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macmcintire 04-24-2014 12:50 PM

Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
My wife went to Disneyland for a week with her three sisters so I decided to take the SMB and go to the Moab area for a few days of camping and sightseeing. I haven't been to this area since I was a kid (many, many years ago) so I was excited to explore it. I've wanted to take many of the back-country roads in the Moab area for sometime. However, since this was my first trip there I decided first to visit the "touristy" areas that I have not seen. As it turned out, there was so much to see I spent all of my time on paved roads and never did get my SMB dirty on the roads I thought I was going to take.

Since some Forum members may never get out this way I've decided to include a good number of pictures. I put the captions above the pictures to make it easier to read when scrolling down.

My trip actually "began" in Spanish Fork Canyon heading south on Highway 6. This canyon has a lot of family history, all of which is no longer in existence. My grandfather Dallin ran Castilla Hot Springs in this canyon in the early 1900s (see: ... itors.html). I remember seeing all of the trains in Thistle, a huge railroad town where helper engines were put on the trains to help the trains get up the Manti-Lasal mountains to Soldier Summit. The town of Thistle was wiped out in a landslide/flood in 1983 (see:,_Utah)

This shoe tree is located where Thistle used to be.

I spent my pre-school years in Price, Utah. My family was one of the original founders of the town. My great, great grandfather was the first Justice of the Peace there. He is mentioned in this plaque and this picture at what was the courthouse.

While in the area I took several side trips to see coal mining ghost towns in Spring Canyon near Helper and up Whitmore Canyon near Sunnyside. The sights weren't unique enough to take pictures but I did take one of these big horn sheep at Sunnyside.

After exploring side roads all the way down from Wyoming to the Moab area I finally headed to Dead Horse Point to camp for the night. This picture is of the rock formations the Monitor and the Merrimac and the road to DHP.

This is the view of the Colorado River and the potash ponds from Dead Horse Point

The campground at Dead Horse Point is very nice. It has 21 clean, well-spaced and level camping spots. It has flush toilets and running cold water. No showers. The restrooms were exceptionally clean and spacious. It cost $25 per night and includes electrical hookups in every site. Interestingly most of the people camping there were tent campers. Just a few trailers and no RVs.

This truck and trailer were in the site next to mine. Both the truck and trailer were built in 1950. So were the lady and man who own it. Quite the combination.

Sunrise at Dead Horse Point on my first morning.

macmcintire 04-24-2014 01:30 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
From Dead Horse Point, a Utah State Park, I then went to Canyonlands National Park. This is the overlook of the Shafer Trail Road switchback. I doubt I could drive it with my horrible vertigo. It made we woozy just looking at it.

Pictures from inside Canyonlands:

This is a picture of Upheaval Dome. Although it doesn't look like it, this picture was taken from a ledge looking down into the dome from a steep dropoff. My vertigo really kicked in as I was taking this picture as a strong wind was blowing toward the edge of the cliff. I stayed just long enough to take this picture.

After several hours in Canyonlands I went to Arches National Park.

I hiked several trails and then went to hike to Delicate Arch. I should have done this trail first. It about killed me off. I'm old, overweight and out of shape. The trail is only 1.8 miles one way, but it has some strenuous parts for a guy like me. These pictures are on the way up.

Seeing the arch is well worth the hike.

Looking back to the parking lot. It doesn't look almost two miles away.

The view from the Lower Arch Overlook for more lazy people. I took several pictures from here but the wind was blowing so bad I couldn't hold my camera steady. All of my other pictures are very blurry.

Other pictures in Arches.

Jeffrey 04-24-2014 01:48 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
What a great trip and report, Mac. I love that area and have driven many of the roads you see down in the canyons. Nice pics, too.

macmcintire 04-24-2014 01:55 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
On this trip to the Moab area I expected to see many Sportsmobiles. I only saw four: a tan SMB headed north on highway 6/191 in Wellington on Monday, April 21; a black SMB heading south on highway 6/191 at Soldier Summit on Wednesday, April 23; a white SMB driving through Hittle Bottom CG on Highway 128 on Wednesday afternoon, April 23; and this one in Moab. I talked to the driver. They are from Montana and not on the Sportsmobile Forum.

I drove south of Moab to the Needles area of Canyonlands. The terrain is much different here than the rest of the park.

This is Newspaper rock on the way to the Needles

On highway 191 south of Moab is a wonderful "tourist trap" called Hole-In-The-Wall. It is worth stopping to explore the many oddities exhibited there , including this jeep, catus made out of bowling balls and an outhouse showing how employees view management.

As I headed north back to Wyoming I took highway 128 out of Moab along the Colorado River. There are many campgrounds along this road.

I hope to return to Moab soon to explore the countless dirt roads and hiking trails in the area. I would love to do the White Rim Trail but didn't want to do it alone. Visiting Moab the week after Jeep Week was the perfect time to go there. At many places I was the only person there. I saw only one or two vehicles on the Shafer Canyon and White Rim roads.

P.S.: On this trip of 1050 miles the odometer on my 2002 SMB rolled past 55,000 original miles. I guess I need to go on some longer trips so I can rack up the miles like my SMB buddy, Mike (aka Ford_6L_E350).

Jeffrey 04-24-2014 04:02 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Mac, I've done the White Rim Road, and there are a couple of spots where you really need 4x4. They were towards the middle and end of the 100 mile road. Perhaps you can drop down from the Island in the Sky and come out that way, too.

macmcintire 04-24-2014 04:11 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
The owner of the Sportsmobile in the picture above looked at my SMB and said there are some spots on the White Rim where one needs the articulation of 4W. He too didn't think my lifted 2W drive would make it. I will have to find some other way to make that trip because I'm sure Canyonlands is like the Grand Canyon where you need to see it from the top down and bottom up.

REF 04-24-2014 05:26 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Just missed you, was out there Easter weekend with some other friends with a SMB. Looks like you had a nice time. For what it's worth, once you start exploring the many off road trails, there are so many great free camping spots in the area, you won't want to spend the $ to stay in the campgrounds...unless you need the facilities.
Potash/shafer trail are down at the bottom of canyonlands and are easier trails.

macmcintire 04-24-2014 05:31 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
In Canyonlands I saw a lot of signs that said no camping other than in designated campgrounds and/or that permits and reservations are required for backcountry camping. But I figured the campground police aren't out much on many of the backcountry roads. I did find several nice spots to camp outside of the NP, particularly in the Manti-La Sal mountains.

86Scotty 04-24-2014 06:25 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Thanks for the update Mac! We were there last summer and can't wait to get back this June. Though it will be hot and probably busy, I still want to explore around there more.


MKRyan 04-24-2014 06:37 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Great trip report and pictures. I've never been on any of the trials around Moab. The only other time I've been to Moab was pre-jeep and pre-SMB. Jeep has since been sold but now I need to visit in the SMB.

I've made the hike out to Delicate Arch. One of my favorite hikes. It is a little strenuous, but the view at the end is spectacular.

Thanks for sharing.


BogusBlake 04-25-2014 10:10 AM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Love me some Southern Utah! :b5:

gnty 04-25-2014 12:38 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Thanks for the trip report Mac and for sharing those great pictures. I'm glad you finally made it down there. Looks like we missed each other once again, we head out tomorrow for the week.

boywonder 04-26-2014 08:21 AM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Moab is one of my favorite places to visit!

Haven't taken the van out there yet but have been there a number of times camping and riding MTBs and motorcycles.

On my trip there last year, we camped at Pritchard canyon & my motorcycle puked on the first day so we spent some time doing touristy stuff like hiking up to delicate arch, etc. still fun

daveb 04-26-2014 03:24 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Looks like you had a good time Mac. I want to get back there one of these days. It appears you had some good weather. Last time I was there it got so hot I had to leave out early.

littleboomer 05-20-2014 07:18 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
I surprised you didn't see a red SMB. We (Viejo and Littleboomer) were there about the same time. Looks like you had a great trip. We are hoping to head up to Wyoming/Montana in June/July. If you'll be around we'd love to stop in and say hello.

macmcintire 05-20-2014 07:48 PM

Re: Moab Area Trip Report April 2014
Just email or PM me when you are headed my way. Hopefully I will be in town.

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