Arches National Park

Saturday September 5, 2020

Arches National Park is an amazing park even though the temperatures were over 100 degrees. There is much to see and do and it is kept very clean.

At the enterance I am about 20 cars back in line.

This is my first stop in the grand circle, all five national parks in Utah. I am giddy! Most people just dream of doing this and never get the chance to do it.

I arrive at the park at the late hour of 9:20am. The line to enter is long. I must be 20 cars back and there are two lines this long. But I am patient talking to Mom on the phone and before I know it I am passing through. I stop at the visitor center. I need to try an arrange a hotel room for SHORTCUT, who is hiking the CDT. It is a holiday weekend and after about 10 phone calls I don’t have any luck. I walk Berkley then head on my way. It is about 10:30am and it doesn’t seem as busy now.

Just pulling into the visitor center I am in awe. It looks like the road into the park climbs up a rock wall. I can see cars switchbacking up it.

Today I plan just to do a driving tour. It is supposed to be 103 today and that is to hot to leave Berkley in the van for long, since dogs are not allowed on the trails in national parks. I have early morning hikes planned for the next two days. I stop at many of the pullouts to take pictures and I can leave the van running to keep it cool inside for Berkley.

I must have made over a dozen stops today. There is just so much to see and you hate to miss something.

Pictured above is the Three Gossips on the left and Sheep Rock on the right.

The Organ.

This is one of the very few shady places to park I found, but only until the sun rises above the rock.

Balance Rock

Most of the sites in Arches NP can be seen with a short and relatively easy hike.

The photos above are from the Garden of Eden viewing area.

Photos above are from the Fiery Furnace viewing area. There are normally guided hikes climbing adventures through this area, but they are temporary closed. After you do the guided tour you are then allowed to explore the area on your own. But you must do the guided tour to be allowed to explore on your own.

It is really getting hot out so I head to a campground that I have reserved for the next 3 nights in Moab. The temperatures are forecasted to be over 100 for the next 2 days then 99 the day after. So I splurged on a campground to be able run the AC during the really hot afternoon and evening hours.

Sunday September 6, 2020

Morning sun rising to great the new day.

My alarm goes off at 5am. I don’t see this hour much anymore. I usually wait until it is light out to get up. But I want to do a hike in Arches before it get to hot. It takes about an hour to get to the Devil’s Garden trailhead area. It is at the end of the drive into the park. I walk Berkley one more time before I head out.

The moon is still visible.

Landscape Arch

My first stop is Landscape Arch. It amazes me that it is still intact. It looks so thin. It think I read somewhere that the thinest area is only about 6 feet thick and it spans over 300 feet wide.

I proceed to Double O Arch, but choose to turn around when I encounter a steep rock climb with even steeper drop offs. Yup, that is not for me! No way!

Pine Tree Arch

I make my way to Pine Tree Arch, an easy walk with no steep drops offs.

Tunnel Arch

Then it is on to Tunnel Arch. Another non-scary terrain hike.

When I get back to the van it is still cool inside and Berkley was probably napping. The parking lot is packed and cars are just circling waiting for someone to pull out. I decide to head over to the windows section and do a couple of very short hikes there. I’m in luck. There is parking available here.

Double Arch

I first hike to Double Arch. Oh Wow! This one is my favorite so far. It is a beauty!

North Window

Then I proceed over to see North and South Windows and Turret Arch all located a short distance from each other.

South Window

Turret Arch

It was a super day minus my failed hike. The sights were spectacular. As I am exiting the park the enterence is packed. There are two lines of vehicles waiting to get in. I would guess there to be about 60 vehicles in each line at about 12pm with forecasted afternoon temps to be around 103. I know it is a dry heat, but…

Monday September 7, 2020

Delicate Arch

I saved the best for last today, Delicate Arch. I was told that the best time to see it is with the setting sun, but with the temperatures so high I opted to see it in the early morning. I am up at 5 am again and make it to the trailhead at 6:20am. The parking lot is 2/3 full! I can see people hiking up the trail with headlights on. I am shocked that there are so many people here. I guess they wanted a sunrise picture or to beat the heat and crowds. I can tell from the smell that the bathroom has had one hell of a workout this morning. You can smell it halfway down the parking lot. They just have composting toilets. I’m thankful to have my own bathroom and don’t have to enter one of those.

The hike to the arch is 1.5 miles. It is a interesting hike over a lot of slickrock with mindblowing views. There is a narrow ledge with a drop off, but I did well walking along it. Then you round a corner and there is the arch and all those people from the parked cars. Whoa! It was crowded. There was a long line to have your picture taken in front of the arch. I opted just for a picture of the arch and didn’t hang around long.

Slickrock. Yes, the trail went all the way up it.

Narrow trail ledge

View from narrow trail ledge

On the way back down I took a side trail to see some petroglyphs carved in a rock. They were thought to be carved sometime between 1650-1850. They were impressive for their age.

Wolfe Ranch located at the trailhead.

John Wolfe and his oldest son, Fred moved into the area in 1898. John had a leg injury from the civil war and wanted to live in a drier climate. His wife remained in Ohio. John lived at the ranch for 18 years before moving back to Ohio.

View from the overlook with camera zoomed to the max. Look at all those people.

I also went to the Delicate Arch viewing area that doesn’t require a long hike and it was disappointing. It was so far from the arch you couldn’t really get a good picture of it unless you had a really good zoom lenses on your camera. I definitely recommend doing the longer hike. You won’t be disappointed.

Flowers in the parking lot.

When I got back to the campground I decided to take advantage of the laundry facilities. I only had enough quarters to do one load of wash. I just had to hang everything up to dry in the van, since I was out of quarters. It all worked out fine. Everything was dry by the next morning.

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