We arrive at Arches National Park in the afternoon after driving from Blanding. We could not get camping reservations so we drive to the only campground in the park to see if there are any cancellations. It is raining so we are hopeful. The campground has been fully reserved but only about 20 percent of the campsites are full. Even though the campground is mostly empty there are no campsites available.
Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons, to enter the Fiery Furnace you must accompany a ranger-guided hike or obtain a day-use permit. We tried to reserve a spot on a ranger-guided hike before we left for our trip. All of the hikes were booked. We stopped at the visitor center which is located near the park entrance and asked if we could get a permit to enter the Fiery Furnace the next day. We were in luck, we paid for our permit and watched the required seven minute movie. We were told the area is quiet in the afternoons so we plan to visit the Fiery Furnace the next day in the afternoon.
We leave the park and check out Bureau of Land Management camp
sites which are located along the Colorado River. These are first come first serve campgrounds. We have no luck and decide to check into a hotel In the town of Moab which is five miles from the entrance to the park. Moab Main Street has lots of shops and restaurant. We find a hotel with a kitchen and laundry room, We are trilled to find a free charging station for our car just two blocks away in front of the library. Moab has a food truck park and we walk there for dinner. We order wet burritos and take them back to our room to enjoy since it is raining.
We head to the Arches in the morning for a full day in the park. The park has no restaurants or cafes so we pack a lunch and bring plenty of water.. There are restrooms in some of the parking lots and water too. We start with a hike to Delicate Arc, it is one of the most popular hikes in the park. The hike to Delicate Arch is three miles round trip, the trail climbs 480 feet up a steep slick rock slope. there are a lot of
people on the trail but it is not a bad hike and it is not hot. When we get to the top we see a man standing under the arch playing a saxophone and the music echoed off the rocks. It was very cool.
Our next hike is to Devils Garden. The complete hike is 7.2 miles but I did not get that far. We were headed to Double Arch the trail climbs steeply over sandstone slabs. There are uneven surfaces and narrow ledges with steep drop-offs. Since I am afraid of heights I stopped at a steep part and Mark went on alone. There were three other woman who had decided to stop here too so we enjoyed chatting while waiting for our partners to return. When Mark returns safe and sound we eat our lunch then head to the Fiery Furnace.
There is a 500 dollar fine for hiking the Fiery Furnace without a permit. We put our permit on our day pack and we put the parking permit we were given on the dashboard. Off we go we saw only two groups of hikers the entire time. Our main objective was to not get lost
among all the rocks. We were told to stay on the rocks so we do not disturb the soil or plants. We had to find our way around and find our way back to the car. We spent 2 1/2 hours hiking alone in this rock area.. On our drive out of the park we stopped to look and take pictures of more arches. If it was hot I would have taken a raft down the Colorado Rive. This area is a great place to bike ride but we do not have bikes with us. The next morning we head to Denver. There is snow in the area near Vale and we have no chains. We manage to get to Denver and we are ready for a beer at Great Divide. Our hotel is downtown and we enjoy walking the downtown Streets. This is only a overnight stop so we do not get to enjoy all Denver has to offer. Off to Kansas for the next part of this trip.
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