Arches National Park in Utah, just to the north of Moab, is a spectacular landscape of stone outcroppings, desert plants, pinyon and gnarled juniper trees and myriad hues of red, brown, orange, green and yellow. And, of course, arches of rock carved out by wind and water over millions of years. In all, some 2,000 arches exist in the park today; over time some of those will collapse while new ones will form. Credit nature’s relentless handiwork. West of Arches just off Route 24 is Goblin Valley State Park. While perhaps not as awe-inspiring as Arches, it is magnificent in its own right nonetheless. And far less crowded. I went on a 2.5-mile hike yesterday that ended in a wonderful panoramic view of most of the park and didn’t encounter another person on the trail. Beautiful. If you’re in the area and have the time, the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River provides fascinating detail about the area and the man who charted much of this unexplored land in the 1870s.