In a perfect world, you’d have several days to explore Arches National Park, enjoying the beauty of the Delicate Arch or hiking the tricky Fiery Furnace, but this isn’t a perfect world. Sometimes you have places to be and people to see… If you’re traveling across the incredibly monotonous stretch of I-70 in Utah and have a few hours to spare, you can have an epic drive around Arches National Park…

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Type of trip: Detour, 1/2 day

Route Description:

When you exit I-70 toward Arches on HWY 191, the scenery doesn’t seem to be very interesting… More of the same you’ve been seeing on the highway, but that quickly changes as you approach Arches and Moab. The road is mostly 2 lanes with specific passing points to get around slower traffic.

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Just after you cross the mighty Colorado River you’ll turn left onto HWY 128 and follow the road along the twists, turns, and bends of the Colorado River. There are a few great turn-offs by the river, and you should spend a few minutes parked at one like we did on our trip around Arches.

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What to see & do:

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Most of this drive is meant for just rubbernecking. The views are absolutely phenomenal at every single turn. Perhaps the best thing to do is swap drivers at one of the parking areas along the Colorado River so everyone gets to enjoy both the crazy twists and turns of the road and the incredible views.

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If you have time, you can enjoy all sorts of recreational activities like mountain biking, rafting, and horseback riding, but if you’re just taking a quick detour, maybe stop and have a little wine tasting right along the Colorado River at Moab Castle Creek Winery

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Where to eat:

HWY 128 won’t offer you much (if anything) in terms of dining, gas, or pretty much anything other than absolutely stunning scenery. If you’re interested in a little food, stay on HWY 191 after you cross the Colorado, eat/drink/play in Moab, and then backtrack just a tad to HWY 128 to continue your journey.

For a quick, classic breakfast, we can’t say enough good things about the Moab Diner, and for a little lighter fare and great coffee check out the Love Muffin Cafe.

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Grab a burger and a shake at the classic Milt’s Stop & Eat or have some local beer at The Moab Brewery.

Side Trips:

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As you rocket north back toward I-70 you’ll come to the little ghost town of Cisco, Utah. Stop and take a couple pictures at this ghost town that’s been featured in Thelma & Louise, Vanishing Point, and even a Johnny Cash song. From there, it’s back to I-70. See more from our stop here.

It'll take you around 3 hours to make this loop, but man, it's such a nice break from I-70. You can thank us later.

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