Tuesday we went into the Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. It was a short drive of about 5 miles from our RV park. Like Canyonlands, we had never been to this national park before. We were prepared for it to be wonderful.....but it proved to be exceptional in the scope of it's beauty.
Arches was formed millions of years ago by water, ice, extreme temperatures and underground salt movement. Underground is a salt bed that geologists feel is responsible for the arches, spires, balanced rocks and sandstone fins you will see here.
(click on photos for larger view)
After entry, we began a steep climb to the top of a mountain to get to the main part of the park. We were at the park early, 8:30 am, in order to beat some of the heat of the day. We saw some great shadows that mixed with the red color of the rocks nicely. At this hour we were having some beautiful blue sky that also played off the red rocks for a great contrast of color.
The huge red rocks stretched to the sky. Some of the rock formations had sheer sandstone walls. Amazing.
We stopped by Balanced Rock to take a few pics. It is one of the park's well known features.
We came to the turn off for The Windows Section and took the right turn. North Window arch is huge and some people were standing inside getting their picture taken. When you stand under the arch you feel like an ant with such a huge structure above your head.
There was another beautiful vista to see as we walked over to see Turret Arch. It was another awesome structure.
After our stop to see the Windows and Turret we drove further into the park. We turned onto the road to Delicate Arch, which is said to be the most photographed icon in the Arches National Park. NOTE: Bruce and I did the hike out to see Delicate Arch and that will be a post of it's own tomorrow.
After our hike to Delicate Arch we ate our lunch. Couldn't find a picnic table available, so we did as usual and pulled our folding chairs and table out of the Explorer and made our own picnic spot. There were a lot of people touring the park, but not as many as seemed to be here over this past holiday weekend. This is why we waited until Tuesday to visit Arches. Those weekender's have gone home!
We drove out to the Devil's Garden Trailhead and saw that it was a 7.2 mile hike. After doing a 3 mile strenuous hike to see Delicate, we passed on Devil's Garden. We stopped along the way back to the entrance to take a few more photos of the beautiful and unusual rock formations. Entry to Devil's Garden Trailhead....
We have put all of the other National Parks here in Utah on our list of "things we must see". I don't know when we will get here, but we hope to do it within a year or two. Like Canyonlands, you can see a lot of this beautiful park by car, but taking some of the hiking trails is the way to see more amazing sights. Water and restrooms are scarce here. Bring your own drinking water when you visit and take advantage of bathroom breaks when you find them!
I hope you enjoyed this tour of Arches National Park. Up next: our hike to Delicate Arch.
Until next time.....so long for now!