W. C. McRae

Road Trip Utah’s National Parks in a Week

Despite their proximity, visiting all of Utah’s national parks is a bit complicated because of the rugged terrain and lack of roads. You must plan on a lot of driving. So get in a road-trip frame of mind, cue up some good music, and head out.

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Where to See Rock Art Around Moab

The fertile valley around Moab has been home to humans for thousands of years. Prehistoric rock art, granaries, and dwellings can still be seen here, as well as later native contributions. You don’t need to travel far to see excellent examples of native pictographs and petroglyphs. Expert authors W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell offer specific instructions on how to find rock art around Moab.

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Plan a Visit to Capitol Reef National Park

Although Capitol Reef gets far less attention than the region’s other national parks, it is a great place to visit, with excellent hiking and splendid scenery. It’s easy to spend 2-3 days camping at the park campground or staying in nearby Torrey and taking day hikes in the park’s core district. Even travelers short on time will enjoy a quick look at visitors center exhibits and the Scenic Drive, which offers access to viewpoints and hiking trails.

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Planning Your Time in Zion National Park

Zion is a magnificent park with stunning, soaring scenery. The geology here is all about rocks and water; even rainy days can be memorable as waterfalls plunge from nearly every crevice in the cliffs above. To explore, it’s always worth spending part of a day hiking with a park ranger. The highlight for most visitors is winding through the canyon on the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive.

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Planning Your Time in Moab

By far the largest town in southeastern Utah, Moab makes an excellent base for exploring Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and the surrounding canyon country. How you get around ranges from biking to horseback riding to 4WD jeep exploring to hot-air ballooning. This is also the most hospitable town in this part of Utah, so don’t blow right through. Take time to stop and enjoy its quirky charms.

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Moon Guides Author Spotlight

Moon author Jason Frye

Jason Frye (Moon Great Smoky Mountain National Park)

Raised deep in the mountains of West Virginia, Jason Frye first fell in love with North Carolina as a kid during family vacations to the Outer Banks. In 2002, he swapped his mountains for sand dunes and his river for an ocean when he moved to Wilmington to pursue a master of fine arts in creative writing. There, his love for North Carolina deepened into a longing to stay, settle, explore, and be a part of the people, culture, and history of the state.

Along with his wife, Lauren, Jason has kayaked the marshes and waterways near his home; hang glided off the Outer Banks; explored the cityscapes of Charlotte, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem; and wandered the woods and wilds around Asheville.

A member of the Society of American Travel Writers, Jason has contributed stories to VisitNC.com, AAA’s Go Magazine, Our State magazine, Southern Living, Salt, the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh News & Observer, and acts as a culinary critic for the Wilmington StarNews.

Keep up with Jason on Instagram @beardedwriter.