A few years ago Carmen and I watched the movie 127 Hours – the one where the hiker gets his arm crushed beneath a boulder and has to cut it off with a pocket knife to escape. The film made a big impression on us, not just because it showed a grisly amputation, but for showing off the other worldly landscape of Utah’s red rock desert.
Fast forward to 2013 and Carmen and I had the ‘sort of’ good fortune of going to Utah twice to explore those eerie uplands. Albeit we didn’t go hiking in remote places armed with just one bottle of water and a pocket knife!
Why ‘sort of’ good fortune? Well, our plan of going to Arches National Park was disrupted by the government shutdown (which closed the National Parks) and even though we still went to Utah and saw a few cool things we were denied the really good stuff.
Getting back to Moab
But if that guy had the will to cut his own arm off then we had no excuses. When the government reopened again we stopped our road trip cold, turned around and drove all the way back to the town of Moab which is the gateway to The Arches and the rest of Utah’s iconic places.
The scenery you can see as you drive across Utah is almost enough. The wide open spaces are so vast you can sometimes view the curvature of the earth on the distant horizon where the red land meets the blue sky. Then an immense butte of rock or a twisted rock formation will rise up and make you think you’ve landed on Mars. I sometimes felt like I was flying as I steered our little van up and over huge hills and plunged down twisting valleys that set and rose the sun over and over.
When we reached Moab, the desert night had set in and the bright lights of the town’s restaurants and hotels were like a beacon in the black. One of the biggest and brightest signs was for our hotel, The Redstone Inn. We planned to spend three days in Arches National Park so the Redstone would be our home for three nights.
The Redstone Inn is about a 10 minute drive from the entrance to Arches National Park and very close to a tonne of bars, restaurants, grocery stores and gas stations. You don’t need a car to get around the town because everything you need is within walking distance – great if you want to have a few glasses of wine at dinner and not worry about driving.
Our room had a double bed, a desk with a lamp and two chairs, TV and drawers, a small kitchen with a microwave and fridge and, although small, a well appointed en-suite bathroom.
We settled in and spent a pleasant first night using the kitchenette (complete with microwave and fridge) to make a meal of soup before turning in for some beauty sleep. We got up early the next morning and spent a full day hiking in Arches (post and video to come) before getting back quite late. We were sore and tired and after a quick dinner we took advantage of The Redstone Inn’s best service – the jacuzzi.
We sat for an hour or so in the hot tub getting the kinks out of our muscles and relaxing. When we got up early again the next day for another strenuous day of hiking we felt fantastic and jumped back into the tub when we got back. There is also a good wi-fi connection in the rooms and a gas barbeque available.
What we liked at The Redstone Inn
The Redstone Inn caters for a lot of hikers, mountain bikers, jeepers and photographers who explore the area during the day and get very dirty – so there is a nook filled with cleaning cloths and brushes so you can service your gear – a nice touch we thought.
And of course the jacuzzi!
Although we were only staying for a few days and didn’t need to get many things out of the car, there’s a large dresser with drawers and a hanging wardrobe in the room for storage. They also had a book on the desk which was about the cowboy history of Moab and was an interesting read.
What we didn’t like at The Redstone Inn
The only minus point was that the small kitchenette lacked cutlery and plates. Luckily we had our own in our camping gear in the car so it wasn’t too much of a problem for us.
We’re planning to return to Arches one day and when we do we’ll stay at The Redstone Inn again. Just thinking about that jacuzzi after a long day seeing hiking around geological formations is making me nostalgic.
What you need to know:
Address – US 191 runs through Moah and The Redstone Inn is on the main drag at 535 South Main St, Utah 84532
Cost – The cheapest room, which is a double, is about US$49.95 a night. I think this is really good value.
Please note: We enjoyed two nights’ complimentary accommodation at The Redstone Inn. As always though, our opinions are our own.