Early on a summer Monday morning, a few members of the Snow Peak brand team set out for a 15-hour drive to Moab, Utah. Our plan was to conquer the drive in one day (spoiler – we didn’t), then spend several days capturing the red beauty of the Utah desert.
None of us were novice road-trippers, but after a year of stifled travel due to the pandemic, it was refreshing to be on the open road. We were reminded that on any lengthy drive, the stops along the way can be as rejuvenating at the end destination. We stopped for a swim in Twin Falls, enjoyed delicious tacos at 10pm in a parking lot in Salt Lake, camped with some cattle near a town called Helper and grilled up some burgers on a side road off of I-70. While the sights in Moab certainly didn’t disappoint, the unplanned stops to and from made the trip even more memorable.
After finally arriving in Moab, we turned off Highway 191 to find our campsite near Gemini Bridges. We recommend this area if you’re looking for a secluded spot, but we can’t emphasize this enough: the road in is not for the faint of heart, two-wheel drive or low clearance vehicles. The bonus is incredible views at the top – on a clear day you can see Arches National Park in the distance.
Since the road leads through a canyon and dry creek beds, be sure to check weather conditions and recent reviews before you go. Eventually, you’ll turn a corner and head up a new ravine, with 5 campsites to choose from. Each one offers stunning views of majestic red rock from all directions. While only several miles from the main highway, the site felt completely remote.
We intentionally designed our camp to offer maximum shade and expansive living spaces. The Land Station and Living Shell were central areas outfitted with additional gear and furniture for cooking, gathering and relaxing. The ever-reliable Amenity Domes served as our sleeping quarters.
Shelters: We used tents, a tarp and a shelter in Snow Peak’s iconic ivory colorway. The white exteriors reflected the heat of the day, keeping us cool. We weathered several unexpected thunderstorms, and the Living Shell and Land Station offered comfortable and reliable shelter despite the absolute downpour and strong winds. The Amenity Dome in Small is plenty spacious for one person and offered ample ventilation in the heat.
Furniture: We used an assortment of items from Snow Peak’s Iron Grill Table line for our kitchen setup, as well as comfortable chairs and cots for relaxing at the end of the day. A few essential items included: the Stainless Kitchen Table, Take! Chairs, Single Action Low Table and Cots.
Acessories: Small touches can make a big difference. We set up a variety of lighting in our camp for a welcoming and comfortable vibe. We used several Pile Drivers, Mini Hozukis, a BF Lantern and a couple Mini Flames.
Mill Creek Hike
There’s no need to sugarcoat it – Moab in July is HOT. Pack your sunscreen and drink your water! While incredibly scenic, our campsite was bone-dry (aside from the evening thunderstorms). After a long drive and a dusty day in camp, we wanted nothing more than a swim. The Mill Creek hike offered everything we needed – a mostly shaded trail, cool water and beautiful views. It’s only 10 minutes from downtown Moab and is easy enough for all ages.
The trail closely follows the creek, crisscrossing it several times, so you can even take a dip along the way. The steep canyon walls on either side offer additional shade, making this hike a perfect option in the heat of the afternoon. The end of the trail will bring you to a swimming hole, fed by a small waterfall.
We liked the hike so much we came back a second time for one last dip before heading out of town. If you’re not feeling up for a hike, just park your car and head straight to the creek. During our second visit, we enjoyed lounging in the pools at the foot of the first waterfall, right by the trailhead. Alternatively, take a dip before your hike to stay cool on the trail.
Arches National Park
A trip to Moab is incomplete without visiting one of the nearby National Parks. We visited Arches National Park, as it was mere minutes from our campsite, but Canyonlands is also within reach. We headed straight for Double Arches, one of the many impressive formations. Driving through the park to Double Arches was unforgettable, with views of the towering formations on all sides.
We made the short hike to the base of the arches, alongside many other visitors from across the country. Together, we gazed up at the red arches, formed after a millennium of erosion. It was a shared moment of noasobi and awe at the majestic natural surroundings.
Don’t miss the three delicious recipes we enjoyed during our excursion – try the Chicken Burritos and pair them with a Paloma or Michelada. Shop the assortment of gear we used in The Endless Horizon Collection! Stay tuned for more adventures as part of The Endless Horizon series and check out our Pacific Northwest installment.