Rafting, horse riding, mountain biking and arches: doing all the things in Moab!

1. Rafting the Colorado River

After getting our adrenaline pumping on our 4×4 Hell’s Revenge ATV adventure, we decided a leisurely float down the Colorado River might be a fitting follow-up. We headed out with Adrift Adventures Moab for a half-day on the river. Now, when I say leisurely, there are times when this trip involves some low-level rapid action, but when we went, mid-summer 2018, the river was low – 9ft below its height at the same time last year – and therefore it was pretty slow! Snowfall in Colorado was significantly light last winter, which means less water in the river in spring and summer. That said, four-year-olds can go on the trip we did, so I don’t think it’s ever particularly hair-raising.

Our captain Des, took the oars and we drifted downstream for a few hours past some pretty amazing scenery, made famous in many John Wayne westerns.

 

2. Arches National Park

After our river trip, hile Steve and the kids were relaxing and hiding from the midday heat, I took a drive out to Arches National Park, famous for its 2000+ natural arches. We were running out of time in Moab, and this would be my only opportunity to go. The Visitor’s Center is only a few minutes outside of Moab.

The middle of the day was not the optimum time to capture the stunning colours of the rock, but the formations are nevertheless impressive. If we had longer, we would definitely have spent some more time here in the cooler hours of the day and taken a hike or two. The Fiery Furnace hike, which you can only do with a ranger or a permit, due to the vulnerability of the landscape, would be on my agenda next time.

Below are pics of Balance Rock, Double Arch, and the Windows.

 

Delicate Arch is the arch in the bottom photo below. You can hike to it. You can just see a tiny figure underneath it, to give you an idea about its size. I didn’t have time, but would definitely do this next time, too, if it were cooler.

 

 

3. Horse riding

Phoebe has taken a liking to horse riding, so in the evening, she and I indulged in another ride (our last was at the Grand Canyon’s North Rim). We went with Moab Horses, which runs trail rides out of Hauer Ranch, quite near to where we put our rafts into the river in the morning. Driving to the ranch, we took the spectacular Scenic Byway 128 up through the valley just to the north of Moab, following the Colorado River upstream. Arriving at Hauer Ranch, we were greeted by the most iconic cowboy himself.

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Yep, John Wayne is milked for all he’s worth around here. And it’s not a bad spot! I got to ride this gorgeous horse.

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Though after 6pm, it was hot and dusty, but the walk around the valley was an enjoyable way to spend the evening. Phoebe’s horse, Max, was slow and steady.

 

 

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Driving back as the sun set in the valley, I couldn’t resist stopping to capture the evening light.

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4. Mountain biking

On our last morning in Moab, before setting off to Salt Lake City, we got off-road again; this time on two wheels for a mountain biking adventure. Moab is famous for its mountain biking, and though we didn’t tackle any tough trails, our morning ride on the Courthouse Loop trail was good fun. We set out early, picked up at 7am by Marla and Dave from Rim Tours. I have to give them a big rap – they were excellent and the equipment was amazing. They briefed us with some tips for gear selection and getting up and down the rocky terrain. Never has riding uphill been so easy! These bikes were top-notch; I need to get a new one at home!

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We finished our stay at Moab with lunch at Milt’s Stop ‘n’ Eat, the town’s oldest restaurant. Salty burgers and fries and milkshakes were just what we needed after a tough morning’s exercise in the heat.

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Now to Salt Lake City for our flight east to Washington DC.

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