Monday, June 1, 2015

What to do on Hot Days in Moab

The National Weather Service forecast much higher temperatures here for Sunday through Tuesday. So we decided we have done enough hiking, and it was time to find some cooler activity.  What better than a three-hour jet boat ride down the Colorado River?

boat picture from web
I collected a number of brochures from the local racks and decided the three hour tour offered by Canyonlands by Night and Day was the best choice for us. 

The cost, $89 per person including taxes, was on par with the other companies offering similar trips, but their boat looked better. Covered from the sun and open on the sides with an aft deck for aggressive photographers. Our driver and guide was cheerful but not tiresome, a local guy that kept us smiling without overdoing the trite jokes.

We were not alone on the river. The folks below were equipped to take a much longer ride. Raft trips can span many days with camping at night. We saw at least one other raft that appeared to be part of this party.  We saw them at our hour-and-a-half turn around spot. Our guide said that one hour on our boat equaled almost a day on a raft, and that he had seen the same raft up river on his morning run. Without that umbrella the sun would be brutal!

It was neat to see Dead Horse Point from below, when we had walked to it several days before.  Dead Horse Point is the right end of the large rectangular butte on the right. The expanse to the left is close to the West Rim Trail that was the second half of our hike.

Our guide said there were many versions of the story about horses being left there to die, but that none of them were true. As a local, he said there is an area of white rocks below the point that looks like a large ghost horse, and it is this that gave the place its name.

Once again, so many fascinating red rocks. Do you see the Lazy Boy recliner?

The sand stone has so many textures and layers. In some places it looks like it could crumble away in a single storm.

These are quite smooth and rounded.  They are like the formations that Arches NP calls "petrified dunes", but the river has cut through them. The streaks of dark color are called rock varnish.

These 1600 year old petroglyphs were at least twenty feet above the ground level. I asked the guide how "they" had reached so high and first he said: "Indians in Moab were really tall".  Then he told us there had been sand and rock below that had been removed when the road there was made.

The end for today, but check back, there are more hot Moab days  coming up.


  1. What fun! And I like your guide! I've heard that you have to make those raft reservations a couple of years in advance? Oh, I saw that recliner too! Have fun!

  2. So glad the petroglyphs are so high up, no one can ruin them. They are pretty cool to see.

  3. Thanks for the info and the great photos.

  4. I was curious how hot it was there, so I checked on Weatherbug and was shocked how hot it was since it's so far north. Amazing you'd have 95 degrees this early in the year. It's not that hot here in Tampa, but I'll bet it's more humid. :) We're dreaming of Blairsville where it's pretty nice still.

    It looks like you chose a great activity for a hot day. Beautiful pictures.

    1. Moab is only about 100 miles north of Arizona. In 1937 it reached 113 F in Middle, Saskatchewan.

  5. I love the juxtaposition of the river and the red rocks (and how dry and desert-y they look). Just gorgeous. I'm planning a trip to Moab and the National Parks, and after seeing this I'm dead set on doing some rafting (it's a bit more of my style than a boat ride). I love the umbrella on that one raft, too -- I might have to steal the idea! Thanks for sharing your fun adventure!


Leave a comment, or send an email.