Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pearl meets Roxanne - A Sunday Drive to Towers Arch

Moab, UT
June 16, 2013

Joe and I met Dee at Portal RV Resort here in Moab. Dee loves the outdoors. She enjoyed skiing,  snow boarding, and biking while living in Colorado.  She moved to Moab and is now a serious "wheeler" and quite involved in the 4X4 world here.  She volunteers countless hours in assuring that others learn safety, grow in their ability, and have a "dang good time" doing what she calls "a passion" !

 When we told Dee we really wanted to do the Towers Arch Trail, she responded with an enthusiastic invitation to guide us.  The ride was planned for the upcoming Sunday morning.  We were so excited and could hardly wait.

Pearl and Roxanne meet!
Dee had suggested we purchase a CB, which we did on Saturday. What a hoot that has turned out to be!

Anyway, Sunday morning arrived and with plenty of water and lunch packed, we headed out bright and early! 

We have learned that airing down tires is a must...20 lbs. is good. We actually have had them aired down since we did Fins "N" Things with Doug. Joe did a quick check to make sure we were OK to go.

To get to Willow Springs Road from Portal, we turned left onto Hwy. 191 north and then right a few miles later onto Willow Springs dirt road.


Our first stop for the day was to see dinosaur tracks. These tracks were made about 165 million years ago.

 Once inside Arches NP, we made the left turn towards Tower Arch.

 We traversed several different terrains...slickrock, deep sand, and gravel. The sandy stretches are my favorite...especially when the trail is curvy with lots of steep banks !

 I did manage to capture a few pictures other than our trusty leader...a view of Arches and the La Sal Mountains...which I have yet to tire of.

And a few wildflowers that have not parched.

 Before we reached the Tower Arch Trail turn off...Dee, using the CB, pointed out the Eye-of-the-Whale Arch. 
This arch is located at the southwest end of the Herdina Park area of Arches between Willows Flats Rd. and Park Road 19 that goes up to the Klondike Bluffs.
 Willow Flats Road was the official Arches park entrance between 1930's and 1958.  Arches NP border is less than 2 miles from the Eye-of-the-Whale Arch. All that desert between is known as Herdina Park...

...and is lacking in crowds or development. There is a trailhead located here.

Not only did we enjoy the curves...

...we also had a lot of laughs on the hills!
Joe and I are still learning the rules for "jeeping etiquette". When a potty stop is needed the code is 10-100. Girls go to the right and guys go to the left...why?...because girls are always right! I'm really liking that rule!

Sometimes an inch or two is the difference in a obtaining a Utah stripe or not! It's not uncommon for trees and stumps to be right on the edge of the trail.

 We made a turn onto the trail that actually leads to the Tower Arch. Its not that far, but does have a lot of interest!
 Dee is a wonderful teacher...Joe has learned so much! Sometimes a stop to strategize was needed.  Dee usually points out more than one option involving different challenges and let Joe make his own choice.

Once the choice is made, it's time to swallow the butterflies and head up, or down whichever the case may be.  This one was up...
and over!

A few more rocks and then a long part of the trail uphill in some really deep sand! Whoohoo! was the "word of the day".

A view of Klondike Bluffs ahead... 

and then Tower Arch.

 From the arch, a portion of the Tower Arch Trail to Salt Valley Road is a steep decline on a rocky ridge. The trail is rated moderate.  High ground clearance and good articulation are recommended.  
Dee is a great leader, a world of information, and so enthusiastic about "wheelin". Joe and I had a great Sunday drive! Experience is key in tackling some of these trails and there's no better way to gain experience and confidence than to follow someone like Dee.

 All thumbs up!

 Joe and I have made a great friend!
 Thanks so much Dee!
 Happy trails to everyone.

Y'all come back!


  1. What a great ride! Glad you have found some people to take you out on the trails. We are definitely thrilled that we sold our motorcycle and moved on to the Jeep. Sounds like you are really enjoying yours, as well. Happy riding! Be safe!

  2. wow! Looks like great fun, I can't wait till next year when we'll be out there!!!

  3. Is so nice to get out there Jeeping with someone that knows what they are doing. We were given a few rides thru The Imperial Sand dunes in southern California and really enjoyed it too.

  4. Now that looks like a great time. A little scary at times but that just adds to the excitement. Learning while having fun is the best way to do it.

  5. You are braving more than the heat, that's for sure. Nice outing...
    Box Canyon Mark

  6. Glad you enjoyed yourself. It's sure not something I'd do though. I'd be a nervous wreck.

  7. How fun! Our stay in Moab made us wish we had a Jeep. Our truck is 4WD so we can go lots of places, but it's far too big for most of the really cool trails. It was great that you found someone to show you the ropes too. Happy jeeping.

  8. That is some ride that Steve will get on like we did at Death Valley. Are there jeeps for rent out there too? Does your friend have an offroading/jeep business that we can use?
    Beautiful pictures and we can not wait when we get there in a few years.

  9. How great to have a guide and off-road mentor. It's been many years since I took my old Toyota Landcruiser four wheelin'. Not sure I would enjoy it anymore, but you are making me reconsider. Fun.

  10. What a great blog. Thanks for taking us along on adventure, especially since we're not four wheelers, or is that jeepers?