This weekend we did some relaxing (i.e. hungover) day-hikes close to home. On Sunday, we hiked into Hunter Canyon, which is along Kane Creek road just west of Moab. It was a perfect spring hike -- cottonwood trees were leafed out, little fish were swimming in the creek, and birds were flying between the cliffs. The hike is pretty short -- the plants get thick and overgrown after about 2 miles. We scooted out when we felt some rain drops, but it was definitely a pretty, enjoyable stroll.
On Monday, we hiked Courthouse Wash in Arches National Park. Courthouse is a lush, pretty canyon with soaring Entrada cliffs, a running creek, little waterfalls, huge cottonwoods, and loads of beaver dams. The entire hike from Highway 191 to the Arches Road is 6.2 miles one-way, and you can use a shuttle car to avoid backtracking. I wouldn't consider it a "classic" Arches hike (major problem -- no arches,) but we had the place to ourselves and only saw 2 other people. A quiet hike so close to town is really nice during the spring chaos.