Moab: How to do Moab Better and Easier

Moab Utah is the vacation mecca. You can experience unmatched recreation for almost any outdoor activity you enjoy within minutes of downtown Moab. A quick list of fun things to do in Moab includes world class mountain biking, hiking to see loads of arches, boating the Colorado River, exploring Canyon Land and Arches National Parks, exploring world renowned jeep trails in a rental jeep or atv, and rock climbing for all abilities. Moab is a destination that offers so many high quality experiences that you will have to go back again and again. A great resource for learning more about Moab, Utah is Discover Moab

Since there is a plethora of information about Moab and the things you can do there. We wanted to focus on a couple points that will make your trip to Moab better and easier so that you can have the best possible trip in your campervan rental from Salt Lake. The first insider tip to make your trip special is to stop at Fifth Water Hot Springs either on your way to or from Moab. Fifth Water Hot Spring is a gorgeous hot spring that flow into Diamond Fork Creek. It has several pools with varying temperatures, a waterfall, and beautiful scenery, especially in the fall when the colors are changing. It is an easy 2.5 mile hike to the hot springs on a wide trail. It is a great break in your traveling because the trail head for the hotspring is just 15 minutes down Diamond Fork Road from Highway 89 which you drive to get from Salt Lake to Moab.

Fifth Water Hot Springs is a popular spot among locals.

Fifth Water Hot Springs is a popular spot among locals.

Once you reach Moab you get to decide where to camp. While there are loads of options for camping it can be a little unclear where those options are and what they are like if you have not spent much time in Moab. The easiest camping option is to pull your campervan rental into an RV park with bathrooms and other amenities. Click the link here to see a map of all the RV parks near Moab. A second option is to camp at a developed BLM campground. These usually have a communal bathroom as well as flat spots to park, a picnic bench, and a fire ring. You can see a map of the developed BLM campgrounds here. They usually cost about $15 per night. Another very popular camping spot is Sand Flats Recreation Area where the Slick Rock mountain bike trail is located. This campground has the same amenities as BLM developed campgrounds. The final option is to find a spot to camp for free on BLM or Forest Service land outside of Moab. These campsites can be a little more difficult to find and more difficult to get to. Always remember to be gentle and take care of your campervan rental, especially when you are trying to find the perfect campsite. When camping on undeveloped public land, also known as primitive camping, be sure to only camp in previously established campsites away from sensitive areas like riparian zones or washes. The National Geographic Moab North map is a great help in finding primitive camping spots and general navigation around Moab. Some spots to look for primitive camping can be found by turning off of Highway 191 onto established dirt roads such as BLM 378 road to Willow Springs, Dalton Well Road, and Mill Canyon Road to name a few. Wherever you camp be sure to leave the place better than you found it.

The view from Dalton Well Road camping looking toward Monitor and Merimac can be very nice.

The view from Dalton Well Road camping looking toward Monitor and Merimac can be very nice.

If you have any questions or want help planning your campervan rental trip to Moab give us a call or shoot us an email. If you are ready for a great trip click here to make your reservation now. 

San Rafeal Swell: Utah's Overlooked Oasis

Utah is full of hidden gems waiting to be found by you in your campervan rental. The San Rafael Swell is one of them. The San Rafael Swell is a large geographic uplift on the eastern side of central Utah only about 3 hours from Salt Lake City. It a vast expanse with minimal development. It is a great place to get away. It is packed with hidden treasures of ancient rock art, gorgeous views, and unique geology including slot canyons and hoodoos.  There are no gas stations and limited cell phone service so plan ahead for an excellent adventure. Wandervans recommends bringing a good map like this one from National Geographic to help you navigate. 

One of the best known points of interest in the swell is The Wedge which is also known as the "Little Grand Canyon." I was expecting it to be a bit overrated given how much people talked about it. However, when I saw it in person I was taken aback by how impressive it truly was. There are campsites along the overlook as well as along the road leading to the overlook. There are primitive campsites throughout the swell. Please be sure to always leave your site better than you found it. 

The Wedge Overlook is an impressive feat of erosion that you can reach with your campervan rental from Wandervans in Salt Lake.

The Wedge Overlook is an impressive feat of erosion that you can reach with your campervan rental from Wandervans in Salt Lake.

The San Rafael Swell is full of signs of human history including many ancient petroglyphs and pictographs throughout the swell that were left long ago by many different groups including the Freemonts, Utes, and pioneers.  Many of the art pieces are well marked along main roads where you can see them up close with only a little effort. There are also historical ruins and structures through out the swell such as the swinging bridge built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corp. When it was built it was the only bridge over the river and opened up a world of opportunity for Utahans including ranchers.

The swinging bridge can no longer hold the weight of a campervan but you can still walk on the bridge and feel it swing under your feet.

The swinging bridge can no longer hold the weight of a campervan but you can still walk on the bridge and feel it swing under your feet.

There are also many slot canyons throughout the swell. It is important to be prepared when exploring these canyons as desert travel can be dangerous and you are not likely to see many other people if you see any at all. Two good resources for researching slot canyons in the area are Visit Utah and The American Southwest

Goblin Valley State Park encompasses a small piece of the San Rafael Swell. It is much less visited than places like Arches National Park or Canyon Lands National Park which are both within a couple hour drive of the swell. It is an alien landscape the highlight of which are the hoodoos created by erosion. Goblin Valley State Park is unique in many ways. The most memorable of which is the exploration opportunities. While there are trails that most anyone can hike that wind through the hoodoos what makes Goblin Valley State Park unique is the open country policy. Visitors are welcomed to travel off trail to explore the landscape so long as they are conscious to not harm the hoodoos. This can be a wondrous, unforgettable experience especially for children. Goblin Valley State Park also has 7 miles of beginner mountain bike trails, a disc golf course, and is certified as one of the darkest night skies on earth which lets you see more stars than almost anywhere else on earth.

Goblin Valley State Park homes very unique erosion that you can explore off trail.

Goblin Valley State Park homes very unique erosion that you can explore off trail.

A large part of San Rafael Swell's charm is the lack of specific places to go. It is a vast, unique landscape that provides visitors with endless options to create a one of a kind trip each time they visit. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have about the San Rafael Swell. You can make your reservation here now.

Make More of your Journey to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

Recommended Stay: 3-7 days

Distance from Salt Lake: 308 miles / Drive Time: about 5 hours

Trip Cost Estimate: $550-$1220

While Zion and Bryce National Parks are both well known national parks that attract thousands of visitors a year the special places along the route to them often get over looked. This post will give you some ideas of places to see along the routes to and from Zion and Bryce to make your trip even more memorable.

The first natural point of interest worth pointing out as you head south from Salt Lake City in your campervan rental is the Nebo Loop Scenic Byway. This gorgeous addition to your drive starts in Payson, Utah and connects back on to Interstate 15 in Nephi, Utah. The Nebo Loop Scenic Byway is a seasonally open, meandering road that provides access to camping, hiking, and spectacular views. The most famous overlook along the byway is Devil's Kitchen. Devil's Kitchen features erosion similar to Bryce National Park and is surrounded by beautiful conifers.

As you continue south on I-15 the next natural point of interest is Meadow Hot Springs located just southwest of Meadow, Utah. This hot springs has several pools that you can drive very close to. One swimming hole is full of colorful non-native fish that people have put in the pool. The primary swimming hole is about fifteen feet long by twenty feet wide and gets about ten feet deep. While the pools are not scalding hot the main pool will keep you warm while it is cold outside.

An old dog enjoyed taking break from the campervan rental at Meadow Hot Springs on our way home to Salt Lake.

An old dog enjoyed taking break from the campervan rental at Meadow Hot Springs on our way home to Salt Lake.

About an hour and a half south of Meadow, Utah is Kanaraville Falls. Kanarraville Falls is a spectacular slot canyon hike. It is a moderately difficult 5 miles round trip hike. The fall is in a tight canyon where an old tree tacked with 2x4 rungs that lets you climb to the top of the fall. This is a very popular hike. The only places you are allowed to park near the trailhead cost $10 so bring some cash to support the local community and maintain the trail. After your hike it is a short jaunt over to Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

On your way back to Salt Lake you may want to stop at one more hot spring to relax after all your hiking. North of Bryce Canyon close to your route back to Salt Lake is Mystic Hot Springs.  Mystic Hot Springs is a developed attraction that has hot springs, camping, and often hosts small music festivals. If you are ready to return your campervan rental to Salt Lake after your time here Salt Lake is a hop, skip, and jump north.

If you have any questions or want help planning a trip like this please contact us. If you are ready to reserve your campervan rental from Salt Lake City click here.

Spring in Southern Utah

Utah's location and geography offer a huge range of activities that change through out the year. In the spring with a campervan rental from Salt Lake City you can do everything from hike in Zion and Bryce National Parks, mountain bike Zen trail in St. George, or have the desert to yourself in Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. Spring is a great time to escape the cold of Salt Lake to relax with an easy to use campervan in the warmer temperatures of southern Utah. Around St. George for example highs regularly reach the 60's and low 70's in March. Later on in the summer those temperatures can can get well above 90 degrees which make the spring and fall the best time to enjoy southern Utah. Some places to keep on your radar when planning your southern Utah vacation include Nebo Loop Scenic Drive, Kannaraville Falls, Bloomington Cave, Sand Hollow State Park, Gooseberry Mesa, Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Grand Staircase - Escalante National Park, Red Cliffs National Conservation Area, Capital Reef, Moab, Arches Nation Park, Mystic Hot Springs, Meadow Hot Springs, just to get you started. We will continue to post more details about each of these locations so keep an eye on Wandervans and our Salt Lake Blog.

Meadow Hot Springs is a great stop off I-15 on your way to exploring southern Utah.

Meadow Hot Springs is a great stop off I-15 on your way to exploring southern Utah.

Welcome Salt Lake City

Welcome Salt Lake City

We are proud to announce we will be providing rentals in Salt Lake City starting on March 1st.

Please standby as we add content. You can now make a reservation for Salt Lake City by visiting our reservation page.

Thanks,

Wandervans