Iconic Classics Southeast
Best approached from Salt Lake or Grand Junction.
Three days on the open roads of Southeastern Utah is just enough for a taste of two of its most iconic national parks — Arches and Canyonlands — and a few things in between. We don't use “iconic” lightly. These are two of The Mighty 5® — the standard bearers of Utah, the giants whose splendor has inspired humans for centuries.
Day one in Moab is all about the celebrities. Revel in the majestic view of one of the most famous geologic features in the world in Arches National Park — it’ll take your breath away in more ways than one. Test your mettle on possibly the world’s most famous mountain bike trail or follow a guide through a famously overlooked hike in a labyrinth of narrow canyon walls.
Day two is picture-perfect. Get up early and you can catch the first few rays of sunlight streaming through Mesa Arch and the dramatic view it frames of Canyonlands National Park. Another short hike will take you to a 1,000-foot high vantage point above the Needles District and wide-open canyonlands. Or drive to Dead Horse State Park, an even higher vantage point above the Colorado River, as it curves steeply around the canyon wall.
Day three is thrilling. You can either experience the exhilaration from a raft as you surge through the rapids of the Colorado River, or from the seat of a Hummer as you climb to the top of seldom-seen, awe-inspiring Moab overlooks.
In just a short trip you’ll tackle some of the best that Utah has to offer.
Read these resources to learn how to travel thoughtfully and experience Utah most fully on your journey.
Arches Devils Garden Primitive Loop
If you take the Primitive Loop Trail and all short spur trails to nearby arches and other features, this becomes the longest maintained trail in Arches National Park. It’s also one of the most spectacular hikes you can take in any national park.
Fisher Towers Trail
The Fisher Towers Trail explores the Fisher Towers, one of the Utah canyon country’s most bizarre landscapes.
The approach to Canyonlands National Park’s Gooseberry Trail is a short stroll across pock-marked slickrock dotted with various shades of desert brush and gnarled juniper. The distant La Sal Mountains peek through the atmosphere.
Red Cliffs Lodge + Winery
On the outskirts of Moab, near the entrance to Castle Valley, Red Cliffs Lodge is a beautiful estate resting on the banks of the Colorado River. That’s the hook. For those staying overnight, if you arrive early to check-in, you’ll be anticipating your return to your room throughout the day.
White Rim Trail
For a scenic, multi-day Canyonlands mountain biking tour, head for the White Rim Trail! Learn more and plan your expedition today.