Arches National Park
Date: April 13-14, 2011
Location: Moab, Utah
|The North and South Windows|
Arches National Park in eastern Utah features a collection of over 2,000 natural arches ranging from 3 foot spans (the minimum to be an arch) to the 306 foot Landscape Arch. In addition to the iconic arches, there are many other interesting rock features that have been formed though slow but drastic erosion, as occurred in 2008 when Wall Arch completely collapsed.
The Windows Section
In the Windows section of the park there are several short and easy trails that take you around the namesake North and South Window arches, Double Arch, and Turret Arch. Also in the area are the Cove of Caves, Garden of Eden, Cove Arch, and the Balanced Rock, which is along the main park road.
Delicate Arch is the world's most famous arch and is on Utah's license plate. To reach Delicate Arch you must hike 3.0 miles round trip partially across slickrock with a section with moderate elevation gain. From this trail you can walk up to the base of the arch, but the rock formations here, like the rest of the park, are very interesting.
Viewing Delicate Arch up close is without a doubt worth the trip, but if you do not want to hike the entire way there is a viewpoint 100 yards from a parking lot to the south of the arch. There is also a closer and much better viewpoint that is a half mile from this parking lot.
|Part of Devil's Garden south|
Devil's Garden South
The area around the park's campground and to the south is a part of the the Devil's Garden area and consists of several fins, or narrow ridges. There is a trail in this area that is partially a loop and very easy hiking. The arches featured in this area include Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch, and Skyline Arch. You can walk off the trail among and on the fins in this area (and also the Devil's Garden north), and you will constantly be finding something new.
Devil's Garden North
The northern Devil's Garden area has an extensive trail network that can be done as a 7 mile loop that isn't very difficult, although there are some sandy sections. Here you can see Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Partition Arch, and Navajo Arch within a couple miles round trip from the trailhead. Further out are Double O Arch, Private Arch, and the Dark Angel. The concentration of fins in this is even greater than in the southern part of the Devil's Garden area (but not quite as much as in the Fiery Furnace).
There are many other areas of the park that are more difficult to explore but equally deserving of your time.
|Devils Garden north|
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