This is a list of my geology professor’s recommendations for the trip. He teaches field geology in Utah and is so familiar with the area that he’s allowed, unguided, into restricted areas; he knows his stuff! (And his photographs of the area are amazing.)

Bold indicates his must-do/must-see recommendations.

Colorado National Monument

  • My professor recommends we leave Boulder around noon on Friday to get here by 4pm to camp [map]
  • Bike the rim road

to Moab

  • West of Fruita, take the scenic route – 128 south to Moab (follows the river)
  • 4WD up Fisher Valley [map]
  • Fisher Towers: can do it in a regular car or hike, great at sunset


recommended time: 1.5 days


recommended time: 1 day for scenery

  • Some hiking, but cliffy
  • Angel’s Landing: a must-do hike – amaaaaazing! (not good if anyone is scared of heights)

Bryce Canyon

recommended time: half a day

  • If snowy it’s amazing, if cloudy – meh.

Grand Staircase-Escalante

San Rafael Swell

  • a spectacular Laramide monocline – general info
  • Off I-70 near Moab – hiking south of I-70