Arches National Park

Published: June 29th 2018
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Wilson's ArchWilson's ArchWilson's Arch

OK, it's not actually in Arches National Park. But, as a Wilson, I couldn't pass it up. TripAdvisor comments say if you're coming from the south, it's great buf if you have been in Arches NP, it is just another arch. True.
So we have finally arrived at our last stop in Utah: Moab, a city near Arches National Park. The heat has continued so we were glad to have some shade in the campground. We made sure we got out early to do our hiking. And the wind was often with us. It was so windy when Dianne was preparing supper one night that she put the salad on the plates in Ziploc bags so it wouldn’t blow away.

Arches National Park

The park is aptly named. Most of what people come to see is arches and there are lots of them. The park is huge and you can put on a few kilometres getting from one place to another. There is a lot of up and down travel but this lends itself to lots of spectacular scenery.

One of the first questions one might ask is: What is the difference between an arch and a natural bridge? This may seem like an easy question but I found it easier to just look at and admire them than to answer it. For more information than you probably want, click the difference .

The Campground

Pretty standard stuff here. No
Arches National ParkArches National ParkArches National Park

Our last National Park stop in Utah.
extra room. We were lucky we were sleeping in our truck as the area for pitching our tent was so close to a spot where they put a motor home that we could have dined with them. The people tenting on the other side were certainly close friends. The chap from the campground told me if we wanted electricity he could run a power cord into our spot. This helped with the charging of the electronics but it was still so bright that I had trouble reading the screen.

But there was a nice cover over the picnic table that gave us shade most of the time so I didn’t have to set up the canopy. How hot was it? Well, Dianne was sitting in the shade reading when she noticed one of the local bunnies had hopped into our site and was munching on what passed for grass. A few minutes later, she looked over and he had flaked out in a small depression he had found where I guess the ground was a bit cooler. His ears were still straight up, trying to catch any breeze. Looked pretty funny.

Dead Horse Point State Park

Campsite visitorCampsite visitorCampsite visitor

Just stopped by for a little snack.
second day we were in the area we went to this state park. The scenery is quite different from Arches even though it is very close. The Colorado River snakes through the area on its way to the more famous Grand Canyon. The canyon here is about half as deep and half as wide as its bigger cousin. This actually makes it easier to see the details. It is also used in many major films as a stand in for the GC. The museum in Moab has quite a presentation on movies made in the area.

After the standard tour of the visitor centre we started out on the Eastern Rim trail. Surprisingly, we only passed one couple returning from the point. The story is that cowboys herded a bunch of wild horses out onto the point, a couple of thousand feet above the river and forms a kind of natural corral. They built a fence across the “neck” and selected some of the horses for their use. The rest they left unattended with no food or water. Seems a bit odd that they would do that but….

On the longer West Rim trail back to the visitor
and a little restand a little restand a little rest

must be cooler stretched out in the dirt
centre we watched a storm with thunder and rain approach. They say the safest place in a thunderstorm is in your vehicle but that was a couple of kilometres away. We scoped out a few overhangs to hide under, if necessary. The wind came up and blew all kinds of dust around but no rain fell on us. We were wondering if we were lost when we finally met a single hiker going the other way. He had been wondering if he was lost. Apparently not many people hike to the point, perhaps because there is a perfectly good road right to the viewing platforms.

More Arches

Our third day in the area brought us back into Arches National Park. It’s big enough to spend two days touring around. We hiked up to the Delicate Arch viewpoint. You can take a trail right up to the arch but it involves some pretty tricky sections with steep drop-offs. We opted to visit the Wolfe Ranch nearby instead.

In the afternoon we decided to take the scenic highway along the Colorado. Upstream from Moab there are many places where commercial operators launch their river rafting tours. People seem to

Our salad weathered the windy conditions thanks to Dianne's innovation.
enjoy themselves running some of the interesting rapids. We even saw some paddle boarders going down river.

The long road home

All good things must come to an end. It was time to head for home. Fortunately it’s a long way and we had planned stops in Salt Lake City to visit Mormon Temple Square and Bake City to tour the Oregon Trail Interpretive Centre. ToBeContinued.

Additional photos below
Photos: 31, Displayed: 25


Last campsite for Big RedLast campsite for Big Red
Last campsite for Big Red

a bit tight here but very convenient for our touring. Nice shelter from the sun.
Not an archNot an arch
Not an arch

but we thought it worth a picture
Tree arch?Tree arch?
Tree arch?

Considering the age of the fence and how slowly things grow, we wondered which came first? The tree or the fence.

We loved the views, it didn't seem to matter which way you looked.
On the way to Sand Dune ArchOn the way to Sand Dune Arch
On the way to Sand Dune Arch

Felt a bit like that scene in one of the Indiana Jones movies.
Broken ArchBroken Arch
Broken Arch

Not what it's cracked up to be.
Not all arches hereNot all arches here
Not all arches here

Some really neat caves too.
State ParkState Park
State Park

Not nearly as crowded as Arches. Beautiful views of the Colorado river and its canyons

Weird to see these great evaporation ponds out in what seems to be the middle of nowhere. Interesting history.
More Colorado river valleyMore Colorado river valley
More Colorado river valley

From the Point you can see how the river meanders through the countryside.
Even moreEven more
Even more

Good shot of the meander. Note the trails in the lower right. You can rent ATVs to explore the canyon trails
Spectacular viewsSpectacular views
Spectacular views

Everywhere you look the scenery is unbelievable
Balancing RockBalancing Rock
Balancing Rock

There is a picture showing how this rock had a "baby brother" which fell some years ago. I wonder when they will have to put up a picture of what this rock used to be.

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