It wasn't all hiking and biking during our stay...there is a fun disc golf course at Old City Park in Spanish Valley immediately south of Moab.
|Old City Park Disc Golf course has terrific red rock views.|
I mentioned before that we rode Slickrock during our 2007 visit. Though the landscape remains the same, the access has changed dramatically since 2007. Today Slickrock Mountain Bike Trail lies within the Sand Flats Recreation Area. This is a fee area that includes miles of mountain bike and 4x4 trails as well as 120 primitive campsites. We paid the $5 day use fee and drove through miles of sandstone formations to an access point for Porcupine Rim. We walked a mile or so to the Rim for amazing views into Castle Valley. Clearly, Sand Flats Recreation Area deserves more time for exploration in a future visit!
|Castle Valley seen from Porcupine Rim moments before the rain started to fall!|
We picked a cloudy, cooler day to hike Hidden Valley; the 680 foot elevation gain would have been tough under the blazing sun we'd had on previous days. From the trail head it's about two miles to a pass with excellent views North to Poison Spider Mesa and Canyonlands National Park. At the pass we took a well used side trail to search for native american petroglyphs.
We ended up looping the entire rock art covered mountain, finding more petroglyphs around the backside, and searched in vain for some ruins rumored to be nearby. This area would be gorgeous at any time of the year and has many miles of exploration potential, and it's just a couple of miles south of Moab!
|In October the valley grasses are showing their fall hues.|
|At the two mile mark we reach the pass where we begin the search for petroglyphs on the tall varnished walls to our right.|
Views to the North include canyons and sandstone formations surrounding the Colorado River.
|Scrambling along this entire wall offers up many panels of rock art. See Hans just below the wall?|
|Wonderful terrain beyond the rock art site.|
The Moab Rim 4x4 trail is visible at center.
|Beautiful Hidden Valley.|
Negro Bill Canyon is a popular trail just a few miles up the Colorado River from Moab. It's a gorgeous two mile walk up a lush canyon alongside a burbling creek to Morning Glory Natural Bridge; its 243 foot length is the sixth longest natural rock span in the US. We hiked to the bridge in a light rain and were rewarded with a group rappelling from the bridge!
|Negro Bill Canyon was named after William Granstaff, |
a black prospector and rancher who grazed his cattle here in the late 1800's.
|There were many stream crossings.|
|The poison ivy was in full autumn splendor.|
|The rappellers were on a guided tour coming down from Sand Flats Recreation Area above.|
We've moved on to Monticello, UT, a rare driving day in the rain for us, and with a 45 degree daytime temperature, much cooler than Moab!