Check out part 1 of our Southwest USA Road Trip, which included New Mexico and Arizona. This is the second half of our trip, which includes Page, Moab, and Mesa Verde. Enjoy!
Our next stop after the Grand Canyon was Page, Arizona. We arrived late Monday evening and stayed at an Airbnb. Tuesday morning we woke up and decided to rent a boat and explore Lake Powell to see Glen Canyon. We had wanted to do the Canyon tour but didn’t book with enough time in advance. But the views from the boat were still really amazing. It was pretty cold this time of year (mid-March) but summertime would be the ideal time for this activity and perfect for swimming.
Late that evening after eating some smoked BBQ from a local restaurant (not nearly as good as Texas BBQ) we went to Horseshoe Bend to catch the sunset. It was an amazing view. The walk getting there wasn’t difficult at all. Some views did require a little hiking but nothing too difficult. But it was as if you couldn’t get enough photos of the same view, both because every view seemed to catch something different because of the angle or how the sun changed its color and shadows and because it seemed that no photo could do the scenery justice. We spent a while there just taking in the moment.
The next morning, my parents and cousins decided to head back to Texas, but we and my sister and brother-in-law really wanted to see the arches in Moab, Utah since it was only a few hours away from Page. So we left Page that morning and got to Moab with plenty of time to explore Arches National Park. We decided it would be best to tackle the hike to Delicate Arch first since it would take the longest and the most energy. The hike wasn’t too difficult. I think it took us about 45 minutes or so to get there. And the arch was way bigger than any of us had expected. I knew it was big but not so big that we’d look like ants standing next to it. There was a short line to take pictures under the arch. At first I didn’t think I’d feel very comfortable walking under the arch to take a picture because it looked like it would be really narrow but up close it actually wasn’t that bad. You still wouldn’t want to step too close to the edge though.
Then we just admired the surrounding scenery and how the snowy mountains contrasted with the orangey-red tones. It was difficult to capture the snowy mountains on camera but they were such a contrast and really added to the scenery.
Once we got back to the car, we drove to the Windows Section. These were shorter walks and each window was close to another so we got to see multiple views in the same area. The sun was also beginning to set when we got there so the colors were really pretty. It was like a race against time trying to see all the windows before it got too dark to take any more photos.
We stayed at an Airbnb that night that we had found a good deal on. I would recommend booking an Airbnb last minute since that’s when most hosts are desperate to get bookings. We found that the hotels and Airbnbs in Moab were pretty pricey so thankfully we were able to find one at a good rate.
The next day we woke up early to get some coffee in town at Moab Garage Co. It wasn’t the best coffee but it was a cute cafe and they also had breakfast items as well. We got our coffee and checked out some of the souvenir shops on that street. There were so many shops! I’d recommend shopping around before buying anything that way you can see the options in every shop. The last shop we stopped at called Moab Made was full of handmade/local items so I’d definitely recommend stopping by there first.
Then we got hungry and saw a quesadilla truck parked across from Moab Made that was going to open soon so we decided to be first in line. Thankfully they had gluten-free tortillas so I was able to get any quesadilla gluten-free. And since I’m sensitive to cross-contamination, it was helpful that we were first in line so that mine would be made first before other people’s. And I must say that these were some pretty good quesadillas. I’m definitely craving one now!
Our “planned” trip pretty much ended there in Moab. We started making our way back to Texas from here. But we did want to stop at the Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado on our way. It was about a 3-hour trip there from Moab.
The drive up the mountain in the park was a bit unsettling, to be honest. There was still snow everywhere and it was especially windy which made it even colder. At one of the viewpoints, we could barely hold ourselves up so that the wind wouldn’t knock us over! I’m not sure if it’s always that windy there but I’d definitely wear a beanie to keep your ears from freezing off.
It was amazing learning about the archeological heritage of the ancestral pueblo people. The way they lived and built their dwellings was remarkable! I’d recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. We didn’t spend much time here but you could see so much from just driving to each viewpoint. During the warmer months you can tour some of the dwellings which would be pretty cool!
We basically just drove straight to Texas from here. We stayed in Albequerque on Thursday night and woke up early Friday morning to head back to Texas.
Hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures in the Southwest! Let me know if you’ve seen some of these places and what you loved most about them. And make sure to read part one of this trip if you haven’t already!