Saturday, August 3, 2013

More fun in Moab

Long delayed post catching up on the last of our vacation fun....

So after our too crowded day in Arches National Park which was breathtakingly gorgeous, but a little too populated for our tastes, we decided to get off the beaten path a little and explore Negro Bill Canyon.  This was the best idea of the whole trip and was rated favorite hike EVER by our family.  Negro Bill Canyon was originally the home of William Granstaff, one of the first settlers of color in the area.  Then canyon had a much more unpleasant name until 1960 when it was renamed.  There is still an ongoing movement to rename the canyon to Granstaff Canyon.  The trail is about 5 miles round trip on an out and back route to Morning Glory Natural Bridge which is billed as the 6th longest natural rock span in the US. 

We wanted to get in and out of the canyon early to beat the heat so we hit our favorite breakfast spot in Moab, the Red Rock Bakery.

 Right in the heart of downtown Moab, we highly recommend it for amazing fresh breakfast fare and delicious coffee as well as a friendly and helpful owner who specifically opened early for us on the second morning of our trip after learning that we were wanting to have breakfast at 7 am so we could hit the trails. So if you are ever in Moab, definitely visit the Red Rock Bakery.  I highly recommend the breakfast toastie (sourdough bread, egg,  avocado, and tomato with veggie cream cheese).  As an aside while we are on the topic of food, we also recommend the Blu Pig for delicious barbecue and Moab Brewery for excellent local beer. 

OK, enough food talk.  We hit the trail and were rewarded immediately by shady green paths directly into the canyon.  The trail markers were clear and easy to follow. 

There were about 12 total stream crossings on this hike which was fun for the kids and really awesome.

 The trail was fairly easy with only a few moderate climbs and not much rockiness.  We actually spotted one runner while we were out there, but otherwise the trail was pretty quiet with only about two other families out there during our entire hike.

  At the end of the hike, you are rewarded with the splendid views of the Morning Glory Natural Bridge. There is a tempting little pool beneath the bridge, but we had been warned that it was surrounded with poison ivy so we did not approach.

The kids had been begging to rock climb, and we had spotted the Big Bend Boulder Field along the road so we stopped there before lunch and let the kids have a go at it.  They had an absolute blast tackling some of the smaller boulders. 

In the afternoon we had an awesome time exploring the Colorado River!

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