My plan was to find a VRBO somewhere near Moab that could accommodate a family gathering of up to 9 people. I also wanted the location to be in “dark sky country” so they we could star gaze. We went in early October 2015 and this is a popular time of year due to weather being warm in the day and cool at night. Plan to book early for a trip such as this!
I settled on renting “Mustang Mesa”, a 3 BR Cabin located in Blanding Utah and near enough to several national parks for day hikes. See: Canyon Lands Lodging. With it’s 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths and sleeper sofas it was able to accommodate us. The cabin had a large wrap around deck which was a great feature. It was 2 miles from any nearby light and neighbors and thus had great night stargazing. The only item lacking was a outside bbq grill. If you like being closer to the city there are of course other choices.
We planned ahead for family meals and brought coolers and meal prep with us. One of our biggest treats was to stop in Green River Utah to buy fresh melons to bring on our trip to the cabin. These melon’s are the best I’ve ever had or can remember even when I was a child.
One of the fun things I did in advance was to download an app called “Sky Guide” to my iPad and “SkyView” to my iPhone as aids to stargazing. The children and adults used these apps frequently and I still do to this day. My National Parks pass gained our carload free access to the parks (obtained after reaching 60 years in age).
We had time to see Bridges National Monument which was the 1st designated national park of the U.S. and Arches National Park. We could have seen more in the 4 nights/5 day trip but we focused on family time and other nearby excursions and the boys got a round of golf in at nearby Monticello.
The wonder of these national parks cannot be overstated and it was great fun to be able to enjoy this experience with my family!
Arches National Park
Natural Bridges National Monument