, looking over the spectacular canyons. This would be a national park anywhere else in the country. Here, it's overshadowed by its neighbors. But it is stunning. Notably, Hollywood often uses Deadhorse State Park when it needs "Grand Canyon" images since it's easier to get right up to the lip of the canyon in a vehicle, and it's not as crowded.

Newspaper Rock, Canyonlands

I think this... part of the...

...parade of elephants...'s pretty

Deadhorse State Park

Deadhorse State Park

On the hike to Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Me underneath Delicate Arch

Me too, says βð

Ute Petroglyphs

Skyline Arch


(c) 2003, 2010, 2019 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only.