While staying at the UTV friendly Moab Condo Rental 8A3 we decided to try Dome Plateau instead of redoing Top of the World, what a great choice. Moab, Utah's Dome Plateau trail is located north of town in the Dewey Bridge area. Little did we know but Dome Plateau is one of best all round sight seeing trails in Moab with nearly 50 miles of adventure waiting for you. However, the trail is often overshadowed by it's more Instagram worthy neighbor across the street, Top of the World.
True the single photo at the Top of the World is one of the best in all of Moab but other than that the Dome Plateau trail has much more to see. Some of the things along the trail are arches, caves, cowboy and mining history and a fantastic overlook that is arguably better than it's more famous neighbor as you can see the Colorado River snaking away from you.
One of my favorite things about the Dome Plateau is the Entrada Sandstone cliff. I just love the banded layers of pinks, white and tans. Entrada also has a more smooth appearance than other sandstones in the Moab area. Unlike many of the other cliffs in the Moab area, the Entrada cliffs have no rubble at their base. It is like someone has cleaned them up and made them nice and neat.
The first thing you will notice on the trail are the huge alcoves along the cliff walls to the west. One of the biggest is right near the start of the trail and short spur trail leads right to it. It is a great place for kids to explore, you can really feel like Indiana Jones playing in then and making eco sounds.
We spent a few hours exploring the top of the plateau but eventually made our way to our lunch stop for the day, the beautiful La Boca Arch. This arch is actually a good bit larger than what the above image makes it appear. The arch is located in a sandstone island that is somewhat isolated from the main cliff. It is easy to explore above and around arch. This would be a great camping spot if you were interested in doing an overlanding trip.
If you get to La Boca Arch too early for lunch you could always just continue to the Professor Valley overlook. I really love this overlook and I'm not sure why it always get overlooked. The Colorado River snaking its way past Castle Rock, Fisher Towers and the landforms of the valley has to be one of the best areas in all of the Southwestern United States. Keep kids and dogs close at hand, the cliff is nearly 2,000 feet tall, one false step could ruin your trip.
I think many time people get in too much of a hurry to enjoy the scenery. This spot was located north and west of the main trail but had a unique feel never the less. I really enjoyed taking a brake from the more technical trails Moab is famous for and just cruising around. The trails on the main plateau were nice and flowy, making it easy to take in the views as we drove. We stopped a few times to explore some rock formations like this small canyon. The best part about this area was how the rocks appeared to grow out of the pasture like trees.
We eventually made our way to Cave Springs, our goal for the day. The cave is located in a beautiful outcropping of Entrada Sandstone. The caves and springs have been used by people for thousands of years. If you keep a sharp eye you will likely spot signs of those that came before, there are lots of petroglyphs and cowboyglyphs near the springs.
In the desert water is at a premium so it is no wander cowboys have been drawn here to water their cattle and horses. We found all of the relics to be very interesting and we spend some time exploring the area. To the left of this photo there is actually a very fun place to ride your SxS. The trail goes up and down on large sandy domes. It was a blast to floor the Polaris RZR Pro and climb the hills.
The caves are quite large and fun to play around in. There are gates at the front of the caves to keep livestock out of the springs. It is ok to pass the gates and explore the area. There are more mining areas to explore in this area but we took the wrong trail and passed by them. Our off the beaten path trail as still fun and now we have an excuse to return later.
If you are planning a trip to Moab, we hope you will consider staying with us at Moab Adventure Condo. Our condos offer large double garages with plenty of room for your side by sides or other toys.