Over second Block Break, it felt like almost everyone was headed down to Moab, Utah to visit Arches National Park. I unfortunately waited until my junior year to go to Moab for the first time, and now I know that I must return before my time at Colorado College is over. While I lament not seeing Moab sooner, I was fortunate enough to experience the town with a couple of Coloradoans, Ebba Green ’20 and Madie Alexander ’20. The two are from Norwood and Telluride, Colo., respectively, which are each about a two-hour drive from Moab, making it a destination they often visited while growing up.
“I started going to Moab when I was three years old. My family and I would go twice a year. It started as a breathing therapy for my asthma since Moab is only 4,000 feet whereas Norwood is 7,000 feet, but I kept going because I love the nice orange color,” said Green.
“Moab was definitely a formative part of my childhood,” said Alexander. “I grew up going most weekends in the spring, probably about five weekends each year. I keep going back because it’s gorgeous there, I have so many fond memories of the area, and I’m addicted to Peace Tree smoothies.”
We started our trip by driving the two hours from Norwood to Moab. The drive was as beautiful, as all drives through Colorado are, but driving through Paradox Canyon was a highlight. The paradox that gives this canyon its name is that the Dolores River runs perpendicular to the valley. A salt bed carved the rocks, not the water, so that’s why this river runs the “wrong way.” The trees around us were golden and orange, and we were surrounded by beautiful red rock which added to the superb view.
Immediately upon arriving in Moab, we went to Peace Tree Cafe for lunch. “I don’t remember when I started coming to Peace Tree, but two years ago I tried their smoothies for the first time and now I make the two-hour drive every time I’m home for the desert nectar smoothie,” said Alexander. The smoothies did not disappoint, and neither did the meal.
After lunch we met up with some friends with the intention of heading to Arches, but sadly, the park was at capacity due to every school in Utah being closed for the Utah Education Association Conference.
Since we were with two Moab experts, finding another hiking location took almost no time. About five minutes down the road from the entrance to Arches National Park is Culver’s Canyon. We spent the afternoon there, and I can’t imagine that Arches would’ve been much better than it.
In order to enter the canyon, we traveled through a large drainage pipe and ended up scrambling up and down a fair amount of rocks. There is a trail immediately to the left of the drainage pipe that would’ve taken us on a leisurely hike, but scrambling is more fun.
Once we were at the top of the rock formation, we overlooked large pools of water and had a great vantage point to see the rocks on the horizon. We were lucky enough to watch a falcon fighting off two crows; it was like a scene out of Planet Earth.
“Culver’s Canyon is a great spot to go if you want a quiet Moab experience. Some other great lesser known trails are Negro Bill Canyon and Corona Arch for hiking and the BarM and Slick Rock trails for mountain biking,” said Alexander. “There are also some biking trails where you can find dinosaur footprints.”
While we chose to spend the afternoon running up and down large rocks and painting, Moab has something for everyone. I’ll be back to see Arches before I graduate, but I wouldn’t change anything about this quiet day adventure.