Moab, UT – my recommendations

MOAB ROCK ART

Golf Course Rock Art– Take Hwy 191 South to the golf course turn off (about 4 miles from Main & Center).  Turn left and go to Spanish Trail Road (about 1 mile just past the fire station).  Go straight through the roundabout onto Westwater Drive.

Go ½ mile to a small pullout on the left.

Rock Art Panel is from Ground to 30 ft high x 90 ft wide. (“Reindeer & sled” on far right).

Birthing Scene– Take Kane Creek Drive (By McDonalds, at the corner of Main & Kane Creek Drive, turn West and go .8 miles to the intersection of Kane Creek Drive and 500 West (set odometer at 0.00).

Stay left and go on Kane Creek Drive for 2.3 miles  (here is a rock art site w/ protective fence).  Go another 1.2 miles (another rock art site- easier seen on the trip back).

Keep going past the cattle guard, pavement turns to graded gravel.

1.7 miles past the cattle guard there will be 2 very small pullouts just before the road goes up a hill. (There is more parking up the hill.)  The obvious boulder just down below the road about 75 feet west has the rock art.

MOAB  JEEP TRAILS

One good place to rent is Moab Tour Company http://www.moabtourcompany.us/id29.html

Shafer Trail (Easy) (Shafer trail to Canyonlands’ Muselman Arch)) 2 ½ hours & need 4 wheel drive 

From Moab, head north on Highway 191. Turn left on Potash Road\ Highway 279. Continue south on this road for about 16.5 miles until the pavement ends. You’ll find the trailhead here.  Distance to trailhead- 18.2 miles. 2 hours. Point to point, but can be done as a loop with Long Canyon. Find the trailhead off Potash Road\Highway 279, about 16.5 miles from its junction with Highway 191.

From Moab, go north on U.S. Highway 191 to its junction with Utah Highway 279. Turn left on Highway 279 and go all the way to its end at the potash plant. The route turns to dirt road, and starts climbing up terraces along the Colorado River. The road passes the evaporation ponds of the potash plant. The road enters Canyonlands National Park.  The Shafer/Long Canyon Loop ascends the Shafer Road in a series of long, stunning switchbacks. The road ascends to the mesa top, joining the paved road in Canyonlands National Park.

Optional: short detour to Musselman Arch (45 minutes round-trip and well worth it). Take a left on the WhiteRim trail (pass the bathroom) for 3.1 miles and there is a sign then go back to the intersection and continue up the Shafer trail.  Excellent & highly recommended.  Easy to find—there are good signs directing you where to go.  On the way to Musselman is a sign for a short walk to Gooseneck point – not bad, but Musselman Arch is highly recommended. When I was there, I was unaware of the “walking rocks.”  Supposedly you walk east along the rim for .2 miles from the Colorado River overlook (which you’ll see near Musselman arch, and there are some neat fins/mushrooms you can walk/hop across with 100 foot drop below you.  (http://www.utahtrails.com/wtrimroad.html)

While you’re in Canyonlands, stop and do the Mesa Arch trail.  ½ mile roundtrip- easy hike.

Return via Long Canyon (Easy/intermediate)- 45 minutes-

Turn right (north), and travel approximately 5 miles to the intersection with Highway 313.  Turn right on Highway 313 toward Dead Horse Point State Park. Go about two miles- then turn left onto an improved dirt road.   This is the Long Canyon Road. Follow it across the mesa top to a view of the red rock fins near Moab. The road then descends steeply into Long Canyon.  The Long Canyon Road rejoins Utah Highway 279.   Turn left on this to return to Moab.

Gemini Bridges (Easy)- – 48 miles, 14 miles of off-road, 2 ½ hours.

– From center of Moab, go North on Highway 191 for 9.8 miles (about 5 miles past Arches entrance)- turn left across a cattle guard near an old ore car by RR tracks (set your odometer 0.0).  Cross the tracks, turn left and parallel the tracks, then veer right toward the cliffs and climb towards Little Canyon (gap in Rim).  Stay on best trails (avoid strong spur trail leading left into a side canyon).

Turn right (straight) from the “Wash Bottom” area (4.8 mile mark) to climb the steep dugway.  Trail passes a gate and winds higher.  Stay on main trail as spurs leave to the left and then at the fork (6.2 mile mark), avoid the good road to the left that leads to lower Bull Canyon). Take the Right Fork (6.2 mile mark) in a sweeping bend to the right.  Winding higher, ignore 2 spurs left.  At the “Y” junction (7.4 miles)- Keep Left & follow markings.  At 6.8 Mile Mark, deep hole in canyon wall (twin spans).  Return part way toward “Y” junction, but take the short-cut (8.0 Mile Mark) to the left, joining the main trail (which is the right-hand fork of the “Y.”).  Turn left on this main trail (8.1 Mile Mark).  Travel a graded road westerly to Highway 313 (13.8 Mile Mark).

Turn right and head back to Highway 191 or turn left to go to Dead Horse Point & Island in the Sky.

A left turn also takes you to the Long Canyon trail, which is another way back to Moab.  Once you’ve turned left onto the highway and gone a little ways, you’ll take the Dead Horse Point turnoff, then after going about another 2 miles on the Dead Horse Viewpoint road, you’ll turn-off the highway onto a dirt road on the left.  Head straight on the dirt road and don’t turn left or right (As you travel the dirt road, you’ll avoid turning at the first 2 left turns, then avoid a right turn, then avoid another left turn, then avoid 2 more right turns—soon you’ll be heading naturally left and looking to your right down into a canyon.  You’ll come down a steep narrows area then come out on a gentler road and pass under a huge boulder soon connecting back to the paved road.  Turn left to be back in Moab in a few minutes.

Tusher Tunnel (Easy) (branches off from 3D Trail)- Head towards Arches N.P. from Moab.  Then going past Arches, go a total of about 17.5 miles from Moab to the turnoff to the Mill Canyon Road (just South of the airport).  Turn left onto Mill Canyon road & follow the signs of the 3D trail until you come to a distinct fork in the road. Tusher Tunnel is found by traveling on the left fork for a couple hundred yards.

&

3D Trail (Moderate 3)To get to the 3D trail, take the Mill Canyon Road just South of the airport. Follow the signs of the 3D trail until you come to a distinct fork in the road. Obstacles: Not far beyond Courthouse Rock is Airport View Hill where a few stock vehicles that still carry highway tire-pressure may try more than once.

Fins & Things (Difficult 3 ½)

The best parts of the trail can be done without doing the whole trail.  About 1 ½ hours.  If you choose to just do these “best” parts, do the start and before long it crosses the main road,  exit on the main road and then go do the last loop on the trail.  It is easy to find these spots using the trail guide they give you at the sand flats pay booth, using the campsite letters on that map for guidance.

MOAB GOOD EATS

Love Muffin – 150 N Main

Great breakfast burritos & sandwiches—Open only for Breakfast & Lunch.

Zax Restaurant- 100 S Main

All you can eat buffet, but food & feel is more like a nice restaurant.

Pizza, salads, soup.

Milt’s Stop & Eat take 3rd S towards Slickrock trail & turn right on 400 E – on your left on the corner of Mill Creek Dr.

Burgers, fries, shakes

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