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Arches National Park

Arches National Park

On my way to visit the Utah National parks I started at Arches National Park. I had never been to any of these parks and wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. What I found at Arches was a ton of people and one of the most unique collection of rock formations I had ever seen.

It was like every turn was another sight to fill my mind with wonder and awe. I only had a day here but I think it is a day that will last stay in my mind’s eye for a long a time!

The Drive

I was warned to be to Arches early in the morning as there was such a rush of people coming to the park in the spring. I made it around 7:30 in the morning and the morning light was just coming up and fully illuminating the amazing rock formations.

My mission was to get to the Devils Garden trail but took the time to stop at all of the pull offs along the way to take in some of the beauty of the park. What you see as you make your way through the first portion of the park is pretty special.

The rocks all have names: Tower of Babel, Courthouse Towers, The Organ, Sheep Rock, Three gossips as well as petrified dunes. The morning light gave these towers of rock a wonderful pinkish glow to them that had me mesmerized.

Balanced Rock

The first main area that I pulled off and actually got out of my car and took walk was at Balanced Rock. This is a super short and easy walk to get out around the rock. The rock itself looks a bit like a gigantic mushroom sprouting from the rocky soil. The rock seems to defy physics by resting on it’s pedestal but is the result of millions of years of erosion.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch was another physic’s defying rock formation. It sits on the edge of a cliff and the bottom of what looks like an amphitheater type flat rock that slopes upward. The trail to get to Delicate Arch is also special as you have a half mile walk across a sloping rock face to get towards the iconic rock. If you would like to read more on Delicate Arch you can click here.

Devils Garden

The Devils Garden was my favorite spot at the park. It is a hard nine mile loop that has access to view eight of the arches! The trail has three sections, a shorter easy section that shows three arches, a longer moderate section that shows four more arches, and the challenging primitive trail that shows the last arch.

This took most of my day and it was so worth it to see so many unique and amazing arches on one trail. If you would a more detailed description of the Devils Garden, along with pictures of all the arches, click here.

The Arches

Well why go to Arches National park if you aren’t going to look at the Arches? While I didn’t get to see all of the arches I was able to see a good amount of them. Arches are probably the most interesting rock formations that I have ever seen. No two are alike and each one makes you wonder how in the world they are still standing!

If you would like to see more about the Arches that I saw along with plenty of pictures you can click here.

Dark Angel

Dark Angel was the anti-arch rock formation in the park. This is a 125 foot tall spire that just sort of sits silently in its own area away from all of the other rocks in the park. Dark Angel can actually be seen from a long way away as you are driving in to the park but you don’t really get a feel for how big it is until you are up next to it.

I did have to wonder if this big pillar was the base or side of a great arch at one time that had collapsed leaving just this icon left for us to enjoy.

Wrapping up Arches National Park

Arches National Park is just stunning. I don’t really know how to say it any other way. There was a lot that I was able to do but still more left to explore. It was also extremely busy. I went in the spring during National Park Week which added to the crowds but the crowds will be there.

There is so much more than just Arches as well. The Devils Garden hike was extremely fun due to a mix of terrain to climb on, over, and around. The Delicate Arch hike was also unique in climbing the flat piece of slick rock. There are also educational and family oriented area’s so everyone should be able to find something to enjoy at Arches National park!

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