Moonshine Arch in Vernal is quite the hidden Gem. (Hidden, meaning it's kind of hard to find in general.) We thought we could start the hike around 6, but it took a while to find the trailhead and then staying on the right trail...so we decided to come back and try it again tomorrow. (With a little bit more research.) DON'T FOLLOW YOUR GPS ON FINDING THE TRAIL HEAD, IT'S WRONG AND GOES THROUGH PRIVATE PROPERTY.
But, once we did find it, HOORAY!
I'm constantly surprised when I find out that there is yet ANOTHER hidden Arch in Utah. I mean you hear about all these Arches and you think they are only in Moab right? Wrong. This hike is so family friendly that my 3 & 4 year did it all themselves. (With much help from Grandmas and the Trail Fairy.)
We started hike (this time) around 2 pm, after eating some delicious pizza from local place Antica Forma Pizzeria.
We grabbed it on our way out of town and I'm so very happy we did.
Here's where you can pack your car. It's right next to the cattle guard.
This hike is also not marked super well. So when in doubt, stay RIGHT. When you come to a spot that looks like a dead end loop, stay right and head up the slick rock.
We got lucky that there was cloud cover that day. Most of the trail is sandy, slick rock. There's little bit of some uphill hiking, but nothing too strenuous.
Really, the hike isn't that far away from where you park your car, but it does seem to wind around quite a bit.
This hike can also be driven with jeeps/ATVs the whole way up to the arch. You can totally see some tire marks here and there.
Finding some almost Moqui Balls? I'm not quite sure if they are, but they really reminded me of our trip here.
We measured this hike at around .9 miles from the cattleguard with a Fitbit.
Once you get to the Arch, it's hard not to appreciate how amazing it is.
We decided to go and climb around.
The sand was so soft and cooling.
I wish we had more time to hang out at the arch, but some dark clouds were rolling in and I didn't want to chance the rain with sand, baby and toddlers.
Next time, I'm going to plan on bringing a lunch and having a picnic.
I climbed on top of the arch, going up is always easier than coming down.
The kids were tired of sand being in their shoes, so we decided to hike back in our bare feet. (Caution. There is lots of cactus.)
We made it about 2/3 of the way before getting our shoes back on.
I loved seeing alll the desert foliage. There were quite a few different blossoms.
This is the trail where you should keep right when heading up the trail. I only remembered to take photos on the way back.
Thanks to our grandmas for coming and hiking with us. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't' have made the hike without both of them!
We got back to the right as it started to rain. As we drove back it POURED down rain. When we got back into town there were little streams going down the roads. I'm glad we got out when we did!
- We logged .9 miles one way.
- Sandy or slick rock.
- No public Bathrooms
- No water so bring your own.
- Kind of hard to find trail.
- Keep to the right on every Y after the cattle guard. (See map below.)
- ATVS/JEEPS can make it all they way there. It gets more technical that I know about.
- More hikes here.
Really, now that I've mapped it out, it's not that hard to find, but it sure was if you didn't have a map. Apparently, it is on private property so that's why it's not clearly marked.
This is what the road looks like when you turn off of 191. It's kind of hard to see it until you are right on it and it's on a curve. After this, you'll see two different green signs that tell you where to turn. (Somehow I didn't get photos of them, but you'll see them.)