Some Saturdays we wake up with no plans but to head south and explore a new trail amongst the red rock. On this particular morning, we had slept in so we knew that our hike had to be within a 3 hour drive. Moab it was! In between cell phone recpetionless patches along US-6, I scoured Google and Instagram (seriously the best inspiration for future hikes) for a unique trail in the Moab area. We decided on the Grandstaff Trail to the Morning Glory Bridge, a 4.5 mile trail with river crossings that ultimately leads you to a 243 foot natural bridge, the 6th largest natural rock span in the United States.
To reach the trail head, drive (or bike) east along US-128 3.1 miles from its intersection with US-191 until you see the Grandstaff Trailhead sign. The Colorado river flows on the opposite side of the road. There are restroom facilities at the trailhead.
The canyon is managed by BLM. No need for permits or access fees. This is also a great way to avoid the crowds that Arches brings. While the trailhead parking lot was full when we arrived, we were never in a crowd of hikers. We mainly passed people that were enjoying the stream with their pups.
The trail is 2.25 in to the bridge on a mostly shaded trail that follows a stream. You do have to cross the stream quite frequently, but it isn't deep and there are perfectly placed rocks to help you stay dry. This is a side of Moab that I never knew existed; everything was lush, green, and breezy. The cacti were even blooming! There are only a few times in which I felt we were in direct sun - mostly on our final approach to the bridge.
We arrived at the bridge just in time to watch a guided group rappel off the bridge. Totally doing this next time we head to Moab! Other than the guided group of 5, there was only one other couple at the bridge making it very peaceful to sit and enjoy its beauty. There is a small unusual spring(?) coming out of the base of the bridge on the right.
On our hikes back out, we spent sometime hanging out by the stream. There are plenty of large rocks you can sit on while you enjoy the water. Once we arrived back at the car, we headed to Moab Brewery - a must do on every trip to Moab no matter how long the wait is!
What are you favorite so hidden gem hikes in Moab?