Second in a three part series on Arches and Canyonlands trip over May 1-3.
Advertised to take ~30 minutes from Moab to the Canyonlands entrance station. I will say this: I drive faster when there are not any state patrol around and there did not seem to be any on UT-313; be careful on US-191! $10 entrance fee, they accept credit cards; same as Arches.
Bypassed the visitor center. Past The Neck, there did not seem to be anyone in the park ~9am. WUT? 15-30 minutes past the entrance station, you will reach the unmarked picnic area/toilet/parking turn-out. If you hit the Grand View Point cul-de-sac, go back North and turn-right at the first turn-out. We were heading (quite literally) down the trail ~9:15am. Looks like a significant drop-off, which it is (drops 1400 ft in 7/10 of a mile), but it is a very well maintained trail. Follow the cairns. Happened upon one couple, and another pair starting when we returned ~11:45am. Really people?!? Heat of the day?
Popped the windows/doors and lunched in the shade of my car.
Decent views (I am spoiled) of the Green River basin and White Rim Road can be had from the overlook. Hit it from 1-2pm; which was only possible in full sun because the high must have been mid-70s. Seemed as though more people access the White Rim Road from the Murphy Loop than where we went down on Gooseberry Trail. Designated parking limited to ~10 parking spots.
Hit a few less tourist flocked drive-up overlooks on the way out of the park. Made 5 minutes for the visitor center and 5 for the toilets and water fill-up. At this point ~3pm we were so done. The pool felt great ~4pm.
Moab Brewery was right across from our hotel, and already at ~5:45pm it was getting full. Fortunately my dad and I were able to snag a table on the less noisy screen? porch. Small order of plain Brew Pub Nachos + drinks was enough to get us going; I have had some nacho plates in my day, and this could certainly satisfy one person. The unfiltered wheat on tap is solid. We each got the Veggie Burrito, which is certainly one of the most interesting and filling burritos I have had.
Check it out.