I was really supposed to be here a couple of weeks ago, but had cancelled my plans because of some other priorities. However, I wanted to at least check out this place so I would know how much time I wanted to spend here next year. So, I allowed myself three hours this morning before driving off to Provo, UT, where I had reservations for the night.
I think this cliff on the road to Moab and Arches, from the entrance to Canyonlands National Park is impressive. The sign below it describes some of the local geology.
After a quick stop in the visitor center, I headed up the steep hill to the plateau where most of Arches National Park is located. I chose only one place that I figured I had time for--Delicate Arch. At a scenic pullover on the way, I made sure I had my vehicle in Park and the emergency brake engaged, but it still makes me nervous to park on hills with big drop-offs on the side.
These are petrified sand dunes.
There are three ways to see Delicate Arch: 1) a three-mile hike uphill and on a very rocky path, 2) a half-mile hike uphill to a scenic viewing area, and 3) a 300 foot walk along a handicap-accessible flat trail. Guess which one I took?
I took the 300 foot walk, but then could barely see the arch in the distance. Can you see it in about the middle of the photo? Anyway, I felt guilty and headed up the half-mile uphill trail. At least it was a very cool day and I had lots of company.
There is almost always something in bloom in the desert. Lady said this was some kind of "vetch" but I need to look it up for sure.
I have no idea what this plant is, but it had very pretty purple and white flowers.
This is fireweed, I think.
Looking down part of the trail I came up.
Is this the "deadly" nightshade???
Another white flower of some sort. Anyone have any idea what it is??
After a substantial walk uphill, some resting on rocks, and taking a lot of photos, I could see the arch a lot better. This is taken with a telephoto lens, but note the people nearer the arch. They are the ones who took Option 1--the three-mile difficult hike.
A couple of wildflowers I missed on the way up.
The building in the distance is the visitor's center. It is a very steep road with a hairpin curve or two.