First Moab Trip, Part I: U-turn (Arches National Park)

Lisa and Zac hauled me away in their giant Sportsmobile a few weeks ago to take me on my first ever Moab camping trip.

We arrived to late Friday night and camped out over near Dead Horse Point. The sun had set already, but the view in the morning was incredible.

We had a quick breakfast a la Lisa and then slowly gathered ourselves to hit the road.

First stop: Arches National Park, the U-turn canyoning route.

We parked the gigantor van at the Park Avenue (Courthouse Towers) parking lot, suited and geared up – ready to start our hike. U-turn is considered an easy technical route. It allows you to see a few views not readily accessible to the average park hiker. Keep in mind… Short, short route! It only takes about 2-3 hours if I remember correctly. But hey, it still might be a good idea to use the facilities at the visitor center… especially if you hold similar princess qualities as I do (real live plumbing!).

Hike along the road for a bit and head towards the rocks! It takes a short trek in the sand before you start climbing. This route was completely dry (at least for us until it rained) so be sure to opt and wear some good approach or hiking shoes rather than flip flops or water shoes.

About 75% of the trip is walking in and climbing up. I think Zac noted we were 2/3s of the way done after we hiked up to the top.

After the hard part is done, it’s just great views and a few fun rappels the rest of the way.

You’ll hike along the ridge for a while. Be sure to hang on to all belongings… I lost a couple of camera batteries along that ridge! Yes, super sad… I know. But… I wasn’t going to chase after them… Eek!

Before too long, you’ll start to descend via the rappels. They are fairly easy rappels – great for beginners to learn on. The anchor points shouldn’t be too hard to spot either.

Before you know it, you’ll be back near the common hikers. The clear-cut trail will appear as you walk out of the canyon. All done. Simple as that…

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