On Tuesday we drove through Yellowstone from the West entrance to the South entrance, then on through Grand Teton National Park, then out to Idaho Falls to pick up I-15 and continue on to Salt Lake City, where we spent the night in Layton. The next morning we continued on to Moab, arriving in the mid-afternoon.
Yesterday we drove into Arches to the Dark Angel trailhead, and spent about 4 1/2 hours hiking past several spectacular sandstone arches out to Dark Angel, a pillar of red sandstone a short distance beyond Double-0 Arch, then back by way of the Primative Trail (a *very* apt name!). This hike is excellent, though if you ever come here, I strongly recommend that you not hike at the same time of day as we did; we started at 10am, just as the sun was getting most hot and bright. This hike is undoubtedly much more pleasant if you start by 7am and get back to the parking lot by 11:30.
Today we went out to Island in the Sky, the section of Canyonlands National Park that lies between the Colorado and Green rivers. Shorter hikes, higher elevantions leading to somewhat cooler temperatures, and stunning views across the canyons cut by the two rivers.
This evening we had dinner at the River Grill Restaurant, which is part of the Sorrel River Ranch located on Utah Route 128 about 17 miles up the Colorado from the US 191 bridge just north of Moab. Excellent food, and an excellent view of the river flowing gently by. I found it slightly surreal, as the last time that I had supper on the banks of the Colorado I was on the last day of a 7-day, 280-mile rafting trip through the Grand Canyon.
We have two more full days in the area before we return home. We plan to hike in the Needles section of Canyonlands tomorrow, and on Sunday we plan to take an early-evening hike in Arches out to Delicate Arch, so that we can see it by sunset.