Park Number: 26/61
First Visited: July 30, 2011
Whether you've never been to Moab or been a thousand times, this region should be near the top of everyone's future destinations list. High desert is healthy for the soul.
Moab is a quaint town with your typical resort amenities: expensive art, independent restaurants, busy coffee shops. The place is full of gear-heads and adventure junkies. This is all for good reason: not but ten minutes to the north is Arches, a compact national park containing awe-inspiring monoliths, slabs, and arches around every bend.
The hiking is great out here (especially in the Fiery Furnace), but it does get scorching hot in the summer and crowds can be a bother (the visitation rate is increasing at 15% per year). But if you can find a time to enjoy temperate weather while avoiding the tourists, it doesn't get much better than Arches.