I Love Moab in November
Jason and I have vacationed in Moab many times but the pleasant weather, breathtaking scenery, and killer biking trails always call us back for more.
Although we just went to Moab in June, we weren’t quite ready to acquiesce to winter yet so we traveled down there again for one last hoorah. We typically go to Moab in the spring or fall when the temperatures are about perfect; we had never been this late in the season so we weren’t sure what to expect. The weather turned out to be quite pleasant. Jackets were needed but we stayed pretty warm with them, except when the sun went down. Burr!
Moab was pleasantly uncrowded, the most deserted we have ever seen it. We were even able to secure a cabin at the Red Cliffs Lodge, a popular hotel that we have found it impossible to get reservations at during the busy season. Now that I have stayed there I can see why it’s always packed. Our cabin was situated on the banks of the Colorado River; we had our own private patio from which to gawk at the majestic sandstone cliffs that broke the skyline. Our suite had an inviting fireplace and a Jacuzzi tub in the master bedroom. I would highly recommend this lodge to anyone fortunate to find a vacancy there.
We spent our time in Moab doing the usual: hiking and biking. While the day we spent hiking in Arches National Park was lovely, our real adventure was our bike trek. We went biking on a “trail” that we hadn’t tried before: the left side of Tusher Canyon. This was supposed to be only a moderately difficult path but I don’t think I’ve ever feared for my life while biking like I did as we traversed the narrow ledges of this canyon’s walls, ledges that slanted into a sandstone oblivion. The hundreds of feet between us and the ground were not broken by trees or bushes; nothing to soften a fall or hold onto meant that any slip-up could result in an abrupt encounter with the valley floor.
But potentially falling off cliffs wasn’t our only problem in Tusher, finding the cliffs that we would then try to avoid falling off was also a big dilemma. Like many of the lesser known Moab trails, the path up the side of Tusher Canyon was not marked and since it traveled over rock it wasn’t as if you could just follow the footprints of those that went before you. Our biking book said that after about 3.4 miles of riding to look for an obscure rock ramp on the right that leads up a passable portion of the slickrock. Earth to the author: how are you supposed to notice an indistinct bank of rocks that slope up when you are surrounded by upward slanting rocks? Needless to say that finding the “ramp” was tricky, frustrating, and involved a lot of backtracking.
Was it all worth it? Absolutely!!! The top of the plateau we risked our lives to reach was a slickrock paradise! It was all freestyle riding up there and gorgeous. And since it was off-season we didn’t see a single biker so all that slickrock goodness was ours to enjoy by ourselves. I would gladly get lost and face precipices to bike on top of the world like that again.
The bottom line? I would recommend Moab in November. You’ll need a jacket but you won’t have to fight throngs in the national parks or on the slickrock and you will have all the lodging options your heart could desire. Do it! Do it!