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Moab Hiking Trails

  • Adobe Mesa also known as Castle Mountain, this is a long day hike in combination with Professor Creek. Simply spectacular for the real adventurous sort. Webpage is quite comprehensive, with directions, maps, photos, etc. on the Summitpost.org website.


  • Guide to the Arches at Arches National Park This is a webpage I put together, with instructions for getting to and finding 40+ key features within Arches National Park. These are the "easy" arches, attainable for anyone with a passenger car and some moderate hiking capability. I've included some "where, how and why" about arches -- not overly scientific, just the basics to make the experience more enjoyable. There are over 40 photos on this page to help you with your arch hunting.


  • Arches beyond Arches National Park Here's a photo/menu page that links to descriptions and directions for many key Moab area natural arches located outside of the namesake National Park. Includes Gemini Bridge, Gold Bar Arch, Mosquito Arch, Cripps Arch, and quite a few others. On the "Bob's Arches" website.


  • Arches National Park NPS hiking page for Arches; covers 14 trails, not bad but not great. Gives starting point, length, average time, basic descriptions.


  • Arches National Park -- Delicate Arch This hike can be quite crowded. Fortunately, most people drive to the overlook first, where they are rewarded with an uninspiring view of a distant rock formation, so they skip the hike. That's a shame really. For you, our favorite slackpacker, take our advice and skip the overlook. Go straight to the trail. This is one of the finest hikes in the United States of America...but first check out this awesome page on the Natural Born Hikers website. Now if you go to the overlook, and get stuck behind some monstrous RV belching smoke and careening all over the road, don't say we didn't warn you.


  • Arches National Park -- Tapestry Arch often overlooked easy 1 mile hike to a unique triple arch formation. On the UtahOutdoorActivities.com site.


  • Bureau of Land Management Moab hiking page Official BLM page with a handful of popular Moab trails. Provides roundtrip mileage, elevation gains, approximate directions, a brief description, and somewhat fuzzy photos for Amphitheater Loop, Corona Arch, Fisher Towers, Negro Bill Canyon, Moab Rim, Hidden Valley, Hunters Canyon, and Portal Overlook.


  • Corona and Bowtie Arch Trail 3 mile roundtrip hike to dramatic natural arches located off the Potash road. This page, on UtahRedRocks.com, describes the hike, provides directions and photos, nicely done.


  • Fisher Towers Official trail map and guide from the BLM in pdf format.


  • Fisher Towers Rather in-depth webpage on the entire Fisher Towers recreation area; including the campground, etc. and a bit on the trail. This is on "Frank & Anne's Canyon Country Hiking & Camping" website. Frank and Anne also have a Fisher Towers page of personal notes from a series of hikes at Fisher Towers; a must-click for in-depth info.


  • La Sal Mountains - Winter Trekking Not hiking information exactly, but this is worth knowing about for winter XC or backcountry skiing. It's a series of huts for doing extended backcountry stuff. Neat. This is a commercial link for Tag-a-long tours; we don't normally link to commercial outfits. But I can tell you that Tag-a-long has a solid reputation and produces reliable tours and experiences for those without the inclination to create their own adventure. And in this case, what are you gonna do, carry your own hut? Well, a tent maybe. But remember, this is slackpacker.com, not backpacker.com.


  • Moab Area -- A General Hiking Blog Here's a nice "blog" thingy by Todd Lochmoeller with very easy-to-follow descriptions of his hikes, along with some outstanding photos. Covers a lot of Moab hot spots, like Bow Tie Arch, Morning Glory Natural Bridge, various petroglyphs/pictographs, etc. as well as some hikes from the outlying areas. Well worth a click.


  • Negro Bill Canyon 5 mile RT hike to Morning Glory Natural Bridge, from trailhead on Rt. 128. Nice page with description, directions & photo on the UtahRedRocks.com site.


  • Professor Creek Canyon Slot canyon located off Utah 128, a few miles north of Castle Valley. This page, on AmericanSouthwest.net, lists directions, descriptions, photos, etc. You'll need to hike 3 miles prior to reaching the narrows, but it's worth it. Good webpage.


  • Mt. Peale detailed driving directions and some trail notes & specifications on the UtahWild.com website.


  • Mt. Tukuhnikivatz This is an online "excerpt" from Utah's Favorite Hiking Trails, a great book by David Day. At 416 pages, it's quite comprehensive. But we're glad to link to Day's page on Tukuhnikivatz, as it provides detailed directions, stats, and photos. Well worth a click.


  • Mt. Tukuhnikivatz trip report on the climber.org site about a mid-June hike that couldn't summit due to snowpack. Interesting reading.


  • Mt. Tukuhnikivatz comprehensive page on Summitpost site with explicit directions, notes, dozens of photos. This is the one "must click" page for Mt. Tuk.


Arch Hunters!

Mention "Moab" and a lot of different things may come to mind...mountain bikes, long hikes, river rafting, slickrock...and of course, arches. Natural arches...Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Double-O, the Windows. After the demand for uranium fell off, it was the natural arches that brought new life to this old desert cow town. Today it is a mecca for recreation of all sorts, but the number one attraction remains the natural arches.

If you've visited Arches National Park, you've probably seen half a dozen to a dozen arches. If you've made a bit of an effort to see the spans that the Park Service maintains roads and trails to, you have probably seen about two dozen.

Congratulations, you've still got 1,865 waiting to be seen.

That's correct, there are 1,889 legitimate spans in those rocks, and that's just in the confines of the National Park! There are thousands more surrounding Moab. You could dedicate your life to hunting for these arches, but you probably don't have time.

Fortunately, someone else has. Chris Moore, of Arch Hunter Books, has cataloged thousands and thousands of spans in the Moab region, and thousand more around the world. He is arguably the world's foremost authority on natural arches and bridges, and helped me publish the first identification and location of Honeysuckle Bridge, in Zachariah KY. So obviously I think quite highly of Chris, and wholeheartedly recommend his book, A Guide Book to the Natural Arches of Arches National Park.

Because you're reading this webpage, I'm guessing that you aren't quite satisfied by just hiking to the usual sights crawling with tourists. And you'd love to spend some time at an arch that you can have all to yourself. Well, that book is the way to do it. Chris has published a couple others covering arches around Moab, but I think the ones within the National Park are the easiest to get to, and the most concentrated. The link takes you to amazon.com, so you can buy with confidence and certainly return it if the book isn't to your liking. And then you can go hunt down the rest of those arches!

-- Rick Bolger

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