FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Arches National Park and The Moab Desert

by Debra Bokur

Mar 1, 2019
March 2019

MY FIRST VIEW OF THE DESERT near Moab, Utah, comes into focus as the rising sun darts across red rocks stacked in layers across the landscape. Light snow left a dusting of ice crystals on the face of the stone, glittering like a million tiny lights as the dawn sun briefly catches it. It’s the sort of sight that can actually take away your breath, a moment when the concept of magic blurs with reality.

The drama increases in nearby Arches National Park. The rock itself, though predominantly rust-red in color, also glints in shades of green, black, orange and even purple, depending upon the amount of iron contained within sections and the specific geologic forces that shaped its composition.

Formed naturally of sandstone, more than 2,000 rock arches and windows punctuate the park landscape. New ones are in the process of formation all the time, thanks to the erosive action of wind, rain, snowmelt and the cracking that occurs when water freezes in narrow clefts and fissures.

Beyond these iconic, evanescent bridges of stone arcing against the sky, the park also presents a humbling collection of towering pinnacles; domes; hollow, honeycombed tafoni formations; otherworldly rock hoodoos; and massive boulders suspended at the tops of narrow, soaring plinths, including the 3,500-plus-ton Balanced Rock. Given that the area encompassing the park likely took millions of years to form, the notion of seeing everything in one trip proves a daunting prospect — which is where the skill and insight of a local outfitter becomes priceless.

“Pre-tour custom designing is imperative, especially due to the distances between destinations around Moab,” offers Brian D. Murphy, CEO/founder, Utah Luxury Tours (a Division of Luxus Travel, Inc.). “We cater to distinguished travelers who are accustomed to concierge travel-planning services and touring privately, with a fully escorted touring experience from the time they arrive ʼtil the time we hug them goodbye at the airport.”

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch © NUVISTA – DREAMSTIME.COM

The guides who make up Murphy’s team are local, including his business partner, Lukas Sigmund, the company’s original tour designer and lead guide. For those wishing to see and experience park highlights such as Delicate Arch, Tunnel Arch, the Devils Garden and the Petrified Dunes, Utah Luxury Tours can build an itinerary that eliminates the navigational and parking worries and allows visitors to concentrate on the sites themselves.

Whether you choose a guide or decide to go it alone, Murphy recommends including locations typically overlooked or missed entirely, such as the hike up and down the Grandstaff Trail. The route ranges in difficulty from easy to moderate, meandering over a small stream in several different spots. At the end of the canyon, hikers will find the Morning Glory Natural Bridge, the sixthlongest natural rock span in the United States.

He also suggests driving up to the La Sal Mountains, following the 28-mile La Sal Mountain Loop Road for a different perspective of the high-altitude desert, or the oft-overlooked Park Avenue hike, offering a mile-long walk through high desert country.

While Delicate Arch consistently rates as a must-see for first-time park visitors, Landscape Arch is frequently skipped because parking at nearby Devils Garden can be tough to find. But it’s worth the effort; though the path beneath it is closed due to frequent rock falls, this span is regarded as one of the longest natural arches on the planet.

Wondering when to go? Murphy suggests April and May are ideal; depending upon the amount of snow delivered that winter and how much moisture is in the ground, the desert can burst into spectacular blooms. He also recommends October, when the crowds have largely dispersed and mild temperatures make hiking and exploring particularly enjoyable. If a visit is on your own bucket list, don’t delay. In 2008 the famous Wall Arch succumbed to the relentless forces of gravity along Devils Garden Trail, and there’s no predicting when other astonishing and dramatic sites may also be forever altered.

INFO TO GO

The closest major airport to Arches National Park is Salt Lake City International Airport. From there it’s about a four-hour drive to the town of Moab and Arches National Park. Two closer local options are Grand Junction Regional Airport, located in Grand Junction, Colorado, approximately 1.5 hours via Interstate 70; and Canyonlands Field Airport, about 18 miles from Moab. These regional airports have limited services, with some connections to Salt Lake City. Rental cars are available from all three options, and the drive passes through stunning scenery. If you’ve contracted with a local outfitter, inquire about pick-up and drop-off choices.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Daily
Oct 28, 2020

Combat Election Day Stress with Favorite Cocktails from Hotels & Resorts

Between COVID-19 and the upcoming election, are your nerves shaken and stirred? As we master the art of at-home mixology during the pandemic, try a few of these favorite fall cocktails from different hotel and resort bars to fend off election jitters, pandemic frayed nerves and virtual learning stresses.

Adventure Redefined: Volvo Overseas Delivery Program

Are you looking for a truly unique travel experience and considering a new vehicle? The Volvo Overseas Delivery Program is the perfect solution to create your own refined adventure of a lifetime. You can custom order your new Volvo, tailored to fit your needs and desires. They will fly you to Sweden to pick up your Volvo so you can drive and explore Scandinavia and Europe on your terms for up to two weeks.

Daily
Oct 27, 2020

6 Reasons to Say #WelcomeBacktoTravel in Charleston, South Carolina

As more destinations around the globe reopen to travelers, we are ready to get back to one of our favorite activities. Join us over the next several weeks as we take you to places around the world saying #WelcomeBacktoTravel. Take a visual journey through Charleston, South Carolina, with us.

Daily
Oct 27, 2020

Velas Resorts Offers Corporate Buyouts

Velas Resorts’ new Group Takeover Program offers a spin on the classic working vacation. With so many industries going fully remote and leaving the office for good, companies can now take advantage of the flexibility with offers like Velas Resorts Group Takeover Program, guaranteeing exclusive, private use of the hotel for corporate functions, meetings and group events.

Peace of Mind

IHG® Business Edge provides small- to midsized enterprises with benefits and confidence to navigate the evolving business travel environment.

Daily
Oct 26, 2020

New Technology Enhances American Airlines Customer Experience

American Airlines is improving its website and app to make it easier for customers to access an electronic wallet, use mobile ID and talk to a virtual assistant in real time.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 21, 2020

Work, Learn, Play & Unwind at Ojai Valley Inn

Ojai Valley Inn in Southern California has two offers for families, couples and friends, allowing them to revitalize their weekly routines.

The Perfect Fit

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and account for nearly 48 percent of the U.S. private sector workforce. And small- and medium-sized businesses outpace all other sectors as one of the fastest-growing in the United States. InterContinental® Hotels Group (IHG) goes above and beyond to create opportunities for this segment with its IHG® Business Edge program, voted Best Small- to Mid-Sized Business Program in Global Traveler’s 2019 GT Tested Reader Survey awards.

eFlyer Deals
Oct 21, 2020

L’Auberge Del Mar Offer Mid-Week Sneakaway

Get away mid-week at L’Auberge Del Mar with its new Mid-Week Sneakaway offer, available when guests book a stay Sunday through Thursday. Extra perks include ocean-view dining, plenty of outdoor activities and more.