Friday, April 22, 2016

4/20 Arches National Park

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.

Pretty place.

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.

Heading down!

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.

Snow-covered mountains!


  1. it is a great area be sure to stop there when you have time.

  2. I am planning on at least a week next year. When I retired and started this adventure, I figured I would have tons of time for reading and being able to see everything I wanted to see. In reality, I am really am very busy, and it seems I never have enough time to do or see everything I want to.

  3. Holy cow, just gorgeous!!!