Short Hikes and Hanging with Friends

Moab, UT

The weather for the last few days has been uncharacteristically cool and rainy in eastern Utah, keeping us from doing much in the way of exploration.  But we have been able to sneak in a couple of short adventures between the clouds, wind, and rain.

One of those short excursions was a drive out to see a couple of arches just south of Moab.  To get there we drove south on Rte. 191 thirteen miles from Center Street in Moab.  At the top of a hill we turned right on to a fairly smooth dirt road.  After 5.4 miles on the dirt road  Lone Rock (also called Prostitute Butte) came into view.

Lone Rock (or Prostitute Butte)

We turned off the main road and drove right next to Lone Rock and under Balcony Arch.

Balcony Arch

Continuing on the narrow dirt road we drove around Lone Rock and quickly arrived at Picture Frame Arch.

Picture Frame Arch

With a little bit of scrambling John was able to climb up on to a shelf and get inside the arch.

The Headless Climber

The view from behind the arch gives it the name Picture Frame, as the arch provides a nice frame to the scenery in the distance.

As we returned to the Jeep the wind became stronger and dark clouds began to roll in, so we ended our brief adventure and made our way back to town.

A couple of days later the skies cleared a bit (at least for part of the day) so we headed out for another brief period of exploration near town.  About a week ago a volunteer at the visitor center had given us directions to two places in the Moab area (Bartlett Slickrock and pictographs on Kane Creek Road) by drawing a crude map on some scratch paper.  We returned to the visitor center earlier this week to thank her and let her know we had found both locations.  Again, she drew a map on a piece of scratch paper to a location in the nearby Sand Flats Recreation Area where you could get a nice view of some nearby canyons.  And again, her directions were right on!

We drove to the east side of Moab and headed east up Mill Creek Road, which soon turns into Sand Flats Road.  There is a five dollar per vehicle entrance fee to continue up the well maintained dirt road into the Sand Flats Recreation Area, a huge area made up of mostly slickrock and filled with ATV/Jeep, mountain bike, and hiking trails.

Sand Flats Road

We drove 4.3 miles past the entrance gate, through a narrow channel in the road, and parked along the left side of the road.

Narrow section of Sand Flats Road

Looking back at the small parking area (on the right in the photo, on the left as you drive to it)

After parking the Jeep we walked just a short distance up the main road and turned right on to a narrow, little used side road.

Less than a mile out the old road, a large outcropping of slickrock came into view.  We decided the top of the rocks would be our destination.

We found a narrow path leading to the base of the rock and began our ascent.

Future Delicate Arch (in ten thousand years)

The top of the rock had a great 360 degree view of the Moab area.

A number of fellow gypsies are staying in the Moab area, so one night we all got together at a local restaurant to share a meal and some conversation.  Dave and Sue (Beluga’s Excellent Adventure) and Steve and MonaLiza (Lowes RV Adventures) are staying in the same park as us.  Tim and Amanda (Watsons Wander) are dry camping in an area north of town and have been joined there by Amanda’s parents.  Hector and Brenda (Island Girl Walkabout) just arrived in the area and are also dry camping north of town.


A couple of days later we had a happy hour/dinner at Steve and MonaLiza’s site.  Hector and Brenda came over to our park and Joe and Gay (Good Times Rollin), who are also here in the park, joined the group.  We enjoyed some snacks, drinks, conversation, and two of MonaLiza’s Filipino specialty dishes (Lumpia and Pancit).  Both dishes were delicious!



We were scheduled to leave Moab this Sunday and move on to Torrey, Utah outside Capitol Reef NP, but have altered our plans due to the weather.  Rain is predicted in both locations for the next few days and since Torrey is at over 6,000 feet there is some snow expected there.  We were able to extend our stay here (we’ll need to move to another site on Sunday) until Friday when the weather is predicted to be much better.  We love Moab so staying put another few days is certainly no problem for us.

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26 Responses to Short Hikes and Hanging with Friends

  1. Sue says:

    You’re doing a great job of hiking between the raindrops! Rain or shine, Moab is a fantastic place to be. Its interesting to see just how much mud/clay some of the die hard biker/jeepers manage to accumulate on their respective vehicles after a day’s rain. The car washes here must make a fortune!

  2. Gay says:

    Any adventure is a great adventure in Moab. We love lunch at Picture Frame Arch!

  3. pmbweaver says:

    Man are you two living the good life. Beautiful vistas. You need to take that volunteer one of your special coffees and a big thank you for all the great unknown trails.

    Y’all are having some mini blogfests of your own.

  4. Jeff says:

    WOW! It’s like a blog fest there! Moab attracts the best people, enjoy following all of you.

  5. Sherry says:

    You do seem to somehow always have a group of great people gathered. Sure looks like fun. I’d say you did a much better job of dealing with the cold and rain those days than I’ve done with the same thing here. But we don’t have arches or areas where you can hike up and just look down and see you way back. Yes there’s a bit of envy in that statement. Love your arch prediction. I say you are right on. Beautiful pictures as always. Love those first two arches. There must be a story behind Prostitute Butte.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Sherry:) Yes, you are missing the ability to get those long views of beautiful canyons and red rocks in VA. There are just too many trees in the east. I’m sure there is a reason for the name of the rock, but I couldn’t find a specific explanation.

  6. allisonmohr says:

    Thanks for posting the hikes and, more importantly, how to get there. I booked the second half of April at the Portal today. Good thing I called when I did! So we’re planning on doing a lot of what you guys have been doing.

  7. Jodee Gravel says:

    Fun to see John losing his head over an exciting hike! Hope you marked that one spot so you can go back and see the new arch :-))) Wondered where you were off to next – glad you were able to extend to avoid the stormy stuff.

  8. Laurel says:

    Looks like so much fun with the RV/blogger tribe! (Have to say I’m just a teensy bit jealous — okay, more than a little…) Love these little known hikes that you’re finding, thanks to your friend at the Visitor Center. Good thing you can decipher her maps, haha! Love the future-wanna-be-Delicate Arch. So sorry to hear that you’re having to extend your stay in Moab…..I know it’s just terrible for you. :-))

    • placestheygo says:

      Too bad you and Eric aren’t in the area to join in the blog friend evenings. It was nice to see so many bloggers together.

      Yes, we are suffering here in Moab for another five days:) Could be a tough time since all the hikes now that I want to do are 8 – 10 miles!!

  9. I love gatherings meeting new and old friends and sharing delicious Filipino food.
    That white jeep seemed natural within the Picture Frame Arch. With all your previous hikes and the new ones you discovered, we will soon be like you, will keep coming back for more.

  10. Jim and Barb says:

    Great hikes as usual! Looks like reunion week in Moab, so cool that you were able to get together with everyone and catch up.

  11. AND you’ll have decent internet by staying in Moab longer! Looks like some great little hikes between storms, and some fun meetups!

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, we will have good internet for another week:) But we had good luck with the WiFi at Thousand Lakes in Torrey last time. We have managed to squeeze shorter hikes into weather changing days which has been nice.

  12. LuAnn says:

    Wonder how the name Prostitute Butte came to be? You two make the most of every day! Great blogger fest you had.

  13. geogypsy2u says:

    You have certainly got your money’s worth out of Moab, and yet still there’s more to see. Trying to catch up so know you’re in Torrey or beyond by now.

    • placestheygo says:

      Moab is a never ending area of fun. We didn’t even get back to The Needles district Canyonlands since we had so much to do right around Moab. We are in Torrey until Sunday…a ten day stay here:)

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