Moab Winter Weekend | Saturday & Sunday, December 24-25, 2022
Christmas is here once again, which means that it was time for Diane and I to continue our annual tradition of spending Christmas Day in Arches National Park. This would be my fifteenth year visiting Arches around the yuletide holiday and Diane has been joining me for the past nine of those years on Christmas Day. Since Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, Diane and I headed down to Moab on Saturday morning and we did a little exploring around the area before spending the night in town. Then we got up early on Sunday morning and drove to the Devils Garden Trailhead so we could hike out to Landscape Arch at sunrise before we spent the rest of the day in other parts of the park.
Walking through the fins of Devils Garden shortly before sunrise.
Following the Devils Garden Trail to Landscape Arch. There wasn’t much snow on the ground this year, but there were some lightly snow-packed sections of trail.
The first light of the day strikes the fins along the trail.
Soon we had a view of Partition Arch above.
We made it to Landscape Arch on another Christmas morning to make sure that it’s still standing after another year.
The Shark Fin
After hanging our below Landscape Arch for a bit we turned around and headed back to the trailhead so we could explore some other parts of the park for the rest of the day.
Next, we drove down into Salt Valley and followed the rough 4WD track to the Tower Arch Trailhead.
We wandered amongst the fins of the Klondike Bluffs on our way over to Tower Arch.
We took a short detour to hike below the Parallel Arches.
Then we made our way over to and underneath Tower Arch.
It’s been quite a while since either of us had been to Tower Arch, so it was nice to revisit.
Before leaving the Klondike Bluffs area I wandered up a shallow wash to check out a large hoodoo I had spotted in the distance.
There were some nice sandstone fins lined up above the wash.
I found a cool little slot canyon that was carved in-between the fins.
Hiking up a tilted landscape to the large hoodoo.
There was a pretty good view of the Marching Men from here.
Finally, I reached the large hoodoo and it was very cool!
Big Block Hoodoo
After returning to the Jeep from the hoodoo we left the park and then hiked into the backcountry to explore the sandstone rim above the Visitor Center.
Near the edge I found a couple large potholes that were full of water.
Overlooking the road into Arches National Park with the La Sal Mountains on the horizon.
After hiking back down from the rim above the Visitor Center it was starting to get late, so we called it a day and headed back home a little early. The sky was becoming mostly overcast and I wasn’t hopeful for a nice sunset anyway. We made it back home shortly before sunset after another nice holiday exploring Arches National Park!
Moab Winter Weekend 2022
Before Christmas Day we had spent most of Saturday driving some 4×4 trails in my Jeep, hiking some canyon rims and searching for rock art and ruins. Instead of creating a separate short Trip Report, I though it would be better to share some of those photos here.
We started our Saturday morning in my Jeep north of Moab.
We visited a couple dinosaur tracks along the way.
We also explored the relics of an old mining area.
We took in the views as we walked along the edge of a valley.
We walked the rim of a canyon to check out Fang Arch, which has an impressive view behind it.
This was our final late afternoon view before we returned to town, grabbed some dinner from Pasta Jay’s and then retired to our hotel room.
Moab Winter Weekend Rock Art & Ruins
Below are a couple photos of the rock art and ruins that we saw throughout the weekend. Some of these were places I wanted to revisit and others were places I finally found after searching for years. Overall, it was a pretty good weekend!
Triangle Men Panel
Petroglyphs & Pictographs
Petroglyphs Over Pictographs
There are quite a few faded Barrier Canyon Style figures found here.
Lines Around the Corner
Here’s a nice little granary that we viewed from the opposite rim of the canyon.
A closer look at the granary.
Circles & Sheep Panel