We've uploaded our Arches National Park Photos ~ enjoy!!!!!
PS ~ We'll be off-line a few days ~ stay tuned..............................................
There are no arches here, but Park Avenue at Arches National Park is well worth a quick stop. Park Avenue is comprised of tall, "thin" rock formations which resemble skyscrapers ~ these were striking and unusual. There is a short, one mile trail that takes you to Courthouse Towers, where you can either turn-around and walk back, or get someone to pick you up there and take you back to your car.
After a long day of hiking and exploring Arches National Park, we went to Moab Brewery for dinner. The surprisingly thing was that although the parking lot looked jammed-packed, there was actually plenty of seating. The food was pretty good for brewery good, as the menu was more than burgers and grilled sandwiches, but included salads, soups, pastas, and vegetarian entrées as well. Brad’s the beer drinker here, and must admit that he wasn’t too impressed with Moab’s brew. OH, there are coupons at the Moab Visitor's Center for a free appetizer with the purchase of three entrées. Enjoy!!
This is the arch that you see on many Utah license plates – it is the quintessential arch that defines and is the symbol for Arches National Park. There are a few ways to enjoy viewing this arch:
This is a very popular hike, so definitely start it as early in the day as possible (we got there at 9:30am). The trail begins as a flat dirt path and passes by the Wolfe Ranch homestead house. The Wolfe’s lived and raised enough animals to survive in this harsh place. The single room house has been preserved and offers a glimpse into how difficult their life must have been.
Just past the house and the small creek is a short spur trail that leads to some petroglyphs (which we took at the end of the hike). Here you can see animal and human-like carvings in a few large rocks that are believed to be created by Ute Indians.
Continuing on the main the trail after about ¼ of a mile, the hike begins its steady ascent on a bed rock face where no plants grow. Following the trail takes locating the series of cairns and the well worn path in the rock from years of hikers. Eventually the trail levels out a bit, but always with an uphill ascent, to an area with some scrub juniper trees, bushes, and plants. There are no views of Delicate Arch at all these sections of the trail, so the prize still waits.
As you approach the end of the trail, which is the top of the peak, Delicate Arch is still hidden from view by a large rock wall. The trail skirts around the backside of this wall where a path/ledge has been cut into the side of the cliff. After about 25 yards look up to the right and you’ll see a small arch in this wall. It’s worth the effort to scale the rock to go up and look through it for there Delicate Arch can be seen for the first time on this hike. This unique vantage point provides a magnificent perspective of this one of a kind arch!
Continuing on the ledge trail a bit longer, an open stadium like bowl appears and off on the far side lies Delicate Arch in all it’s glory…truly an awe-inspiring setting and viewpoint. You can hike around the bowl so you are under or inside the actual arch. There are amazing views on the other side of the arch. This is a great place for that one of kind photo of the arch up-close and with the snow capped LaSal Mountains in the background. A huge Wow!
The walk to Delicate Arch took us 45 minutes, and after spending about 30 minutes at the arch hanging out and chatting with people, it took 30 minutes to return to the trailhead.
Remember the petroglyphs? On the way back we took the very short spur trail to take a look at them as well.
Tower Arch is a large arch with a very thick cap. You can climb through and up the backside for amazing views using the arch as your window. At the base of the arch is a carved inscription by Al Ringhoffer and his wife ~ Ringhoffer who was instrumental in establishing Arches National Park. As you are facing Tower Arch, there is another smaller nice arch to the right.
The total mileage for this hike was 3 miles round trip, and it took us about 2 hours. If you’re not up for such a long hike, there is a 4-wheel drive high clearance road that you can take to within 0.3 miles of Tower Arch.
1. The Fiery Furnace ranger hikes fill-up quickly – be sure to get your reservation as soon as you get to Arches National Park. Go to the Visitor’s Center to purchase your tickets.
2. Groups of 10 or more can get a private hike (with 4 weeks notice). We think this would be a great experience for a group of people, such as a family gathering.
3. Bathroom tip! When Suzanne asked the ranger where there would be a place to stop to step-off and take care of business, his reply was, “You should have gone before we left.” Well, she did, and it was only 45 minutes into the trip, and 2 ¼ hours of “holding it” was not an option. Here’s the tip – hang back in the group – there is always enough time to step-out, take care of business, and jump back into the group without ever being seen by the ranger, who is always first in line. Those at the back definitely bonded over these side trips.
4. Like to take photos? If you hang in the back of the group, since it slows down as people have to maneuver over obstacles, it will give you lots of time to take pictures, and not feel rushed or that you’re holding up the group. 5. Wear sturdy soled shoes or boots for climbing the almost vertical rock surfaces. Wear ankle-high shoes or boots if you have weak ankles and need the extra support.
Back on the primitive trail, the hike becomes more fun and mildly technical as we hiked over boulders, walked on top of narrow rock fins, and scramble through and jumped over many narrow ravens. There were also several places where we had to slide down steep rock surfaces. This was definitely a fun part of the hike, much less crowded than the more accessible areas, and more physically interesting. The primitive trail ends by Landscape Arch, so back into the crowds as we made our way back up the easy path for about a 1 mile walk to the car.
This was a great hike, a definite “must do” when in Arches National Park!
Arches National Park is located in southeastern Utah, just 5 miles north of Moab (in and of itself a tourist destination). There are numerous arches here, some accessible by car, others by a hike ~ we look forward to seeing as many as possible in the few days we’ll be here.
Devil’s Garden is the campground, and be prepared for the 18 mile drive form the park entrance to the campground. There are 52 sites ~ 24 available on a first-come/first-served basis (plan on being here by 7am if you want a site – yes, we’re serious), and the remaining sites are reservable via ReserveAmerica. There are no hook-ups at any site, yet drinking water and restrooms are located throughout the campground. There are a number of sites to accommodate big rigs and all the sites are beautiful, yet in our opinion, site 22 is the best!
As we said, we were also looking forward to seeing Howard & Linda of RV-Dreams again and were pleasantly surprised to also meet up with Rod & Deb of Keeping up with the Kendalls. They are here for a couple days as well to see Howard & Linda, so suddenly we had a party with lots of food, lots of fun, and lots of fun conversation.
Oh, photos of Capitol Reef National Park have been posted! Enjoy!!
The Cassidy Arch trail begins at the parking lot and follows the wash further into the Grand Wash canyon. After walking for about 4 minutes, you’ll see a sign to Cassidy Arch pointing the left. This is where the real hike starts. The trail immediately begins with very steep switch backs, ascending over stairs made out of rocks and very narrow rock ledges that follow the contour of the canyon wall.
This part of the hike was fun to walk, but did not have very interesting views. About ½ mile into the hike, you’ll start working your way further back into a side canyon and once you get away from the edge of the Grand Wash, the views open up and you start working you way up a sold rock sheet - some dirt, some vegetation, but quite open and expansive with much better views. This is actually the place where upward climbing ends, yet you have more horizontal hiking to get to the arch. There is almost no vegetation and the rocks are a beautiful red and cream colored.
At this point, to safely follow the trail, watch for cairns and follow their route. It’s about a ½ mile and you’ll see Cassidy Arch on your left – below where you are standing! Basically, where we were standing was on-par with the top of the arch – you need to look down into a large hole to see the opening of the arch.
For photo-ops and a very unique perspective you can walk across the top of the arch. (The picture below ~ that spot on top of the arch ~ us!) The easier way seemed to be to the right.
The area around the arch is a nice place to stop, enjoy lunch and chat with fellow hikers as you take one another’s pictures on top of the arch. This would be a definite hike to do when in Capitol Reef National Park; it took us 1 ½ hours to walk to the arch, then about 45 minutes to return, so 2 ¼ hours, including lunch and play on the arch.
From the Hickman Bridge parking area there are two nice hikes; Hickman Bridge trail leads to a large natural bridge (an arch formed by water) and the Rim Overlook trail leads to a vantage point high above the canyon floor. These two trails were highly recommended, so we combined them into one hike, as they share the same trailhead. Both trails start by sharing a series of switchbacks, which brings you to a plateau where the two trails go off in separate directions.
The Hickman Bridge trail itself is a 2 mile round-trip self guided nature trail with a small, 400’ elevation change. At the start of this hike there is an information pamphlet you can purchase for 50-cents (honor system). Along the hike there are numbered posts that correspond to information telling about the significance about the stop in the pamphlet. Although interesting, we chose not to read as we hiked, and simply headed off to the bridge. From the plateau junction, the Hickman trail heads off to the left and soon follows along a hidden canyon wash. The trail and the wash become one, so you are walking up the wash basically. To the right of where the trail starts heading up and out of the canyon, there is a very small unnamed bridge spanning the wash. Here you can climb onto and underneath giving you up close and varied perspectives. It was fun to take a moment to explore and of course click a few photos. The trail continues up the ridge until you reach another junction which is the starting/ending point of a loop trail that brings you to Hickman Bridge. This loop trail goes under the bridge and loops back to the starting point. It offers many great varying views of Hickman Bridge and interesting terrain to explore.
Do you shop at Amazon?
If so, please use the Amazon widgets below and Amazon will give us a small percentage of your purchase.
This costs you nothing. Thanks!