Friday, June 21, 2019

Klondike Bluffs Auto Hike

Gopher Flats
Moab, UT
June 9, 2019

The morning of June 9th dawned with windy conditions and much cooler temps.  Our plan was to hike Tower Arch, but those plans quickly changed the moment we stepped outside.  The skies were bright blue and clear so we decided an auto hike would be more comfortable.  

Since we were headed to Arches NP anyway, we decided to do a drive through on our way to Salt Valley.  

Balanced Rock doesn't look so impressive int he photo, but it stands 128 feet tall.

We made a quick stop at the Windows Section, also known as the Spectacles, but didn't linger.  The chilly wind and poor morning lighting was a deterrent.  I'm thinking for the best pictures a sunset visit would be better. 

First attempt to photo the it is a challenge !

 Salt Valley is a gorgeous section of Arches.  Tower Arch is a secluded arch in the northwest corner of the valley near the park border.  There is little traffic on the gravel/dirt road that meanders the is well maintained and as long as it is dry, most vehicles will not have any trouble.   

The road is gravel...
...which changes to soft red dirt...

...then hard packed dirt after you exit the park.

The wildflowers are definitely fading away. The Mule's Ears are one of my favorite! 

We did spot a pair of Pronghorns just outside the park.  These animals have a long history and are quite unique.  Did you know that their closet living relatives are giraffes and okapi ?  
Pronghorns are the only animals in the world that have branched horns.

 Did you know they have the longest land migration and they are the fastest land animal in North America ?  And did you know Pronghorns are one of only a few living links to the Ice Age ?    
Just look at those eyelashes...

After leaving the park we took a side road we hoped would take us over Klondike Bluffs.  It turned out to be a dead-end. 

Going up...

 The end of the road...about 1.4 miles in.
And back down...

 All in all, it turned into a pretty good adventure for a Sunday morning.  And the best part, we still have the Tower Arch hike to look forward to.  

On the home front, we haven't had very many colorful sunrises or sunsets lately, but I did get a photo the other night of an orange sunset...

Looking west towards Moab Rim...behind our MH
 and the orange glow on the rim in front of us.
Looking east towards the LaSal front four MH

Gopher Flats has been quite colorful this spring.  The Penstemons and Austrian Copper Roses have been replaced with Heather, Lavender, lots of Butterfly bushes, Smoke bushes and gorgeous trees.

 So until next time, take care and...



  1. Looks like you were driving Pearl ... Wile E would not have considered that a 'Dead End' :) A great day for an 'Auto Hike'.

  2. It's nice that we have options when the weather hands us a curve ball. Your opening sounds just like ours Thursday. Went to hike but the wind and cold changed our minds quickly. I can tell you were in Arches pretty early since you got photos without people. Beautiful drive. That park never gets old. Thanks for the tour.

  3. Looks like a great Sunday drive without others! The color in the flowers is so vibrant. Love that glow on the red rim - it screams Moab!!