Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Arches, arches, everywhere...

By the time we got to the rental house in Utah, it was almost 1am (mountain time, even) and I felt like I'd been awake for five days. Some sleep and some breakfast fixed that, so we decided to spend the afternoon checking out Arches National Park.   
The drive was about three hours each way, but the scenery was really cool.
We saw this abandoned gas station along the side of the road...the alpacas really appreciated the shade.  :)
We eventually made it to Arches National Park! It's in southeastern Utah, near Moab. One of the first stops in the park is Park Avenue Viewpoint...there's a trail you can take that weaves down into the valley. It was pretty toasty, so we skipped the hike.
The La Sal Mountains viewpoint was really could see forever.
The Organ rock formation is right next to one of the parking's huge!
After a while we came to Balanced Rock. There is a path around the base, so you can get up close and personal to the formation. The big rock at the top will eventually fall down, so you get to spend the whole walk thinking 'stay put, stay put, stay put'.
I thought that I took a lot of pictures, but my buddy has me beat! While waiting for him to catch up I took some silly pictures of myself. I like how this one looks like I'm wearing the rock as a hat.  :)
The view from the base of Balanced Rock was pretty could see way out into the desert.
We drove a little further and came to a few arches known as the Windows. You can follow the path...
...and stand in them! (Or jump in them.)
Turret Arch is off to the side; I think there is a path that leads through that one, too.
The arches look so big from far away, but when you get up close you start to realize how fragile and thin they actually are.
We were feeling a little ambitious as we got further into the park, so we took a short hike to the Upper Delicate Arch viewpoint.
It was definitely worth the trip!
You can do a 3 mile hike to the base of Delicate Arch. It would have been awesome to do, but we were a little short on time. I guess I'll just have to come back!  :)

We drove up to the far northern end of the park and took a short walk to check out Tunnel Arch.
We had to walk through part of Devils Garden to get there...the rocks were huge along the side of the trail!
We took another trail off to the side to see Pine Tree Arch.
We walked back to the car and drove back toward the park entrance...and made it to Park Avenue just as the sun came out from behind some clouds.

These pictures barely do justice to how bright the colors were!

I've already added Arches National Park to my list of places I want to see again...there were a lot of neat hikes that we just didn't have enough time for. I'd love to see it in the winter with some snow!  :)


  1. Loved all your pictures of Arches and Zion. So much of Arches was familiar from my trip there years ago. It is a beautiful and awesome place. Hope to get to Bryce and Zion some day----if I can get Dave to go. I think it would be great to go in October.

  2. Thanks, Debby! :) I wish I had more time to check out Zion, but I LOVED Arches - I'm already trying to convince Mark that we need to go spend a few days hiking out there. I bet winter would be really cool, too...I'd love to see the scenery with some snow!