Extend your Utah ski vacation and head to Moab!

Extend your Utah ski vacation and head to Moab!

Mountain Mama

By Mountain Mama \ March 8 2011

Utah is an unbelievable state in that you can go from 11,000-foot mountains in the north to red rock country in the south.  Utah has the most National Parks in one state of any other state in the union.  Within a 3-4 hour drive of Salt Lake City, you can be in the most amazing red rock country and the best mountain biking in the country.  March is also a great weather month in Utah.  On average, it is the second snowiest month.  Skiing is awesome, with huge bases at the resorts and it's not too cold.  It is also a month where the valleys start to warm up, the days get longer and southern Utah is pushing 70 degrees.  So, after you've done your ski vacation, take 3 extra days and drive down to southern Utah.  You won't be disappointed and you'll be planning a quick return!

So, with that said, we did our Saturday skiing at Park City.  Emily continues to do great in her Saturday Adventure program!  Also, Brennan is up and running on the green runs like a champ.  More on this in the next blog.

We decided to take a quick trip to Moab.  If you've never heard of it, it is about a 3 1/2 hour drive SE of Salt Lake.  It is known as the "mountain biking capital of the country".  Great red rock country, very popular with bikers, jeep types and superb hiking!  We are big hikers and the kids look forward to going down there.  Since Emiy was 18 months old, she asks to go to "see the Arches".  Arches National Park and Canyonlands are 2 National Parks within a 30 minute drive of Moab.  You can either camp or stay in a hotel.  It is known to get very crowded in the spring as we approach Easter.  Jeep Week is a very popular week for those wanting to four wheel drive.  If it is Easter week and you better have your lodging sorted early!

kids at double arch (dsc_0238)If you still don't know about Arches, you just need to see a photo of Delicate Arch to trigger your memory.  It is on Utah license plates and is the first place the torch arrived into Utah during the 2002 Olympics.  (I was there and it was fabulous!)  Emily calls it "Utah Arch" and loves the hike.  It is a 3 mile round trip hike.  It is 1 1/2 miles up.  Pretty good for a 3 and 4 year old last year!  It pays to have good hiking shoes for the kids, lots of snacks and they both carry their own Camelbacks.  This is whole other topic and blog.  We hike alot!

We got down early enough to do a little hike to Double Arch. em double arch (dsc_0239) So peaceful and quiet.  This is a nice time of year before the heat and crowds move in.  The sand is soft and the sky is a blue you don't see often. bren double arch (dsc_0243)

We head up-just a small walk- and let the kids climb on the rocks and hide and use their imagination.   Ravens fly overhead and the silence is deafening (except for the loud kids). em on rocks (dsc_0244) We do a couple small walks and then head to our hotel.  The cutest place!  Red Cliffs Lodge.  Many movies have been filmed in and around Moab.  There is a museum there and also was the site of a John Wayne movie.  Again, best to book ahead of time do to the crowds moving in.

We have every intent on hiking "Utah Arch" the next day, but the clouds have rolled in and so has the breeze.  With a big mountain of slick rock to climb, we decide it's best to return another day.  Em has been looking forward to this for weeks and even has her new hiking shoes on :(  But, we convince her safety comes first and we'll be back.  She's good.  We head out on another hike in Arches that takes up through some fins.fins (dsc_0264)  Big tall, thin rocks that jut on upward.  The web site I've highlighted has the trails and details of Arches.  We roam around for awhile and let the kids explore and then we're on our way back to Salt Lake.  A quick trip, but well worth a couple extra days if you've never been there.  I've been there so many times and never tire of it.  Truly special.  Let me know if you have any of those special places in your area!

Next blog we'll be back to skiing.  Ski N' See has offered a 25% off your rentals promotion through the rest of the season.  Go to the reservation page and type in JODIDEMO25 in the promo code and you'll get the 25% off discount on any rental.  I'm now on a demo ski and love it!