When I was twenty years old, I spent a couple of months on a solo trip in my little Subaru. Moab was my first stop. It was dark as I drove into town, so I didn’t see anything until the morning, but when I did, I was in love. Moab is a small town nestled among canyons of looming and beautiful red rocks. National Parks and protected land are plentiful. The Colorado River runs right next to town, and it’s only a short drive over to the Green River. An oasis for mountain bikers, climbers, hikers, river lovers… you get the idea. What’s not to love?
I was excited to get back to Moab this past summer, and to show the girls around. My past trips to Moab have been in the fall. I had yet to experience the full wrath of the Moab sunshine. It’s a beast! Our plans to camp at one of the river front spots at Goose Island (amazing campground that I highly recommend) were put to a screeching halt. With temperatures well above 100, we needed an RV hookup for air conditioning, otherwise sleep would suffer and I like my kids to sleep. Hot, tired, grumpy kids are lame. We found a spot at the KOA, just outside of town. There is not a lot of shade, but honestly there isn’t a lot of shade anywhere. They have a small swimming pool, so we had happy kids. There’s wifi, so work was happy, and of course electric hook ups, so our sweat glands were happy!
Day one in Moab consisted of a morning hike out to Corona Arch. It’s about a three mile (round trip) hike that is fairly mellow and easy to follow, involving a few scrambles up steep inclines and ladders, so watch your little kids. The hike offers great views the whole way, especially the turnaround which is directly under the massive Corona Arch. The one drawback to the hike is that there is almost no escape from the sun. We started our hike a little later in the day than we should have, and we paid for it. It was dry and hot and our kids were troopers! When kids don’t complain, it really does make life magical. Next, we made our way into Arches National Park. We were all pretty beat down from the sun, so we kept our hiking to a minimum. No worries, there is a ton to see without a lot of walking, which is probably one of the reasons the park is so popular!
The next day we decided to pack up and keep moving, but first, a kid friendly paddle down the Colorado. We scouted the canyon and opted for a put in about four miles upstream of the pedestrian bridge, below any rapids that I felt like might scare the kids. Our four year old may have a wild and crazy personality, but she is not a thrill seeker and I am completely okay with that. Four miles is a perfect distance for our young kids. Most of our family activities need to be short and sweet. They are not always into floating down river with us, and some days we have to put some work into it. Other than the tried and true distraction, snack food, we have races and pivot turn spins, with the kids on the front of the board. Or, if the water is warm, we let them swim along with us. Our trip was over midday and we hit the road, heading north to cooler weather. Moab is on our calendar for this upcoming summer and we are looking forward to spending a little more time exploring on and off the water.