Sunday, 8-June – Canyonlands Island in the Sky to Moab Valley RV Resort
Trip miles: 21.4 + 28 miles = 49.4 total miles
Route taken: Canyonlands Park Road → US-191 S
Average Gas mileage: 27.5mpg
Weather: warm (58F) and calm in the morning, hot (90F) in the afternoon
Elevation: 6000ft to 4500 ft.
- dinner at Miguel's Baja Grill
By 14:30 we had driven down into Moab to find our uncovered tent site, T3, for the next 6 nights. The wind was gusting and the dust was blowing around so badly that we were having second thoughts about staying even one day, but we convinced ourselves this weather pattern could not last. After setting up the screen house with the backpacking tent inside, while doing a few loads of laundry and taking showers, we checked the Moab forecast. It seems that it will be hot (mid-90's) every day with gusty winds every afternoon. Oh well....we will have to do our hiking in the mornings and enjoy the pool here at the campground in the afternoons. Fortunately, Arches National Park is only 2 miles away - the reason we picked this campground. There is a campground, Devil's Garden, in Arches N.P. but it has no showers and we couldn't get reservations at all for this entire week.
It had been a busy day and the wind made cooking difficult so we treated ourselves to dinner at Miguel's Baja Grill, on Main Street. We both enjoyed our meals and there was no wait to be seated. After dinner the City Market, on South Main Street, was still open for us to pop in and get a few breakfast and lunch supplies for tomorrow.
About Moab Valley RV Resort – This campground is the first one on the right when driving into Moab from the north on UT-191. It is 2 miles from the Arches National Park entrance and almost right across the street from Lions Park Multi-use Trail Hub parking, providing over 10 miles of traffic-free bicycle riding through Moab, to Arches or along the Colorado River.
The campground has covered or open tent sites with raised sandy pads, hot showers, open wi-fi and a pool. The tent sites are at the back of the property sharing a fence with a Nature Preserve. The driveways are gravel so there is some dust when it is windy. There are also cabins available and, of course, a separate RV area. Because the tent sites are along the road leading to the cabins, there is a lot of traffic passing by. There is no water for the tent sites except at the two bath houses. The bath house closest to the cabins has a dishwashing sink with hot water. Light sleepers will not like tenting here because of the heavy truck and motorcycle traffic noise from UT-191. Recommendation: With the prevailing wind direction from the northwest, request a tent site at the far end of 'tent row', T9 or T10, at the end of the road to the cabins. Or pay extra for a covered tent site, T28-T33, inside the wind-block fence.
About Moab – At first glance, driving down Main Street and seeing the Zipline, Tram Rides, Adventure Tours, Art Galleries, etc, Moab seems to be just another little tourist town. But after watching the people here, it is clear that at least half the visitors are here to participate in a sport which they love. The activity might be mountain biking – there are plenty of single-track trails for all skill levels. The activity might be kayaking or rafting – Moab is the only major Utah city with access to the Colorado River and the Green River is not far away. There is a river sport for everyone from novice to advanced. The activity could be off-roading/4x4-ing – there are plenty of dirt roads here. The activity might be canyoneering or rock climbing or skydiving or ballooning or horseback riding. If it is an outdoor sport it can probably be done here in Moab.
The town itself is small. From the 5 miles of Moab's Main Street most of the businesses can be seen, including many restaurants and a well-stocked City Market (Kroger chain) with a good deli. We enjoyed taking our dinner to one of the covered picnic tables ringing the pretty park near the hospital. The grassy park minimized the dust and was cooler than our tent site.