Monday, November 21, 2016

Moab, Part 2 - Arches National Park, Utah

Barely a few miles north of the town of Moab, Utah is Arches National Park. It is one of five national parks in southern Utah; not the biggest nor the smallest; certainly one of the most visited; and one where it is fairly easy to see the incredible red sandstone formations southern Utah is known for. It has one of the highest concentration of naturally formed arches in the world.
Me standing beneath Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch is probably the most iconic symbol of Utah, and is used in many publications and tourism brochures. The hike to the arch is considered difficult with a pretty steep climb up the sandstone rock, an elevation gain of 480 feet and a narrow ledge to traverse in the last few hundred feet.
Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock is visible from the main road through the park, although a short trail circumnavigates its base. The La Sal Mountains (unusual to have so little snow on the peaks in late October) make a majestic background.
The jumbled maze of Fiery Furnace
This is Fiery Furnace as seen from a distance. The eroded fins create a maze of passageways with towering walls on each side. Ranger-guided hikes through the Furnace have ended for the season, so we purchase a permit (it is the only area in the park requiring a permit other than for overnight backpacking) and attempt to navigate it on our own.
Me standing inside the tiny arch
Somehow, we stumble across this tiny arch in one of the dead-end passages of Fiery Furnace, but we never manage to penetrate into the interior of this maze. Next time, we will hire a private tour guide, or return during guided tour season as our hiking day is a bit disappointing.
(L) South Window; (R) North Window
The North and South Windows from the backside on the Primitive Trail. These windows are huge; if you look closely, you can see people standing in North Window on the right.
Me standing inside the North Window
A view of Turret Arch taken through the North Window, again from the backside where few people wander.
Ok, Brad's almost invisible because he's wearing blue!
Brad standing inside one of the arches of Double Arch, also in the Windows Section of the park.

(Brad is standing in the bottom right corner of the arch at the bottom left.)
Along the short hike in Park Avenue, so named as the canyon resembles the famed New York street lined on both sides with towering buildings. These are nature's skyscrapers.
Me in the bottom arch with a view of Colorado in the top arch
Arches National Park has many other beautiful arch formations which we've seen on previous trips, like Double-O Arch near the end of the Devils Garden Trail. This photo is from our trip in 2009, pre-retirement.
Another photo from our 2009 trip of Landscape Arch, which we think should be called Delicate Arch because it's so thin. Only a few years ago, a huge chunk of rock fell from the underside on the right.

No comments:

Post a Comment