We were calling this trip to Utah "Classic Moab" because we were going to hit some old favorites along with a few new trails. We like exploring new areas, so we haven't seen some of the more popular trails in a while. This trip was going to be like the old days.
We all went to Moab separately instead of in one, big group like we usually do. Mike and Roger ended up in Moab in the early afternoon, but Monica and Julie left in the late morning. Construction delays in three separate spots on I-70 made the drive take over nine hours when it usually takes about six. That meant we missed a group dinner, so we were happy to see each other in the morning.
We'd start the trip with some new trails. The trailhead for Miners Basin was on the other side of Castle Valley, and there are a few ways to get there. We opted to go the southern route to get some good scenery, and we really enjoyed the trip. There was a wide spot next to the pavement near the trailhead where we aired down, and then we headed up the trail.
The trailhead has a funny sign noting that RVs aren't recommended -- funny to us, anyway. This definitely isn't an RV trail. It wasn't hugely challenging, but it was steep and loose in spots, with switchbacks.
It was early in the morning, and the trail was mostly in the shade. There were trees on both sides that were big and healthy. It started off as mostly pine trees, but then it switched to aspens as we got higher along the trail.
There was a spot where we could see the valleys below us, so we stopped there for a while to take pictures and chat in the perfect weather. The views of where we'd be going later made us look forward to the day even more.
We took a lot of pictures on the way, but it wasn't long before we were at the big parking lot at the top. We hung out there for a while, just taking in the scenery and considering hiking up to the old town site. In the end, though, we had a lot to see on our first day in Utah for this trip so we decided to head back down. On to the next trail!