This morning we started driving back to Arches at the early hour of 7am. The entry gates for the park is only 2 miles up the road but you have to drive for quite a while before you reach the parking for the trailhead. Our mission: to stand under Delicate Arch.
There’s a couple of options to view Delicate Arch but the only way to really experience it is to make the hike and stand under it yourself. Viewing it from the viewpoint that is over a mile away isn’t quite the same. And it was still a suprise when I saw it up close. I knew we were getting towards the end of the trail, but when you round a rock wall and it’s there in front of you… there was something awesome about that.
It was a good move to start the hike early as the sun had only just risen and it was still quite cool even on our descent. Another bonus was that there weren’t many people walking the trail, in fact we got to spend time at the arch ourselves before a couple of other hikers appeared. Interestingly enough this trail was marked as strenuous, but the hike at Bryce seemed way harder (elevation maybe?). Though I’d imagine hiking uphill in the middle of the day wouldn’t be very plesant in the desert.
After that headed to Windows to do an easy hike to see North and South Windows and the Turret making a stop at Balanced Rock on the way back to the Visitors Centre to continue my collection of U.S. NPS patches and magnets.
Welcome to Arches National Park!
View from Double Arch
That’s Delicate Arch, third rock from the right, it’s on its side in this photo. Those people are walking up the slickrock trail to the arch… this photo was taken in the middle of the day so it would’ve been mighty hot out there!
What awaits around the corner?
Me in front of Delicate Arch
More pics of Delicate Arch
That’s me with a lopsided star pose
The arch looks rather delicate
The trail exit is somewhere down near that curve. Those rock cairns (rock piles) in the pic are the markers along the trail and slickrock showing the route to take.
Some petroglyphs from about 1600-1800 AD.
Me under one of the Windows arches
Park Avenue, a little bit down the trail
Dinner! One has to refuel after all this walking… Don’t worry didn’t eat all those fried onion rings… they were nice though.