On June 8th, 2020, Skip, Ezra, and I left Arches National Park due to a storm and adventured off to wait out the storm. We came across a hiking trail that seemed different for the area. It was green, wet, and not scorching hot. We decided we would trade our shorts for pants and explore the trial once the rain let up.
Grandstaff Trail was named after the first African American cattleman from 1877 in Moab, "William Grandstaff." The trail takes you to the beautiful morning glory arch that is popular to rock climb. The arch is the 6th longest arch in the United States, measuring 243 feet long and 75 feet high.
We always try to Boon-dock "camping in non-designated campsites" when we are out camping because free is always better. Unfortunately, We could not find any Boon-Docking in the area.
We did the next best thing and found a camping spot that would hold our large group. We found multiple campsites with a public vault toilet, fire rings, and picnic tables in the sites right outside of Moab below the mountain ridge and across the street from the Colorado river "Williams Bottom Campground." We highly recommend this campground if a shower is not a need. Click HERE to reserve and explore your next campsite.
The trail itself can be difficult due to all the creeks you must cross over and boulders you have to climb, plus it being a 4.1-mile hike round trip with an elevation gain of 200 feet.
I recommend downloading Alltrails app and following the map. We got lost on the way back because we did not cross the creek when we were supposed to. With us getting lost, I am not comfortable giving directions.
The way to the arch was decent, and the trail was easy to follow. But the way back, there were a couple of forks in the path that did not make sense, and that is where we went wrong.
Make sure the way you go in the same way you come back. The forks in the trail that you only notice on the way back are false trails and will lead you to canyon edges.
Make sure on your hike you enjoy the scenery. If you are not from Utah, some of the plants and flowers may be new to you. The Mormon Tea, Blackbuck, Saltbush, Cliffrose, and Utah Juniper are just a couple. And watch out for POISON IVY. Make sure you read the board at the trailhead for more information on this plant.
You may also come across a mule deer, desert cottontail, black-tailed jackrabbit, multiple chipmunks, and antelope squirrels. Plus, you may hear a coyote in the distance. Being in the wilderness, ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings, ditch the headphones and listen to nature.
Overall, this was such a beautiful hike, and if we had our dog or the day was hot, this would be the perfect hike to help us cool off and enjoy something different in the area other than red rocks.