Sorry California. You too, Colorado. In the scenery smackdown, Utah is the clear victor.
My conspiracy theory is that Utah pays New Mexico to be a disorganized empty lot so it can be even that much more attractive by comparison. Almost immediately northwest of Four Corners the attitude brightens and the landscape gets increasingly more striking as you near Moab, which is home to what looked from the freeway to be one of the prettiest KOAs in the West.
Surreal Arches will require a second visit to stop and camp overnight at Devils Garden. (I would love to know how many natural areas in the U.S. have the word “devil” in their name). Next time we’ll take the long-ish hike to famous Delicate Arch and be in position for sunrise at Landscape.
Devils Canyon Campground (there it is again) is spacious and Utah-y, and sites are privately secluded by pines. Dog owners take caution: tiny cactus fruits are scattered everywhere, as Ripley painfully discovered. He was brave when we pulled off a spiny ball nearly the size of his paw with the spaghetti tongs; less so when we yanked the spines from his pad.