Utah 2023 – Around Moab

In past visits to Moab, I always focused my attention on Arches National Park. Having a few more days on this trip to explore and wanting to avoid the large crowds, we found some nearby gems: a treacherous cliffside trail from The Portal offering fantastic views of the town over the Colorado River and a path further down the river that some local folk recommended to us with arches worthy of Arches!

Portal Overlook Trail

The Portal is the name of the opening in the rock face carved by the Colorado River over millions of years. Our first hike was up from and back down to the river, wrapping around the cliff face to the right of the gap that you can see here from the town.

Once the climbing is done, walking along the narrow trail is easy enough if you have “a head for heights.” However, the posted warnings to mountain bikers on this Double Black Diamond MTB route were ominous.

We met two mountain bikers going down this route, and I later found the following YouTube video to give you an idea of the terrain in a way my photos don’t show. I suggest you ignore this if you don’t like heights.

Yes, there IS a trail along this cliff!

Across the Colorado River and past the town of Moab, we could easily see the snowcapped La Sal Mountains and the formations in Arches National Park.

Our hike earned us a fun reward!

Corona, Bowtie, and Pinto Arches Trail

While Arches National Park gets most of the attention in these parts, numerous geologic formations around Moab still yield the quiet and remoteness that we prefer. A local resident directed us to a beautiful trail where we could see three arches that complement those found at the park: Corona, Bowtie, and Pinto Arches.

The sun’s corona at Corona Arch.

Bowtie Arch

Pinto Arch

Terry Tempest Williams. It’s hard to disagree with her sentiments.

Author: Chris

Until 2019, I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Namibia focused on Community Economic Development. Before that, I was a high-tech executive, small business owner, consultant and business broker.

2 thoughts on “Utah 2023 – Around Moab”

  1. Your fourth photo, right after the one of a rock cave, looks very familiar from the movies. Blazing Saddles?
    If not, it could well have been filmed here- classis “West.”
    Thanks Chris!

    1. Hi, Mark! According to the web, most of the outdoor scenes in Blazing Saddles were filmed at Vasquez Rocks in SoCal, a place I used to visit with my dad as a kid, and where he and I went again a few years ago. It was a popular film location close to Hollywood that represented “the Wild West” countless times on both the big and little screens! Check out these links:

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