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Red rock country: the Moab area

Balance Rock at Arches National Park located near Moab.

The Moab Area

Although not in Carbon and Emery Counties and not really possible in a single day trip, the Moab area offers a wide variety of sights that could easily be enjoyed over a weekend. Two of the nations most impressive national parks are located in this area. Arches and Canyonlands lie within two hours of the Price area.

What can be done and seen?

The possibilities are endless and there are literally thousands of books and magazine article written about Moab and the national parks.

Arches National Park is located just north of the city and is a great family park. Canyonlands is about a 30 mile drive northwest of the city. Both areas have $10 per vehicle charges and both national parks have nice visitor centers.

Foot trails lead to many park features. One can see much from a vehicle, but to grasp the aura of time and silence and experience the scale of the area, it is recommended that travelers should hike through the park.

The park lies atop an underground salt bed, which is basically responsible for the arches and spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths that make the area a sightseer's mecca.

Thousands of feet thick in places, the salt bed was deposited across the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when a sea flowed into the region and eventually evaporated.

Moab Map

Click here for a simple map of Moab

There are more than 2,000 cataloged arches ranging in size from a three-foot opening with the minimum considered an arch to the longest one which is the Landscape Arch. This arch measures 306 feet from base to base.

New arches are being formed and old ones are being destroyed. Erosion and weather landforms are relatively slow. Delicate Arch, an isolated remnant of a bygone fin stands on the brink of a canyon, with the dramatic LaSal Mountains for a backdrop.

Canyonlands National Park is also a must see. It is a backcountry wilderness of countless canyons, mesas and buttes eroded by the Colorado River and its tributaries.

A 34-mile round trip scenic drive allows visitors to tour the entire mesa top. Overlooks include the Grand View Point, Buck Canyon Point, Mesa Arch, Neck Spring, and Upheaval dome Overlook.

How to get there.

From Price, take US-6 south to Green River, then East on I-70 travel 17 miles turning south on US-191 towards Moab. It is another 33 miles. Canyonlands exit is about 10 miles north of Moab.

What is the driving time?

The total mileage for the two canyons is about 116 miles and requires at least two hours driving time.


For more information, contact the Grand County Travel Council at 435-259-8825.

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