Sunday, June 2, 2013

Moab and Canyonlands, Utah - Road Biking

Roger and I wanted to spend Memorial Day weekend doing some road biking to get ready for the MS Bike Ride at the end of June.  We originally planned to camp and bike in southeast Idaho for a change of scenery, but the weather was looking a little cool and wet for part of the holiday weekend.  At the last minute we decided to head south and do some biking around Moab despite my fears of hordes of holiday travelers and completely full campgrounds.

Roger had camped at Horsethief Campground near Dead Horse Point State Park a few months ago and thought it would be a great first option as we arrived in Moab on Friday evening.  I was shocked that a few sites remained and we eventually settled on a spot to call home for the next three days.

Horsethief Campground

We still had a few hours of daylight after setting up camp so we headed over to the Island in the Sky District of  Canyonlands National Park for a short hike.  We hiked for a couple of miles around Grandview Point enjoying the amazing scenery and evening light.

Grandview Point - Island in the Sky - Canyonlands


Grandview Point - Island in the Sky - Canyonlands

After arriving back at camp that night, we were treated to a beautiful sunset and the rising full moon.  I was pleasantly surprised at how mellow and quiet the camp area was despite being a holiday weekend.

Sunset at Horsethief Campground

Full moon rise

Our ride for Saturday took us from Newspaper Rock along Highway 211 through Indian Creek and into the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  Biking through Indian Creek was spectacular and the weather was great for riding.  The round trip was about 60 miles.

Roger biking through Indian Creek

Entering the Needles District of Canyonlands

The Needles District of Canyonlands

 Indian Creek

 Indian Creek

 Indian Creek

Indian Creek

On Sunday we rode through Castle Valley and a portion of the La Sal Mountains, then up and back along the Colorado River on Highway 128.  The view of Castle Valley from the La Sals was spectacular and although it was hot and windy along the Highway 128, the Colorado River and Fisher Towers made for some great scenery.  This ride was also about 60 miles, but felt a lot more grueling with all of the climbing into the La Sals.  It was still hot and sunny when we finished our ride, so we spent the rest of the afternoon listening to music at the Moab Arts Festival before heading back to camp.

Castle Valley

 Riding through Castle Valley

Roger riding into the La Sal Mountains

 Climbing into the La Sals

View of Castle Valley from the La Sal Mountains

 Roger in Castle Valley

La Sals, Fisher Towers, and Colorado River

Before packing up camp on Monday morning, we did a quick 20 mile round trip ride to Dead Horse Point State Park.  Before leaving Moab, we had a nice brunch at EklecticCafe on the beautiful outdoor patio.  A perfect ending to a great Memorial Day weekend in the desert.

Entering Dead Horse Point State Park

Roger at Dead Horse Point State Park

The Colorado River below Dead Horse Point

My sunrise spot

My favorite food in Moab