We did it...Tuesday morning we were parked and on the Devils Garden Trail at 8:30 am. No problem this morning finding a parking place!
It's no wonder why this is a popular trail...Devils Garden area of Arches NP contains the largest concentration of significant natural arches in the world!
The first 0.8 mile of the primary trail is graveled and winds through the tall fins.
A side trail leads to Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch.
Tunnel Arch is actually a double arch comprised of a larger hole towards the center of the fin and a smaller hole on the upper left. The fin in which this arch is formed is thick...this creates an illusion that it is more a tunnel than an arch.
Pine Tree Arch is enormous...it takes a few minutes standing underneath it to take it all in.
We weren't the only ones getting an early start to the day!
The primary trail to Landscape Arch is graveled and well-graded. It is a 1.6 mile round trip to Landscape Arch.
This was our first view of Landscape Arch from the main trail.
Joe and I opted at this point to walk the primitive trail counter-clockwise and save the up close view of Landscape Arch for last.
The main trail, primitive trail, and all spur trails to points of interest is a 7.2 mile round trip hike...whew!
The first part of the trail was through sand. Views of the fins were spectacular.
This is an example of cryptobiotic soil. It is composed of living bacteria, algae, fungi, lichens, and/or mosses. Soil crusts are very important to the desert ecosystem and extremely fragile.
As we climbed higher the sand changed to slickrock.
This picture (on the right) shows the trickiest part of our hike today. This was a very steep wall of slickrock...as you can see...or can't see...it was a deep ravine...our first time for steep slickrock scrambling! Thank goodness for folks along the way...this very nice couple, Deb and Carson ( in the picture below) from Iowa gave me a hand...
Spur trails lead to Dark Angel, Partition Arch and Navajo Arch.
|Rough Mules Ear|
As we peer through arch openings, we are reminded of the dynamic nature of our earth.
The last part of the primitive trail is on sliprock fins... up and down!
Walking these fins reminded me of a Carpenter's song "Top Of The World"...looking down on creation. Only, I wasn't looking down too much!
It was a little scary...I couldn't see where we were headed.
It took me a minute to get myself together! What goes up, must go down!
We met a nice couple from Belgium, Katherine and Guy...Guy stood and waited for me.
Finally, Landscape Arch! Landscape Arch is the longest Natural arch in the world. It is 290 feet at its longest section.
In recent years, several chunks have fallen from it. The trail leading below it has been closed for safety .
This was the most challenging hike we have done.
I am behind on posts...Wednesday, Thursday, and today have all been so busy. There's lots to write about!
Hope you all have a great Memorial Day Weekend. Welcome summer!
Y'all come back!