Red Rock Country: The Beauty of the Desert

By: Billy Yang

May 29, 2014

Arches National Park is one of five national parks in Utah.

Utah’s terrain is a varied one. The northern part of The Beehive State is dominated by the Rocky Mountains, with streams and rivers from the mountains that rushed downwards to create verdant valleys.

Down in Southern Utah it’s a different story. This is Red Rock Country. The desolate desert landscape in this part of the state offers majestic views thanks to a network of inspiring natural geological formations “” domes, hoodoos, slot canyons and, of course, the iconic arches.

Red Rock Country | Balanced Rock, Arches National Park

Balanced Rock, Arches National Park © Thinkstock-iStock/Png Studio

Moab, located approximately 240 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, serves as a base for visitors looking to soak up the incredible local scenery. With a population of nearly 5,000, this Utah town is home to two national parks (Arches and Canyonlands), as well as Dead Horse Point State Park.

Red Rock Country | Broken Arch in Arches National Park

Broken Arch in Arches National Park © Thinkstock/iStock/photographybyJHWilliams

All of the open space makes this place prime real estate for outdoor recreation. Moab is a Mecca for mountain biking, with cyclists from all over the world making the trek to these hallowed grounds for a chance to take a spin on the world-famous Slickrock Trail.

Red Rock Country

The rock formations in this part of the U.S. are lithified sand dunes, which have eroded over time © Billy Yang

The challenging trails in the backcountry of Moab also beckon four-wheeling enthusiasts. Off-road motoring events such as the Moab Jeep Safari are hosted here every year.

Red Rock Country

Petroglyphs at the beginning of the Delicate Arch hike © Billy Yang

But wheels aren’t a requirement to enjoy Moab’s outdoor offerings. There are miles of well-worn hiking trails waiting to be discovered. Some of the more popular ones are located within Arches National Park.

Red Rock Country

There is some signage to direct hikers but rock cairns are a commonly used as trail markers © Billy Yang

The most iconic hike in the park is the one to Delicate Arch. At three miles for the round trip, this hike is not especially gruelling.

Red Rock Country | Double O Arch Arches National Park

Double O, Arch Arches National Park © Thinkstock/iStock/SMcGuire45

One of the peak times for the Delicate Arch hike is towards dusk. As the sun sets, the sandstone monolith practically glows with a reddish hue for a truly spectacular Red Rock Country vista. And for many, this experience alone warrants the trip to Moab.



Connecting you to numerous destinations across the United States and Canada, our partnership with Delta makes booking a trip to Salt Lake City simple.

Have you visited Red Rock Country? What was your most memorable experience from the trip? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Written by Billy Yang


Billy Yang

Billy Yang is a freelance journalist specialising in travel and food writing. His passion for journalism stems from the idea that everyone has an interesting story to tell and it is a reporter’s job to find those stories and helps share them. More of his work can be found at