Hiking In Arches National Park

This is our first trip to Utah to visit the Fabulous 5 National Parks and many of their state parks. Arches National Park was our first stop. It is an amazing place. Even though we took several pictures, it is hard to capture the size, beauty, and magnitude of these arches.

Arches National Park has a backdrop of the La Sal Mountains wherever you go in the park. The contrast between desert and snow capped peaks are stunning.

We arrived early on Monday morning and enjoyed the park with very few other early birds. Not knowing what to expect, we were immediately in awe of the towers such as Courthouse towers, Balanced Rock and then all of the Arches. The Arches are changing and developing all the time due wind and ice, extreme temperatures and the salt bed that is underground most of the area. We hiked to and photographed the majority of arches in the park. Each one seems to be just as or more amazing than the last one.

We were excited about beginning our hikes and did the Windows section first. The views are breathtaking. In one view you can look over the vista through North Window Arch or stand back to enjoy North and South Arch together. You can also stand on the back side and line up to see Turret Arch through North Arch.

We enjoyed many different views of the Arches. You can hike near them and enjoy them from afar, hike up the rocks into them and explore all the different sections and areas, or you can hike through or view the other side which gives you a totally different perspective. This was especially true of Double Arch. The view to the back side of the Arch was worth the steep climb.

The day was warming up and the 3-mile up-hill Delicate Arch Trail was busy with hot sun. We played, climbed and explored the Arch area and enjoyed the views for quite a while. On the trek down, we shared some of our cherished water with a mom and her two young children who were out of water. There was also some Rock Art, petroglyphs from the Ute Indians who inhabited the area for many years (1650-1850).

The next day we did Devils Garden Trail which is the longest hike. We saw 8 arches during our 8 ½ mile hike.  Primitive trail is known for not being well marked and many hikers lose the trail and have to bushwhack to find their way back to the main trail.  We were some of those hikers. We had to scramble up and down many slabs of sandstone.  Gail ended up sliding down part of a steep one.  It was an amazing hike, and we would definitely do that one again!

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