Arches National Park was the last National Park which we visited on our trip. And just when I thought that I was numb to all of the beauty which Utah has to offer, Arches is not just another National Park. The spectacular beauty of this park is again unique to Arches. The other aspect of this park is that it really is spread out, you need to drive a bit to get to each of the different formations.
It was a hot day, so we decided to see what we could see from the car at arches, and you can see quite a bit from the car. We did get out and hike the short hike up to the Windows arches. We also hiked the short hike to see Pine Tree Arch, in the Devils Playground.
The next morning, I once again got up early to beat the heat and to shoot a sunrise photo session. We were staying south of Moab in the KOA campground, so I had to get up 1.5 hours before the sunrise to drive all the way to the Devils Playground parking lot and then hike 20 minutes to the Landscape Arch for my photo session. The first thing that I realized what that my 35 mm lens was not wide enough to capture Landscape Arch (seen in the picture below), from the spot I wanted to shoot, so I had to quickly backtrack up the trail a bit to find a suitable spot to capture the entire arch. Again, I shot film, so I don't have my pictures back yet.
After the photo session with Landscape arch, I hiked up to Wall Arch and then on to Navajo Arch (all in the Devils Playground) to capture them on film. On my way back out of the park, I stopped to take a photo of the Petroglyphs near Wolfe Ranch. These Petroglyphs depict men on horseback alon with what appears to be a dog or wolf and long horn sheep. These petroglyphs on on the trail to Delicate Arch, but they are only a few hundred yards from the parking lot, so you can easily view them without a long hike.
I think that my favorite arch in the whole park has to be Delicate Arch, as cliche as that may be (given that Delicate Arch is an icon for the whole state of Utah). Delicate Arch (seen in the picture below) is just spectacular for a couple of reasons:
- It's not an easy hike to see it. (Definitely DON'T do this hike starting in the afternoon if it's a hot day, there is little to no shade on the 1.5 mile hike)
- It stands in the middle of a huge slickrock ampitheater
- It really looks precarious, like it's ready to fall at any moment.
I took out my flute and played a song or two in tribute to this wonderful place. The sound in the ampitheater surrounding Delicate Arch is great. (Hint: nothing shuts up a group of loud German tourists like a Native American Flute being played live...)