Wednesday, May 22, 2013

First Ride Through Arches NP

 Moab, Utah

We were up at the usual time on Monday morning with good intentions to be at Arches NP bright and early. BUT, I am sure you know how it is, one thing and then another and we didn't leave home until 10:00am.

This is a view of the La Sal Mountains and petrified sand dunes as we drove through the park on the main road.
Balanced rock is one of the most popular features in the park. It is located right next to the main road. Total height of Balanced Rock is about 128 feet with the balancing rock rising 55 feet above the base. 

Windows arches is also visible from the main road. There is a trail there we want to walk, but this was not our destination for the we rode on.

These flowers are blooming all over the park. They are called Rough mule's ear and are in the Sunflower Family.

 Skyline Arch was the perfect warm-up trail to take and the arch is quite impressive. The trail is a .4 mile round trip hike. The arch is 71 feet across and 35.5 feet tall.

In 1940, a large block of sandstone fell from Skyline Arch and doubled the size of the arch. Boulders from the collapse remain and can be seen below the arch today.

Just after Skyline Arch, the main road ends. Our destination for the day...Devils Garden Trailhead. This is a popular hike at the park. Because of our later departure from home, there were NO places to park...we circled the huge lot twice. Glad we had a plan B!


Plan B...take the unpaved road through Salt Valley to the Klondike Bluffs and hike to Tower Arch. Salt Valley Road is about 8.3 miles of washboard road and is the only way to Tower Arch.

Along the way, we saw lots of Prince's Plume...

...Common Paintbrush...

...and Primrose.

If you look closely, you will see a couple who is ahead of us. The first part of the trail is a short, but steep ridge.

 The route is easy to follow if you watch for cairns...small stacks of rocks...used to mark the way.

From the top of the ridge, you have an outstanding view of the area.

Oops...notice the clouds...we didn't have a Plan C! The weather called for a 20% chance of thunder storms. As we were taking our time and enjoying the view...clouds with rain showers came rolling in!

Prairie Sunflower
 Neither one of us was too keen on the idea of getting caught in a thunderstorm and since the wind picked up, we decided to call it a day, but we do plan to go back.

 Instead of taking Salt Valley Road back through the park, we made a left turn at the trailhead and traveled on. It was a beautiful ride...and Joe stopped a lot for me to take pictures!

 There were fields of Pale Evening Primrose...oh so pretty!

Eventually Salt Valley Road was a dead end...we turned left on a connector road and ended up on Hwy 191 about 30 miles from Moab.

Despite our late departure and the weather, we still managed to have a marvelous Monday! Arches National Park is spectacular and we can't wait to explore more...
Thanks for stopping by today!

 Hope you are having a fun week...
...Y'all come back!
P.S. This is post  #101 for us!


  1. Awesome photos, thanks so much for sharing.
    Someday we will get there!

  2. Glad you're enjoying Arches. It is SOME place!

  3. Too bad about the rain. The Tower Arch trail is very neat and short. Make sure you check out the double arch on the right just before the Tower Arch. If you climb up in the arch and look up by the wall, you can see the double arch.

    Can't wait to revisit the park with you!!

  4. The first time seeing the park is so amazing! Your pictures are beautiful. Love seeing the flowers.