National Park Hop: Day Four | Arches & Canyonlands

We woke to the desert summer morning creeping into our tent. Ready to get out of the heat and sand, we left our short lived campsite at Sand Flats Recreation Area and headed for the reason we were in Moab, Arches National Park . . .

. . . but not before stopping for Egg McMuffins (only on road trips!) to celebrate Luke's birthday.

If you squint you can see The Delicate Arch in the middle of the image above. It's one of the most famous arches in the park and possibly the world. Even from afar it was pretty incredible.

We left the giant protruding rocks of Arches for quite the opposite terrain of Canyonlands National Park. Since we had a timeframe for getting back on the road, we followed the path along the Island in the Sky, which is the quickest and easiest part of the park to visit for views of the entire landscape.

The depth, texture, and colors of the canyons were breathtaking, but also terrifying. Standing on sandstone cliffs over 1,000 feet above with no railings to keep you from the edge, we were very aware of our footing and the distance below.

Satisfied with our ventures in red rock country, we hit the road again heading East towards greener pastures and made our way to Colorado. A very welcomed change in scenery.

The hope was to make it to Rocky Mountain National Park and pitch our tent by nightfall. But like all good adventures, things change. We got into the Boulder area later than expected and with a storm rolling in thought it wiser to wait till morning to drive up the mountain.

Thank goodness for the interwebs! We found a reasonable room at a nearby La Quinta Inn and thoroughly enjoyed the luxury of a hot tub, real bed, and surprisingly tasty hot complimentary breakfast. (We did however cook up some camp worthy Trader Joe's mac and cheese in the bathroom for dinner. 'Cause you know, road trippin'.)