Moab, UT

Dates: April 12-15, 2011

Castle Valley

Moab, Utah is a popular destination for all sorts of outdoor activities, and most people visit Arches and Canyonlands national parks, which I covered in other posts.  While everything there is to do in Moab is beyond the possibilities of what I can cover, I will cover three areas I visited.

The canyons along the Colorado River

First is the area along route 279 west-southwest of town along the Colorado River.  The road closely follows the river into the canyons before dead-ending at an industrial facility.  This is one of the best and easiest areas to experience being in the canyons by car, and this makes the surrounding cliffs popular climbing destinations.  Along the road there is a place to stop where you can see a giant rock that has broken off the cliffs and exposes several dinosaur tracks on its surface.

Dinosaur tracks

The second area is a drive I went on east of town that formed a loop beginning  by following the Colorado upstream through the canyons along route 128 before turning towards Castle Valley.  This road then ascends up into the La Sal Mountains, which reach over 12,600 feet in Manti-La Sal National Forest.  The road here provides great views and access to the mountains, although there was still snow along the road at over 8,000 feet.

La Sal Mountains

The third place was the Scott M. Matheson Wetland Preserve, which was protected by the Nature Conservancy in the town of Moab along the Colorado River.  There are a few flat trails and boardwalks around the wetlands here where you can observe over 200 birds species.  I couldn't find many birds the afternoon of my visit, but there was a fairly large flock of white-faced ibises.

White-faced ibises

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