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trip coming up fast

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New Jersey
posts: 162
trip coming up fast

Due to arrive in Grand Junction, CO on Sat, 6/29. Plan to take the scenic route to Moab thanks to suggestions found here via 70 West and Route 128. Hope to arrive in Moab @3. Have my itinerary pretty much wrapped up except for 2 afternoons where I need to plug in some adventure lol.

Have guided Arches hike/tour Sunday morning, with rest of the day free - stay at Arches? Head to another park?

Horsesback ride on Wed morning, rest of day free...

Also doing 2 day Cataract Canyon river trip - need advice on whether to bring a camera? One time waterproof throwaway? How about the phone situation? Is it worth bringing my iPhone for some pics or don't risk waterlogging it? lol

Open to suggestions !! So excited as this is my first time out this far West, coming from New Jersey!!!! Have a feeling this is going to be a trip of a lifetime....

Thanks to all for the help :)

Edited: 8:38 pm, June 19, 2013
Steamboat Springs...
posts: 1,842
reviews: 19
1. Re: trip coming up fast

Totally bring a camera on your river trip . Get your self a small dry bag to keep it in. Over 75% of the ride is mostly mellow water. Stash it away when you run the rapids or.. shoot some stuff from shore before you run the rapids.

Stay at Arches after the Fiery Furnace hike. Still tons to see.

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
posts: 7,101
reviews: 322
2. Re: trip coming up fast

What all is included in the guided tour/hike at Arches? Is this the Fiery Furnace hike? Depending on what you see Sunday morning at Arches there are several options for the afternoon: The Devil's Garden is a great hike; certainly make the hike to Delicate Arch for sunset.

I agree with powderglut, take a camera on the raft trip. Disposal waterproof would work, but the drag bad is a great idea.

Here's the link to the trip report from my last visit to Moab; it migt give you a few ideas:


Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,308
reviews: 18
3. Re: trip coming up fast

I'm excited just thinking about it. Cataract Canyon is so fun. You'll have a blast and see absolutely amazing sites, maybe petroglyphs, the confluence of the Green and Colorado, possibly some Bighorn Sheep. I'm not sure where you'll be camping on your two day trip, but if you're at Spanish Bottom, hike up into the Doll House. Stay on the trails though, it can be like a maze and easy to get turned around if you're not used to route finding or hiking. Talk with your guides about it...

There are several places you can get waterproof camera bags in Moab. I would take your camera. I took a Nikon D-90 the last time I went. If you're nervous, put the camera in a couple of garbage bags inside of the Pelican Case or Seal Line (waterproof bag brands) and tie it up when not in use. This should only be necessary when traveling through the raids. There are several different sizes you can buy. Be wary of trying to film during the rapids, because if something happens, you will lose your camera or phone. I doubt you'll have cell service at any point, but can use the phone to capture to scenery.

Depending on what your tour in Arches includes, you could visit more areas within the park. There are a lot of areas to explore . You'll definitely want to see Delicate Arch, the Fiery Furnace, and The Windows section at bare minimum.

For the horseback riding day, I would check out Canyonlands' Island In The Sky, if you don't have it planned anywhere. This will provide the contrasting view you were seeing while on the Colorado. Instead of looking up, you'll be on top of the mesas and cliff walls, looking down at the river. Another area for this is Dead Horse Point.

There are also Jeep Safaris and Moab is the mountain biking mecca of the world. Talk with a rental shop about an appropriate trail for you ability, if that would suit you. There are probably some spas too, but I don't have a recommendation. Have so much fun. Drink lots of water, apply lotion and sunscreen and don't forget the chap stick.

Edited: 9:46 pm, June 19, 2013
New Jersey
posts: 162
4. Re: trip coming up fast

Great tips! Not sure what the 'guided' Arches hike/tour includes, but giving a call today. Need to find out if the tour group taking us, if I decide to stay, how I'm getting back to the Moab Adventure Center since that is where I believe we are starting from.

I know Western River provides a "dry bag", but going to get a separate smaller one for phone and camera. Think I'm going to take my digital Rebel, picture quality will be so much better than a throwaway!

Already have one of the sunset Hummer trips planned for the night I arrive, and really looking forward to it. Everything pretty much in place, just throwing together these last minute details.

Trying not to OVERpack, and really take only what I need....lightweight shorts and Ts, pair of long pants, jacket, fast-drying attire for when on the river, sunglasses, hat....any other MUST have items?

Thanks so much again, I cannot wait to get to Moab!!!


posts: 80
reviews: 7
5. Re: trip coming up fast

Absolutely, I agree that you should pack LIGHT. Just make sure you are still protected from the elements. Coming from New Jersey, I just want to make sure that you aren't underestimating the desert climate. If you've never been this far west, make sure you are prepared. It will likely be nearing 110 degree temps during the day, but the early mornings are still gonna be chilly, maybe even in the low 60s. High altitude deserts have dramatic temperature variation over a 24 hour period. The nice thing is that the humidity is so low that with a little shade and water, the heat is even more bearable than upper 80s temps in NJ.

In addition to your essentials list, I would make sure you have lots of good sun block, even if you are darker skinned. Remember that you'll be at high elevation. Thinner atmosphere, clear skies, and zero smog combine to make the UV rays stronger than what you might be used to at home. Also get some sunburn relief gel WITH LIDOCAINE. FYI, the water-jel product contains 3X stronger lidocaine than those weaker green Alo gel versions. IMO, if you do get burned, you want something that works good and fast so you can enjoy the rest of your trip. Also, you'll want a good insect repellent, and I don't know what kind of shoes you are planning on using, but water shoes like Keens are a popular choice because they can do rivers without getting waterlogged and at the same time work similar to hiking shoes on the smooth sandstone and rough terrain. IMO, anytime you won't be getting your shoes wet, tennis shoes or hiking boots are the better option as the water shoes aren't as comfortable.

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,308
reviews: 18
6. Re: trip coming up fast

Sounds like you have most of it covered. See what the rafting company provides and what they expect you to bring. I've only done personal trips, so I'm not sure how the guided ones are set up, but I imagine they have everything you'll need.

You'll want the camera. Good walking or hiking shoes, hard soled water shoes or sandals. A headlight is always nice. A couple of pair of extra socks. The light jacket is wise. You really won't need a lot. It's not like there are places to wear a black cocktail dress and heels or different gear as you might for a snowboarding trip out west. Pack light and have so much fun.

New Jersey
posts: 162
7. Re: trip coming up fast

Brett and Shake: Thanks so much for the awesome suggestions!!! This will indeed be my FIRST time in the desert climate so I really appreciate the realistic reminder, lol! I am darker skinned, but being a nurse, I know that I DO NOT want to get burned! Bringing plenty of sunblock and love the tip for the LIDO gel just in case. Have a great pair of Keen's at the ready that I plan to wear on the raft and can double for a sturdy hiking shoe as well. The rafting company provides my sleeping gear, dry bag, food, etc. I basically have to bring my own personal items, etc.

These other things maybe not specific to the river portion of my trip, but just being in Moab in general for the hike, horseback riding, etc. What type of lightweight jacket would be better...have a cotton-type North Face or more of a parachute-type material windbreaker? For long pants (need for horse ride), jeans, cotton yoga, or one of the more lightweight fast-drying type? Decided to definitely take the camera and iphone, just got waterproof bags, and these will be inside my DRY bag, so hoping they will be OK.

Really want to travel as LIGHT as possible, so want to bring the RIGHT things that will serve me well while I am there. Looks like I am on the right track, and again, thank you so much for your tips!!

Salt Lake City, Utah
Destination Expert
for Utah
posts: 1,308
reviews: 18
8. Re: trip coming up fast

I'm not really a horseman, but the last time I did go horseback riding near Zion National Park, I wore long shorts and was fine. They're not going to be running the horses and typically you only go for a 2-4 hours. You could look at the companies website for what to wear or contact them directly. They'll give you much better info, based on lots of experience,

As for the jacket, you probably won't be wearing it much except for early morning and at night if you're temperature sensitive. The wind breaker is probably less room to pack and could dry quicker but the North Face might be more cozy and warmer. I might go with the wind breaker, but it's really a personal decision. I don't think you could go wrong with either.

Edited: 4:10 pm, June 20, 2013
posts: 80
reviews: 7
9. Re: trip coming up fast

I ride occasionally, and really I prefer not to be in jeans unless I'll be riding through thick forest. On a leisurely short ride, you shouldn't need protection from the saddle and I would doubt that you'll be in thick brush that would be scraping up your legs. My wife prefers to ride in cargo capri shorts made of that lightweight cotton poplin material. That poplin material is very light, dries quickly if it gets sweaty in the saddle, and doesn't hold dust as much as regular cotton.

You'll likely only need the jacket from 5:30-7:00am, especially if riding in an open top Jeep or Hummer. And then if you are very temp sensitive, after about 11pm. After 7am, the sun is heating everything up pretty good. I personally would use a loose and very lightweight cotton jacket or long sleeve shirt, but only because I think they are much more cozy than that windbreaker material. Unlikely that you'll get caught in a rainstorm. But the windbreakers surely take up less space and are easier to pack.

Other optional items that I really appreciate having when I do a trip like you are taking...

Trail Mix with NO CHOCOLATE. --- what's better than exploring the desert while munching on trail mix that won't melt in your pocket?

Jerky --- chewing on jerky keeps my mouth from drying out.

Insulated thermos (my wife prefers to use her camelback) --- stay hydrated : stay happy

Small LED flashlight or headlamp --- if you do something like waiting at Delicate Arch for the full sunset, a headlamp comes in handy on the hike back.

Grand Junction...
posts: 1,185
reviews: 25
10. Re: trip coming up fast

Sorry to disagree, but I prefer Jeans or at least ankle length pants. Nothing worse than that leather rubbing against your skin and sweaty skin at that. Who is your ride with if I might ask?. http://moabhorses.com/ is the best in my opinion. More for your money, great people, chance to ride a Mule if you wish. Its not a nose to tail ride, you get to ride at your own pace.

Edited: 2:31 pm, June 21, 2013