Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moab Area: Ken's Lake Campground, Faux Falls, Arches NP - Delicate Arch

Life is always better with monkeys!
Our nephew, Joe was on spring break from college and asked if we could meet for some camping. He lives in Salt Lake City. We wanted to meet somewhere half-way. I've been wanting to see Faux Falls since seeing it on a PBS fundraising special a year ago. Faux Falls is in Spanish Valley just south of Moab, Utah. There is a nice BLM campground called Ken's Lake Campground just below Faux Falls. That is where we met our nephew, his fiance Jen and his mom Merrily, last weekend. We arrived on Thursday at about 6:45 pm.

There are 31 sites. As we drove up, the camp host was collecting the money out of the entrance box. He told us that there were four spots left. Wow! Popular place. It filled up completely a couple hours after we arrived. I guess this is prime time for Moab.

Ken's Lake Campground Entry Board

Ken's Lake Campground Trail Map

We had a nice campfire and then went to bed.

After breakfast at our campsite, we headed out for the nearby hike to Faux Falls. Faux Falls was created where there was no falls before 1981. A tunnel was drilled from Mill Creek over nearby Brimley Ridge. A pipe delivers water where if flows out of the ground and then flows down a red rock area to Ken's Lake for storage. It is a pretty amazing sight to see this beautiful falls and creek out in the middle of these red rock area. It's impressive.

Faux Falls

Faux Falls

The source pipes of Faux Falls

Faux Falls

Faux Falls with Ken's Lake Campground in the background

Video of Faux Falls

We continued hiking over Brimley Ridge and the short drop to see Mill Creek. Some folks on ATVs told us about a cave if we followed Mill Creek a short way north to where the creek crosses the dirt road. The cave was not deep but it was fun to walk inside. The walls of the canyon were very impressive.

Jen near the top of the ridge
Checking out the cave
You get to cross a small creek/river to get to and from the cave
We returned to our campsite (#9) and had lunch. Later in the afternoon, Joe, his fiance and I took the short hike to a steep bouldery hill just north of our campsite. It was more of a climb than a hike. The view from the top was spectacular.

Jen at the top of the hill

Video at the top of nearby boulders

A 360 degree photosphere view from a nearby boulder hill

Back at our campsite, Karen and Merrily had created a great veggie delight dish and we cooked it on our portable propane fire pit. Delish!!!!

Enjoying our campsite
One problem with Ken's Campground was all the dust. Cars were driving in, constantly, desperate for a campsite and were kicking up a lot of dust. On top of that, our neighbors were five teenage guys with two ATVs. They were constantly driving in and out of the campground and raising lots of dust, as young guys tend to do. Oh well, they say that Americans don't tend to get enough dirt exposure these days. We did this weekend for sure!

We had another nice wood fire and went to bed a bit late watching the stars.

Ken's Lake
The next morning after breakfast at camp we headed north to Arches National Park. I had picked out the Delicate Arch Trail as a good one for all of us. We arrived at the Delicate Arch parking area just before noon. The place was packed with cars, but we got lucky and found a spot. We headed for the bathrooms only to find a fairly long line. Someone had left a cell phone in a bathroom and I volunteered to get the phone to a ranger.

The hike to Delicate Arch is beautiful. You cross a lot of slick rock on the way up. It's pretty much all uphill. It was hot and was a tiring hike. It's about a mile and a half to the Arch but it felt a lot longer. Along the way, Merrily unknowingly dropped her phone. When she discovered it was not in her pocket she decided to head back down and look for it. Karen and I went down a ways to help search and then realized that someone must have picked it up, so we continue on to the Arch while Merrily headed back to look for it.

The Arch was pretty amazing. None of us had seen it before except on Utah license plates. It's definitely worth a trip to Arches.

Funny sign in the bathroom at Arches National Park 
Hiking along the slick rock

Greg, Merrily and Karen taking a short break on the trail up to the Delicate Arch

We made it! 
Joe, Jen, Karen and Greg. People stood in a long line for a picture under the arch.
This was a much better vantage point.
Delicate Arch

Leaving delicate Arch Video

360 Photosphere of Delicate Arch

On the trail back down, we found Merrily. She was asking folks if they had seen her phone. When we got back to the trail head, someone had put up a note about the phone I found. I called them and left a message that their phone would be at the Arches Visitors Center in about an hour.

Headed back from Delicate Arch

Slick Rock on the Delicate Arch Trail

As we drove to the visitors center, Karen called Merrily's phone to see if maybe someone had found it too. The ranger at the Visitors Center answered. What a relief! Some very nice person turned in her phone with the rangers.

Merrily's phone and her only view of Delicate Arch this trip.
Karen and Merrily went to Arches when they were kiddos.

We stopped in Moab at El Charro Loco Mexican Restaurant. It's a small hole-in-the-wall type restaurant with amazing food. We all loved our meals and highly recommend it if you're in the area.

Fantastic Mexican food at El Charro Loco in Moab, Utah
This is Karen's veggie taco salad. 

That afternoon, Karen, Merrily and I took a walk around the lake. It's a fishing lake and very pleasant.

Walking around Ken's Lake

Walking the plank on the way back

That night we didn't make a wood fire as Karen was showing asthma symptoms from the previous two nights of wood fires. We lit up the propane fire pit and enjoyed smores.

Gluten-free smores
After another great night's sleep, we all headed out for home. On the way back home, Karen and I stopped for pizza at our favorite place in Pagosa Springs (Rosie's Pizzeria) and then got our 10,000 steps in with a hike around downtown Pagosa Springs. We started the hike near The Springs hotel and headed towards Pagosa Springs High School. This is a favorite walk that we like to do anytime we are staying in Pagosa or just passing through.

Walking around Pagosa Springs, Colorado

This was a great spring season trip. We will be back!!!!

Sign we saw in Pagosa Springs

1 comment:

  1. Staying at Ken's Lake is one of our favorite 'go to' spots when transitioning from Colorado to Arizona. Love the waterfall and I think we've even stayed in site#9. We need to go back and hike to Delicate Arch. Past attempts were thwarted by sandblasting winds.


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