Just look at it. I’m in the middle of nowhere. No traffic, no crowds, is that fresh air? Did we arrive on Mars?
Far from it. We are in paradise. Every time I go back it’s better than the last time. This is why Moab, UT is a sacred land to the Natives, Travelers, Explorers and yes the Jeepers.
For the first time I got to share it with the family.
Moab is just a half days drive from SoCal. With this past winters lockdown again in 2020, it was time to get the family out of the house and get some fresh air while being remote. Plus, I had never been here in the winter time and even one greater, never been inside the Arches National Park. So we packed up our 2020 Volkswagen Atlas CrossSport and headed out making this my third trip here.
We arrived late in the day just in time for the sunset. Right before entering the town you cross the Colorado River. Slow moving, it’s a great place to camp next too, fish or have a picnic. Off-road and hiking trails surround it allowing for every viewpoint and bend to explorer. Tip – Moab at night makes for amazing star gazing. Just head out of town and watch for shooting stars. Capture the milky way with a long exposure camera.
In the middle of town are a few grocery stores. Head over to get stocked up on food and drinks for the week.
Where to Stay?
You have tons of options on places to stay. You can get a camping permit and go off grid. Pull in your fifth wheel to a local campground. Or stay at the ever expanding resorts. Here are our two favorite places to stay when visiting.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Moab – Downtown and close to everything with a full kitchen we like to stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Moab. Super friendly staff and modern amenities.
St. Danes Cabins & Campground Moab – If you want something more rustic, unique and support small businesses we suggest St. Danes Cabins & Campground Moab.
With winter being the off season for many resorts we checked into the Homewood Suites by Hilton and the kids could not wait to jump into the indoor pool.
The next morning we had the whole day planned to enjoy the Arches National Park. Tip – purchase a National Park Pass for $80 giving you access to all parks nationwide for a year and support the conservation efforts.
The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage for generations to come.
If you have even been inside the park at peak spring or fall season, you know how packed the parking can get. But the winter time we had the entire park to ourselves. Every parking spot, turn off and hiking trail was empty allowing us to stop for every view and photo.
The park has so many unique and different geological features you will find something different to see and hike every time you go back. Jonathan loved the red rocks and the twisted pine trees. If you are limited on time, walking or our case two little kids, you have multiple options on arch locations for easy access just off the road or day hikes.
After the day and enjoying another sunset we headed back to town just 5 min from the park entrance.
Where to eat in Moab?
These are a few of my favorite places.
Moab Diner – Great for Breakfast and Lunch. Stop by and get a sack lunch if hitting the trails.
The Blu Pig – Blues, brews & bbq. Eat in or we love to get it to go and enjoy at a fire pit in the evenings.
Moab Brewery – It has the word Brewery in its name. You can’t go wrong.
Downtown – The downtown area has tons more great options like pizza and Thai Food.
Moab Coffee Roasters – Located in the middle of downtown and next to our hotel we enjoyed the ice coffee with expresso ice cubes.
The next day we headed to another scenic drive with lots of off-road trails along the south side of the Colorado River. If you stay on the main road this is an easy drive for all vehicle types as well. At the beginning you will find a building that is built into a cliff side and is a really cool spot to stop and take photos by.
Continuing on you enter another world. Massive cliff walls with rocks melting off them. Winding roads and rivers. If you love rock climbing this is the place. Come here in the spring time and you will find waterfalls and river crossings you can drive through.
You can see time carved into each and every wall.
Picnic spots for warmer weather but the kids are just as happy to play in the snow.
Depending on your vehicles capabilities this area offers levels 1-5 trails. Level 5 with snow is not advised and when the rocks have ice or even rain it can become super slick for all types of trails. Always best to wheel with friends.
With the kids beat and dinner time coming we head back into town for some R&R and pack to head home the next day.
The next morning we wakeup to it snowing. Jonathan absolutely is memorized as never seeing snow falling from the sky.
This trip was short and sweet. In the near future I will share some of my Easter Jeep Safari trips over the years. I have plenty of Jeeps rock crawling, roll-overs and amazing views to share.
I was absolutely thrilled to share this experience with my family. I hope we do our part in preserving this now so my kids can bring their kids back one day.
Until we see you next time Moab.
Like and comment below about your favorite time in Moab and recommend places you have to see when visiting here.