Photo essay: Landscapes of Utah

Driving through Utah has been one of the highlights of our entire road trip through America.

The scenery is spectacular and other worldly.

Unfortunately when we went the government shutdown had closed all the national parks, meaning we couldn’t visit Arches National Park. I was really disappointed because I’d been looking forward to this National Park for a long time.

Luckily for us though, the government shutdown didn’t affect Monument Valley as it is run by the American Indian reservation rather than the government. So we paid our $10 entry fee and went for a hike around Monument Valley.

The American Indians call Monument Valley ‘The place where the Earth touches the Sky.’ And with the below photo it’s easy to see why!

Take a look at our landscapes of Utah:

In Monument Valley Utah 2 Double-Barrelled Travel

These are some other landscapes of Utah we saw hiking:

In Monument Valley Utah 3 Double-Barrelled Travel

In Monument Valley Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

We hiked along The Wildcat Trail, which is 3.2 miles (5.14km), around the West Mitten Butte within Monument Valley. It took around two hours. I’d recommend doing it at the beginning or the end of the day as it’s the desert and can get ridiculously hot. Even though we went in autumn (or fall) it was still very warm by the time we finished at 10am.

Someone had built this cute little arch along the trail and I posed underneath it.

Hiking in Monument Valley Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

The previous night we had stayed in a primitive campsite off the main road leading to Monument Valley. You could hardly call it a campsite really, it was more a dirt parking space with a little bit of shelter and some benches. There was no water and only portaloos.

But the view was spectacular. We were right in the middle of the valley and watched this beautiful sunset (below). We also got up early to watch the sunrise.

Sunset in Monument Valley Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

This cute little stray dog was running around the campsite and we fed him scraps and water which he devoured hungrily. He was soon our new best friend. I’m sure he gets spoiled by all the campers though!

Stray dog at our campsite in Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

While we were in Utah we managed to enter Zion National Park. Although it was technically closed because of the government shutdown, you were still allowed to drive through the park as long as you didn’t stop.

We slowed down a little when we were driving through and I took these photos by hanging outside of the car window. We wished we could’ve got out of the car and hiked but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Thanks Federal Government!

Zion National park Double-Barrelled Travel

Zion National park 4 Double-Barrelled Travel

Zion National park 2 Double-Barrelled Travel

We had heard that Moab is a lovely town to visit so we drove on towards it. Located close to Arches National Park, we were told that there is a rock arch formation that wasn’t inside the park and so was still open to visitors.

Excitedly, we got up early one morning and drove out to it. It was called Corona Arch and the hiking trail was about 3 miles (4.8km) long, round trip.

Along the route to the arch, we saw this landscape:

Utah landscape Double-Barrelled Travel

And came across this cute little ladder:

Dave hiking to Corona Arch in Utah on ladder Double-Barrelled Travel

And before we knew it, we could see the arch:

Corona Arch in Utah Double-Barrelled Travel2

Corona Arch in Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

To finish off our time in Utah, we decided to go for a drive along the scenic highway that surrounds Moab. It takes about two hours to drive and combines both La Sal Loop Road, which takes you into the mountain, and Highway 128 which goes along the canyon adjacent to Arches National Park.

The scenery is spectacular because on one side you have the mountains and the forest, and on the other is the desert and the amazing rock formations.

On the road in Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

Sweeping views of Utah near Moab Double-Barrelled Travel

Autumn fall trees in Utah Double-Barrelled Travel

Have you been to Utah? What did you think?

All of these photos were taken with my iPhone. I used the app Camera+ to edit them.

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About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

4 comments on “Photo essay: Landscapes of Utah”

  1. Lauren Reply

    I loved Monument Valley! What an incredible place :-). Utah is right at the top of my list of places to return to in the US — there’s so much more I need to see.

    • Carmen Allan-Petale Reply

      It’s so beautiful, isn’t it?
      I still have more photos to post because we went back to Arches National Park after the government reopened and that was spectacular!

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