Saturday, April 11, 2015

Arches National Park–Part 1


On Thursday, April 9, we visited Arches National Park. Neither of us had ever visited this NP and we were both excited. I have seen much of the parks features in pictures, but I knew that seeing them in person would be different. When we pulled off of the highway, I was concerned. I hate crowds and there was a long line to get into the gate.

Entrance to Arches

The line moved along and soon we were in the park and stopped at the visitor center. We watched a short movie and then headed out on a driving tour. The drive up from the visitor center is really beautiful. You hug the red rock canyon wall and you can look back down the valley to Moab.

Arches Sign Kim

I was ready to get out in the desert with the rocks and arches, so when we came to the first overlook and trail called Park Avenue, I said “Let’s go”. Kim was less enthusiastic when she saw how steep the first part of the trail was, but she went on anyway. The hike was awesome. You really felt like you had skyscrapers on both sides of you as you walked and climbed down the trail.

Park Avenue Arches

Park Avenue Balanced Rock

Check out that balanced rock up there.

We hiked down about a mile and then, yes Kim we had to go back up. Actually we didn’t. I could have had her hike down to the end of the trail that rejoined the road. I would have had to hike back up to get the truck and drive around to meet her. We will just consider it training for things to come.

Next up was Balanced Rock. Very cool. I loved the La Sal mountains in the background.

Balanced Rock

Now it was time for some arches. Here is north and south window and Turret Arch. There was a large crowd there, but it is the only place I felt the crowd all day. Arches NP is a big place.



Here is a shot where I got all three arches in one.


North and South Window Arch

Next up was the famous Delicate Arch. There was no available parking at the main site and it was a 3 mile one way hike. We opted to go the very steep one mile overlook trail. We got a good view of this signature arch.

Delicate Arch

We then stopped at Fiery Furnace. This is a very cool set of rock “fins” that are red and look really cool at sunset.

Fiery Furnace

There we many families in the park that were on spring break. It was getting warmer and the families seem to have left. Then we found them. We stopped at Sand Dune Arch. You had to walk up this very narrow passage way to get to the arch.


It was very cool in the shaded area between the rocks and here is where the kids were. It was like a beach. They had pails and were burying each other in the cool sand. Oh Yeah, there is an arch behind them also. It looked like fun. If you bring kids to Arches, remember this place.

Kids playing at Sand Dune Arch

We finished this very full day by walking to Broken Arch. As we approached, we saw some folks up on top. That was a bit scary.

Broken Arch

Here are a couple of shots of us enjoying this arch all by ourselves.

Kim at Broken Arch

Shawn at Broken Arch

When it comes to National Parks, we don’t pick favorites. We try to find out what is unique about each park, and just enjoy them for the short time we are there. We LOVED Arches NP!!! We loved it so much that we decided we are going back in a few days. Stay tuned for that awesome adventure. I hoped you enjoyed this entry as much as we enjoyed our day at Arches NP.

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