Thursday, October 31, 2013

Only Thing Flat in Sand Flats is the Road.

Sand Flats Recreation Area, located in Moab, is a world upon itself filled with domes, fins, bowls, formations, trails and nature. Sand Flats Road is indeed flat for the most part, but becomes a bit roughed once you reach the Porcupine Rim area.  Those with two wheel drive vehicles (cars) should not be discouraged, as it evens out quickly and you can continue the trek towards the La Sal Loop Road.  ATVs, Jeeps, SUVs and even Mountain Bikes have more trails to choose from, some exclusive to whichever mode of transportation chosen.  There are many camping areas, or you can do what Roy and I did; simply get yourself a picnic meal, find some nice slickrock to sit on and enjoy the scenery.

Lion's Back
If you read my food blog, Food Adventures of a Comfort Cook, back in May 2011 I wrote about Milt's which has the best burgers and fries. See, if you're not reading my food blog, then you are missing out on hints I give about places to have an adventure in.  Anyway, after we picked up our order, we headed out to Sand Flats to enjoy the meal, do some exploring and just have a grand day out.  It was still pretty empty in the area as tourist season had only just begun in April, so finding a place to sit, eat and have to ourselves was very easy.  Even Lion's Back wasn't too busy that day; it is usually full of Jeeps or SUVs traveling up and down.  Roy wanted to know if we should try it out and I told him only if he wanted me screaming in his ear the whole way.  He decided not.

Driving along Sand Flats Road, it was very difficult not to keep stopping and go hiking over the slickrock and sandstone.  I tell you, it is absolutely gorgeous out there and each turn brings you scenery that is just as awesome as what you just passed by.  I kept seeing so many areas I wanted to climb up and around in.

Traveling through a narrow section of the road, the walls climbing up high around you and suddenly you'll see a formation to your left.  It simply looks like a jagged piece of rock sticking out and you may just bypass it if you don't look for it; this is Diving Board Rock.  Actually we did miss it the first time we went through; Roy was driving, so couldn't be looking around for interesting sites, being on the passenger side, I didn't see it till we came back through and it was now on my right side.

Diving Board Rock

Our journey ended at the Porcupine Rim Trail parking lot, and you're going to have a good laugh when you find out why. Looking out into the distance and you'll be able to take in the beauty of Negro Bill Canyon; notice the play of light and shadow on the ground and formations due to the clouds.  That trail running down and through the canyon floor is the mountain biking trail; motorized vehicles are not allowed on it.

So now is the time for the funny part of this story; Sand Flats Road doesn't stop at the Porcupine Rim parking lot, it continues on as a shelf (this is where the rough part of the road begins too).  As I stood there taking photos, I noticed a SUV and a Jeep continue on through, so knew we could keep on going.  What do I find as I turn around though?  Roy had pulled the SUV onto the road and was pointing back in the direction we had come.  He said that he'd only had the SUV for a month now and wasn't sure about its handling on such a road going around the hill, or what was beyond.  Now I don't know if this was spite about Lion's Back, or what, but....  Anyway, I just gave him details about how the road does even out again, how it comes out onto La Sal Loop Road and then you're choice is to either go to Castle Valley or Spanish Valley. His reaction was "Great! We need to go back and do the whole road this time".

Oh, the funny part, I wouldn't go four wheeling up the Lion's Back, but yet didn't think twice about going on a cliff shelf around a hill.  Yeah, I'm funny like that.

All in all, this was a great day; great food, great ride and we're both looking forward to going back and doing it all again....this time to the very end of Sand Flats Road.  Oh, will Roy get me up on Lion's Back....hell no!

Mary Cokenour

1 comment:

  1. We mainly pedaled but we liked the option to switch to electric. It was just the two of us on the tour and that was nice. wellington electric bikes