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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    10,956

    National Arches and Petrified Forest National Parks

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    I've visited both places long ago, and I think it's time to plan for my return while I still CAN Whichever park I choose for my 2017 vacation, it will be a road trip. While I am there I plan on taking day hikes, and also do some sketching while I am there. They are both about a 20 hour drive from me, and I will decide at some point next winter. Deciding WHICH park will be challenging as I want to go to both - but if I had to choose today it would be Arizona.

    I'm just curious if anyone there has visited either park? Any stories you would like to share? I know National Arches is in Moab, guess I'm really curious about MTB adventures anyone here may have had there. Of course it probably wasn't in the actual National Park? It seems a nice time of the year to think about vacations, especially to the desert.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
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    6,650
    I've been to both and would definitely recommend Arches National Park (it's not called "National Arches", btw) for hiking. It is absolutely gorgeous, and there are lots of trails of different difficulty levels. Once you get about a mile from any parking lot, you'll encounter many fewer tourists on the trails.

    Petrified Forest is mostly a driving thing, though there are some short hiking trails. It's fascinating too, but not nearly as much to see, and it's mostly just flat, open land. If you can only go to one, Arches is the way to go. Also, if staying in the Moab area, Canyonlands National Park is also nearby and is stunning, with many amazing hikes. I highly recommend it.

    We did a blog when we visited many southwest parks in 2006. I can't believe it's been 10 years! If you are interested, they are here:

    Petrified Forest NP: http://travelingtwosome.weebly.com/sw-parks-page-7.html
    Arches NP: http://travelingtwosome.weebly.com/sw-parks-pg-11.html
    Canyonlands NP: http://travelingtwosome.weebly.com/sw-parks-pg-12.html

    I didn't know much about blogging way back then and did it as one LONG report with no easy way to negotiate between pages, but the content of the individual pages may still be helpful to you.

    P.S. We did not do any mountain biking back then, but my former manager used to go to Moab every year and raved about the MTBing. He was a much more advanced mountain biker than I, however.
    Last edited by emily_in_nc; 04-10-2016 at 05:04 AM.
    Emily

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    I'm with Emily 100% on this one, much more to see and do in/around Arches.

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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
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    Thanks for the tip - now that I think about it my main exposure years ago to the Petrified Forest/Painted Desert was driving. Thanks for the blog links Emily!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    18
    I totally agree with Emily and Pax -- Moab/Arches will be way more interesting. Aside from the many trails to hike (and photograph) at Arches, Moab itself has some attractions (mountain biking at Slickrock and, depending on the season, white water rafting on the Colorado River).

    Jean

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    548
    I've never been to the Petrified Forest, so my enthusiastic endorsement for Arches NP (and nearby Canyonlands NP and Dead Horse Point SP) is very biased. Moab is known for its many great mountain biking options (from beginner to advanced), but there is also beautiful road biking to be done. One MTB trail I can recommend is the Klondike Bluffs trail - it's doable for a beginner/intermediate, and it will take you to a gorgeous overlook of Arches NP.

    I don't know what time of year you are planning to go, but I recommend spring or fall. It gets extremely hot in the summer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,201
    4 or 5 + (whatever the number) for Arches

    You could spend a few weeks doing all the incredible hikes around Moab. I was there for the first time last Sept and had a wonderful time…..road riding especially though. I looked at ( this ) before we left. The sandstone fins in a canyon hike we did were just magical. Lots of stunning visuals to sketch all through the Park. I’d luv to go back and spend a few days from sunrise to sunset hiking and photographing in Arches.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    2,045
    I agree with all the above comments. I love Arches... haven't been there for many years though.
    2016 Specialized Ruby Comp disc - Ruby Expert ti 155
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    221
    I got to Moab every Thanksgiving for parachuting, and two years ago visited Arches National Park and it was great. Canyonlands National Park is a short drive away (ok, maybe 40 minutes to an hour), and is also stunning although I've only driven through the park, I didn't hike. There is a place called Mineral Bottoms on BLM land within about 45 minutes that is great as well. If you decide to go around Thanksgiving, let me know and I can tell you a little more about the various parachuting locations if you'd like to watch :-) I've had friends who love MTBing there, but I've also had friends visit to take off-road jeep adventures. The store "Moab Adventures" (they have a website) sells several "adventure" tours from rafting, to guided MTBing, to jeep tours, etc. I LOVE watching slackliners (last year I saw a group slacklining over canyons). You could probably find TONS of stuff to in addition to hiking Arches National Park.

    Here is a video of some of the slacklining last Thanksgiving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vXJvvOMnJBs (I think it can post links?)
    Last edited by Aromig; 04-11-2016 at 11:58 AM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,201
    whoa....great video aromig!!!!!!

    when you paste the youtube share link into the 'insert video clip' in the message box and delete the s in the https you get
    this
    Last edited by rebeccaC; 04-12-2016 at 01:04 AM.
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    WOA! I won't be doing this, but it is incredible! I think my decision is made where I will go for my inexpensive hiking/sketching vacation next spring

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Columbus, IN
    Posts
    221
    RebeccaC -- thanks for the tips! Catrin - I don't slackline, but it sure was fun going out and watching others do it! There are tons of slackliners there during Thanksgiving, but you can see them in the local parks all the time. Not just walking across - they do cool bouncy acrobatic stuff too. As you're going through Moab, you should check it out.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Is THAT what they are doing in the "Fruit Bowl" video RebeccaC posted I can hardly stand to get up on a 2-step ladder to change candles when it's my turn at Altar Guild duties at church - I had to almost shut my eyes to watch the video I'm fearless in activities that keep me connected, in some way, to the ground - like riding - but OMG!!!! Perhaps I can watch them if I've had a couple medicinal glasses of some good port or sherry first

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,605
    so how does one sting the line across? It's something I've always wondered. Can't really run a rope down the side of the cliff than back up on the other side. Some magic fairy dust to get the line across?

    I'll just watch. my sense of balance isn't that good anyway and I hurt easily. Never mind about bouncing from 1000+ feet.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Posts
    10,956
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    so how does one sting the line across? It's something I've always wondered. Can't really run a rope down the side of the cliff than back up on the other side. Some magic fairy dust to get the line across?

    I'll just watch. my sense of balance isn't that good anyway and I hurt easily. Never mind about bouncing from 1000+ feet.
    Helicopter with someone suspended below it from a harness? Then again that would make a LOT of wind so nevermind

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk

 

 

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