Saturday, March 08, 2014

Arches National Park

Ever since reading Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire (as a kid) I've wanted to visit Arches National Park - where he worked as a park ranger while writing the book. We've been through Moab before but haven't stopped before this trip. The entrance and visitors center for Arches is just a few miles outside of Moab. It's funny because Desert Solitaire makes where he worked sound very remote and wild. And it probably was back then, but now it's a big tourist attraction with a steady stream of cars even in the off season.

We drove around the paved roads in the park, stopping at the viewpoints, and then hiked the Devil's Garden loop. It starts off as a wide flat well maintained trail to Landscape Arch (perhaps the biggest arch in the world). After that it gets a little rougher to Double O Arch. From there you can take the "primitive" trail to return. It was a lot of fun. There were a few parts that involved some scrambling, but nothing scary. The trail is a little hard to follow at times, but if you make sure you follow the cairns (piles of rocks) it's fine.

Arches is well worth a visit if you're in the area.


Balanced Rock

Double Arch

Double O Arch


See all 22 photos as a slideshow or overview

See also Shelley's blog post

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