Day 4 had a very chilly start just before dawn standing in front of a dark arch at Arches National Park in Utah.
The tripods were set up and we paced back and forth in the 17 degree weather waiting for the sun.
The sun eventually came up but mostly just to show us that whatever site we had gotten out info from it was either wrong, or we did something wrong. The magical morning was turning bland rather quickly.
We snapped what we could and moved on. First to Turret Arch (above) which is really right next to the North and South windows that we started at. While the sun did light it up nicely, if I want to be honest the clouds are 100% fake. Well not fake, they are real clouds, they just weren’t actually there then that day.
Just down the road from here is the Double Arch. To really get up to it, you are in for a bit of a walk, but nothing strenuous.
Our next arch to bag was Delicate Arch. This is probably the most famous and probably where were should have started our day. Of course its easy to say that now. From the main parking area this arch is 1.5 miles and 480 ft (up) away from your vehicle. I missed the turn and went a bit down the road to what was suppose to be a scenic view point of this arch. I assumed by scenic view point it would be a good view from the car or remotely close to the car, and thought it might be a good place to start. I grabbed my A6000 with 32mm Ziess lens and started down the path to see what you could see. It turns out this is a longer walk than I thought it would be. At half a mile its not crazy, but it is fairly steep, and to be honest really wasn’t worth the walk. If you have to do it, take a lens with a bit of magnification. Had I grabbed my 400mm, there might be a photo here.
We headed back to the main parking lot for Delicate Arch, but it was apparent that this is where everyone in the park was at. We skipped it. Our next stop was the Fiery Furnace view point for some brunch. This area is something that you can actually see from the parking lot! I’m sure its better up close, but if you want to see that then there is a “Ranger Guided Tour” in your future.
The Sand Dune Arch was easily my favorite of the trip.
Honestly my only regret was not bringing out the Lego Storm Troopers to recreate a droid search scene or two!
On the way out of the Sand Arch, you can see Broken Arch off in the distance. There is a spur trail that heads out towards this, but I’m not sure how far off it really goes. We walked a bit down that way, but didn’t follow it to the end.
The Devils Garden Trail head along with a 0.7 mile hike to Tunnel Arch.
Followed by Pine Tree Arch.
And Finished up with Landscape Arch. At Landscape we were now around 2 miles from the truck and the trail would go “Primitive” if you wanted to go farther. Had it been a bit warmer I would have pushed to see more, but as it was we decided to leave something to see in the future.
We made our way back to the truck.
On the way out we stopped to see some of the non arch scenery. Like the Three Gossips,
Sheep rock, and the others around the Park Avenue area.
At this point we had to make a decision of where we were headed next. Due to weather in the past we have learned to over book ourselves knowing at least half of what we wanted to do would get scratched off due to rain, snow, wind, cold, or some combination of those. This years weather didn’t screw us which actually screwed us anyway. Jamie had planned for Canyonlands National Park next, and I had of course changed that to the White Rim Trail. If you know that trail then you know it isn’t short, and generally require two days at the minimum to make it worth while. Knowing this we reluctantly had to put this back in the future plans once again or risk being late for Christmas with the family.
We ended up in Rifle Colorado for the evening.
Full Arches National Park Gallery