Apparently, the answer is a picture of John Wayne hanging on the lobby wall. When I was looking for a place to stay while visiting Arches National Park, I decided to go for local flavor instead of playing it safe. The “historic” Apache Motel popped out of the list as something different. Well, if different means staying in a place that feels like it hasn’t seen much TLC since its heyday in the 1950’s then this one fits the bill!
Though this wasn’t the most miserable hotel I’ve ever seen, I wouldn’t recommend it to friends and family. The only thing I found somewhat charming were the vintage neon signs (like the one shown above) that are spread around downtown Moab. If the spirit of “The Duke” still lives here, the only evidence might be that someone seemed to be stomping around in cowboy boots all night in the room above us.
Moab itself is a pleasant little town but I can’t imagine what it must be like during the busy season. While we were there, the streets were humming with Jeeps, SUVs and Dune Buggies and visitors strolled the sidewalks browsing through gift shops or sat lounging in the many restaurants.
This must be the right time of year to visit the National Parks. It seems that there are many more people in this area for the off-road desert adventures as opposed to families going to the parks. I understand the lines to get in the park during the Summer can be miles long. We barely needed to wait at all. The only down-side was that it’s the rainy season so weather was a little unpredictable.
At the end of the day though, I would love to come back here and spend much more time visiting those magnificent parks! (But, I think a different hotel next time.)