Moonshine Arch is an awesome hiking destination that is pretty unknown. It’s hidden in the beautiful desert terrain that surrounds Vernal, Utah, and it’s a great day hike, so I really shouldn’t have to convince you to do this. But if I must…
1. There’s No One Around
Moonshine Arch is a rock formation just outside of Vernal, Utah, and it’s beautiful! But surprisingly enough, no one goes there. Why, people of Vernal?! That’s fine, though, because that means more solitude for us! You can avoid people that generally gather in the famous Dinosaur National Park by heading out to this beaut.
Hate people getting all up in your nature space? Me too, and Moonshine Arch is the perfect place for all of us hermit-like people to hike.
This is generally the case for most of Utah thanks to low-lying desert shrubs, like sage. The desert atmosphere allows you to see far and wide over the beautiful terrain. Currently, I do most of my hiking in the rain forests of the Appalachian Mountains. Yes, they’re actually rain forests.
Hiking here in Vernal, it was a completely different experience to be able to see the whole side of a mountain. Sure, you can get pretty good views from almost anywhere, and that’s no different at Moonshine Arch. But, there’s a really cool arch there, too.
So you get the wide-open views, but the desert also allows you to focus on the tiny details. There isn’t a whole lot of vegetation to distract you, so you’re able to focus on some of the small beauties in nature. Sage brush and Joshua Trees cover the landscape, but if you look below eye-level you’ll see stunning colors coming from a cactus plant, or you might even see a rabbit scamper by. This desert hike leads you up colorful rocks and past small things of beauty like colorful cacti, so keep your eyes open!
4. Unique Rock Formations
I mean, come on. Who doesn’t like a cool looking rock formation? No one doesn’t like it… or is it, everyone does like it? Either way, I’m sure you will like it. Moonshine Arch is the main rock formation to see here. The rock stretches up from the ground and reaches to the sky, over your head, and attaches itself back to the earth on the other side. It really is amazing what a little wind and water can do. Okay, a lot of wind and water.
But Moonshine Arch isn’t the only thing to see here. Hike under the arch and explore a little more, and you’ll see a cool circular formation. It looks kind of like a door, cut right out of the mountainside just for you. You can take in the surrounding beauty right from there, or you can explore it on your own. Rock bluffs stick way out into the sky, just beckoning you to climb them. (I’m not in anyway suggesting you climb them, even though they’re totally awesome.)
5. It’s a Hike
Seriously, do you need more motivation than this? Ultimately, it’s a hike, and it could be a lot worse of a hike at that. It’s fairly short, so you don’t have to take too much time out of your day to do it. In fact, it would be perfect if you wanted a little quiet time after work, because remember #1–nobody goes there!
Moonshine Arch will get you outside, and it’ll give you a little bit of exercise. And what does exercise give you? Endorphins. And we all know that endorphins make you happy. So logically, if you want to be happy, then you should probably hike to Moonshine Arch.
What hikes make you happy?