Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Arches National Park ~ Exceptional Beauty

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.

We saw some varigated shades of green with the vegetation at this time of the year.  Later in the summer I suspect the green may turn to brown.  Right now it was wonderful to see so many green things here in the park.

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!

Skyline Arch.....

I hope you enjoyed this tour of Arches National Park.  Up next:  our hike to Delicate Arch.

Until next long for now!


Happytrails said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences in Arches National Park with us. It is an awesome place and we have had it on our "to see" list for some time. Can't wait!!
Looking forward to reading and seeing your pics of Delicate Arch.

Stay safe!!
Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

Sue and Doug said...


Judy and Emma said...

You can't hardly beat Utah for National Parks. It's easy to get "overloaded" on the beautiful scenery. Nice pics!

Rick and Paulette said...

We visited the Arches NP in April and it was very interesting to see that a lot of your photos were of the same sights that we took pics of. I guess we both see beauty in the same way! The pictures are awesome. It is a beautiful place with so many, many photo ops. We had Molly and Rylie with us so we couldn't go on any of the hikes, but the views from the roads and turnoffs are still spectacular.

Levonne said...

I love Arches. Thanks for those fantastic photos. Brings back good memories.


Have been to Arches a couple times & hope to return again. Just a super great place. Utah has always been one of my favorite States since first visiting there back in May of 92.

Carol K said...

Great pictures of Arches National Park, Margie. They really bring back the memories of our trip there. Good for you for doing the long, hot Delicate Arch walk. Can't wait to see read your post about that!

Phyllis said...

We've been to Bryce and Zion but not Arches. We, too, have it on our must see list.

How great to be retired and fulltimers. We get to go during week days when tourist traffic is not as bad.

Gypsy said...

What a beautiful place, and you did a good job of capturing it on film!

Ali said...

So glad to get caught up with you. Life/work with the carnival here in Portland is crazy with 12 hour work days and sleep being the priority. Anyway, the carnival was canceled today due to bad weather so now I am getting caught up.

Happy Belated birthday to you!

What beautiful pictures and of so many different arches.

Kenny And Angela's Adventure said...

Again Margie another great tour,you are making our BUCKET LIST so long we will have to live tell were 110.

K and D in the RV said...

Hey Margie and Bruce! We are really enjoying your pictures and descriptions of the wondrous sites in your journey. Rock formations are my favorite - I love the badlands in Alberta!

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

Those are such great pics, and you capture the essence in your words too. Thanks for taking us along on your tour! Anxious to see more and more and more----

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard