If I had to sum up our trip to Moab, Utah in one word it would be exhilarating! The sense of adventure infused in every activity, the striking natural beauty and the wild west genuineness, make Moab an adventure-seeker’s dream-come-true. It’s also extraordinarily family-friendly.
With the wind as her brush and water as her paint, Mother Nature has created a masterpiece. Delicate yet rigid, intricate yet massive formations abound from the rubicund earth. It’s the type of natural beauty that lifts your heart and your mind into perfect alignment, if even for a moment. When your consciousness sinks back down, it takes a moment for your television-ridden psyche to accept the scenery as real, not just a digitally-enhanced setting. Although, if you’ve ever watched West World, then know that it’s even more breathtaking in person.
This trip was a first for us. And, I have to admit, we were a little bit like City Slickers (if you’ve never seen that movie, it’s a good one). My sister, Gabrielle, picked Moab for us to meet and celebrate her 30th birthday, she wanted us all to do something that we’ve never done before.
Our headquarters for the weekend was the Sorrel River Ranch Resort and Spa. The hotel is perched on the Colorado River. With individual cabins and small groupings of rooms, the hotel has a distinctly wild-west vibe amid plenty of luxury. Swings on the porch of each room. Beautiful views. The property has horses, pigs, chickens and more as well as a small working farm. Rumors of a coyote on property or a recently sighted bear, often rumbled through the morning breakfast creating small waves of excitement.
Truth be told, we didn’t spend much time at the Sorrel River Ranch. Our trip was just a long weekend and we wanted to cram as much adventure in as possible. The hotel was about 40 minutes outside of Moab, but one of the most scenic drives in the country.
In the two full days that we had in Moab, we crammed in four amazing adventures.
With more than 2,000 natural arches, this national park is incredibly beautiful. There’s breathtaking vista after breathtaking vista, but what’s so amazing about this park is that you are witnessing nature at work. The landscape is in a constant state of change with arches forming and collapsing. The elements are unrelenting and this national park is a true testament to the force of nature.
We packed lots of water and a few snacks, then drove through the park stopping at different hikes. There are plenty of family-friendly hikes that can accommodate even the littlest hikers.
This was one of the most fun (and possibly scariest) things I’ve ever done. We started the tour on Hell’s Revenge (the video above is just the trail head in). And, well, we ended the tour of Hell’s Revenge there… some in our group didn’t enjoy the extreme heights and close proximity to cliff edges. Sooooo, we ended up heading to Fins and Things trail, which was also super fun. It felt like a rollercoaster that you drive yourself. There were lots of times we felt like our UTV was going to roll or flip, but they push ahead like the beasts that they are.
An unexpected highlight of the UTV tour, was a quick stop at some dinosaur tracks. We were able to see a Theropod, a carnivorous dinosaur similar to a T-Rex, track that was around 200 million years old.
Driving the UTV’s was really fun, and we quickly learned just how amazing and sturdy these vehicles are. This was fun for the whole family!
We went on the Morning Glory canyoneering trip with Red River Adventures. It was a little more than a 3-mile hike, two rappels (95′ and 120′) and a bit of scrambling. The minimum age for this adventure is 8, so Zac and Ellie couldn’t go.
Our guides, Patrick and Mikaela, were awesome. They made the trip fun, but also kept everyone safe (particularly Jake). Before the first rappel, Jake started crying. One peak over the edge of a 95′ cliff and he wanted to turn around, especially when he learned that he would be controlling his decent. However, the guides attach a secondary rope to everyone just in case someone was to freak out and drop their ropes or completely freeze.
With Jake in tears, Patrick was able to convince him that he would be fine. Jake and I watched a few people go, then we went. Sitting back over the edge of a cliff is freeing. Trusting the ropes and your guides, requires you to let go of everything else. This truly forces you into the moment and opens you to the beauty around.
After the first rappel, Jake was a pro and he loved it. At 9 years old, he got a taste of adrenaline and he got to learn how much fun it is to overcome your fears.
The Colorado River can be treacherous. Boulders sit just below the surface, there’s areas of rapids and drastic changes in depth. But it’s also beautiful. If you go to Moab, I highly recommend a trip on the Colorado river. We opted for the jet boat tour, because it could accommodate children two and older so we were all able to go. It was also, really fun. Everyone on our boat loved doing doughnuts, last-minute close turns and running the rapids.
What really made this adventure so amazing was our driver and guide, Jason. Reading and accommodating a group of 11 with wildly different likes is not an easy task, Jason was an expert at this. He was able to deliver a ride that pleased everyone. He had a welcoming and entertaining personality. If you have him as a guide, ask him to tell you about the Hispanic Panic. This was an awesome way to see the Colorado River!
Overcoming something that scares you is an amazing feeling. Moab was filled with moments like this and it was so wonderful for our entire family. Pushing through fear as a family was exhilarating!