Day 2: Sand Dune Arch Trail (Arches)
This was a roughly 3.5 mile hike that starts at the super popular Sand Dune Arch. Just as you would expect, tons of sand. We brought shovels & pails for the boys to play with here. I'm sure they could have spent a good hour or so right at this arch, but we were all excited to hike instead. The trail also takes you to Broken Arch as well as Tapestry Arch. The trail was mostly empty which we loved. Liam learned how to follow cairns (stacks of rocks that help you stay on the trail; especially over slick rock where it isn't obvious). This was our favorite "hike" within Arches National Park.
Day 3: Negro Bill Canyon (Moab)
Everyone's favorite hike! 5 miles round trip and enjoyable and stunning the whole way! You slowly climb up to Morning Glory bridge which is breathtaking & massive. You cross over a stream at least 9 times, which adds a bit of fun to the trek. While most of us managed to keep our shoes dry, Liam wasn't as lucky. But I'm fairly certain he didn't mind the jumping & splashing and try to do it all by himself. We did this hike at sunset, which made it particularly stunning. The rocks are lit up by the sun that slowly drops.
Day 4 Morning: Mesa Arch & White Rim Overlook (Canyonlands)
Canyonlands was relatively unexciting. Definitely worth a look & a drive if you have lots of time in the Moab area, but not a favorite by any means. The Mesa Arch "hike" (1 mile round trip) was super busy. Even a tour bus was there. We took this opportunity to let Finn hike the whole thing, since he always wanted to hike. The White Rim Overlook was 3 miles (I believe) and gave some stunning views. Also some scary views due to massive drop offs! If I were to go back to Canyonlands, I would want to check out the southern part of the park where there were slot canyons, but we didn't want to drive that far.
Day 4 Afternoon: Dead Horse Point (Dead Horse State Park)
We hit Dead Horse only because it is literally on the way back from Canyonlands. There really isn't any hiking to be done here. It's more of a stop, look, take picture, leave kind of place. Not worth the effort at all. It's the "grand canyon" of Utah, but again, not worth it. I'm sure it's something special at sunset though; so if I were going to go, that would be the time.
Day 5 Morning: Corona Arch (Moab)
Everyone's second favorite hike! It's about 3 miles roundtrip, but it's a tad difficult. There are safety cables at two separate spots to help you climb the slick rock, as well as a ladder. Those little elements made the hike exciting, and it just so happens to be one of the most stunning arches. Liam handled the whole hike just fine! I was constantly proud of his efforts & determination, such a good little hiker! You really earn your view of this hike!
Day 5 Evening: Mill Creek Canyon (Moab)
Our third favorite hike! Mill Creek is the local swimming hole, with beautiful waterfalls. Also super slippery rocks that almost make the whole thing feel like a waterslide. Why yes, I did fall in. And yes, I had my camera on me. But luckily, I somehow kept it inches above water before being able to hand it off to Conor! But first the hike in... You have to cross the stream twice, and when I say cross, I mean that the water will be nearly up to your waist. Fun, yet chilly; and obviously, the little ones needed to be carried over. We packed in beers, champagne, and meats & cheeses to make a whole little evening of it. And then of course, Conor had to start chatting it up with some guy who convinced him to climb up the waterfall and jump in. In the one small spot that is actually deep enough for that kind of jump. I did not approve, was getting somewhat angry, but he survived. So yay for adventuring!
Day 6: Delicate Arch (Arches)
This is the big one. The one arch that you always see in photographs. And it is pretty spectacular! But it's also super super busy, and the hike is relatively uneventful until the last few minutes. Again we had to deal with a tour bus, which made us all a tad grumpy. Lots of ledges & drop offs, so we had to keep the boys super close to us. It was probably their least favorite hike for that exact reason. Worth it for sure, but somewhat underwhelming; especially after all the other amazing things we had already seen!
Day 7: Windows & Double Arch (Arches)
We made these quick stops before leaving Moab on our last day. There is no real hiking involved, mostly just a get out and walk around it type thing. Super super busy & touristy. The windows were relatively unexciting in my opinion. Double Arch was actually a gorgeous, but it just doesn't have the same awe & beauty when you don't have to work for it. It's one thing to have hiked for over an hour, and then come around a corner to some stunning sight. It's quite different to just step out of your car and give a little "wow." But again, totally worth the stop!