TransAmerica Trail – Day 20

Cortez CO to Moab UT

We woke bright and early and refreshed, ready after a couple off days to get back onto the Trans America Trail proper. A few miles west of Cortez we turned back onto dirt roads and it felt great. The terrain quickly turned from the mountains we had been in, to high plains. It was flat and easy so we cruised along at a good speed and crossed into Utah, state number 12.

I checked the maps and saw that we were close to Canyonlands National Park so we headed off the trail to visit. It was 34 miles down and back to get to the park but it was very impressive. About halfway in we came to Newspaper Rock, a 2000 year old example of petroglyphs all over this huge rock, really cool.

We left Newspaper Rock and continued on to the visitor center to learn a bit and then headed out to take an easy hike. It had a couple ladders to climb but was only a bit over a mile and had incredible views. Getting a lot of use out of our Senior Park Pass. As impressive as the park was I still think the best things are off the beaten path and not in any parks.

It was after lunch when we left Canyonlands and headed back out to the road to go to Moab. What a tourist trap! Don’t care if we ever go back there, it was a zoo and a tent site with no amenities was going for $46!!!

I knew we could find something better so down the road we went and back onto the TAT and dirt. Whoa! Immediately climbed up a narrow trail with switchbacks to hundreds of feet above the road below. Luckily there wasn’t any oncoming vehicles and we made it to the flat land on top without incident.

It was a blast in hind sight, at the time not so much It was called Gemini Bridge road and took us past a double arch but this late in the day we didn’t take the hike and continued on to BLM and camped at Horsethief Campground. This one was only $7.50 with really good vault toilets AND 4G with a pokestop at our campsite!

For dinner we made fajita bowls out of some leftovers and after that got treated to a great sunset. There were quite a few other campers but the sites were huge and dispersed so you didn’t see any neighbors.

The day ended with a beautiful sunset, it was perfect.