Forty miles south of an absolutely barren stretch of I-70 on the Colorado-Utah border sits the unlikely adventure travel capital of the Southwest desert. What Moab, Utah lacks in vegetation it makes up for in the sheer volume of red-rock activities local adrenaline junkies have dreamed up. We came to Moab with one thing in mind: to summit Ancient Art Tower — but our free days were easily filled with stunning hikes in Arches National Park, exceptional sport climbing and bouldering along the Colorado river, and more than few local craft beers and wines.
A pre-dawn mission up stolen chimney
The sun still hadn’t crested the Colorado River when our dust-covered van pulled into the Fisher Towers trailhead parking lot. Many of the desert climbs that Moab, Utah is famous for are packed from the early season until the first snow begins falling in November, but our pre-dawn mission to climb the Stolen Chimney route up Ancient Art Tower had been precisely timed to avoid spring crowds on the rock; after a few light storms the previous days and an ungodly wake-up call, we had the crag to ourselves. Read on to see the full photo essay.