May 31, 2018
Joe and I have hiked the trail to Delicate Arch a half dozen times or so, and every time we turn the corner and see the arch, my mouth drops. It is spectacular ! And a must see if in Moab. It's probably the most well known arch in Utah if not the country. That makes it the most popular hike in Arches with hundreds of folks making the trek daily. Timing is everything if you expect to have some solitude while you take in the 65 foot free-standing arch and the gorgeous backdrop around it.
With crowds and warmer...some might say hotter... temps, we were up before dawn, packed and out the door. Sunrise was quite pretty as we drove through Arches NP.
It was 6:08 am when our feet were on trail. The air was cool and it was so peaceful. And the best part, the parking lot was almost empty!
The trail is a 3 mile in and out adventure with about 600 feet elevation gain as you head to the arch. It's a gradual climb, but the giant sandstone "hill" can be a bit of a workout. Thats why I always have camera in hand...a good excuse to stop. (Insert winking eye emoji here!) The views are phenomenal.
Almost to the top !
In the picture below, you can see the road that takes you to the arch from the park entrance and if you squint your eyes real tight, you might can make out the parking lot at the trailhead about an inch to the left of Joe's hat brim.
From here, the trail is a walk in the park ! A few rocks...
some sand so look for cairns...
and more slick rock, but its not so steep !
The next little bit is what I would call a shelf road if we were jeeping. Here the trail hugs a tall rock wall on one side and a view of "down below" on the other. The trail is a lot wider than it looks in the photo with plenty of room to pass folks going in the opposite direction.
When heading up to the arch, if you look left, there is an unnamed arch...
and on your right is Frame Arch.
The rock wall drops away as you reach the top and there it is...the silent "WOW!" and dropping jaw. It is one of those speechless moments when you don't really know what to say out loud.
The park allows you to walk up to the arch. Joe and I have done this several times and it is awesome to look up at it from the bottom. Today, though, it was more about the beauty and enjoying the quiet and having "breakfast". When we arrived at the arch, I counted 7 other people...making getting out of bed well worth the effort to get there early.
On the way down, I did check out Frame Arch. It is so named because you can look through it and frame Delicate Arch in your photo.
|Can you see the person standing under Delicate Arch?|
If time permits check out the wall of Ute petroglyphs dated 1650-1850 on your way out. There are signs to point you in the right direction.
It's a simple panel of horses, riders, bighorn sheep, and a puppy. The rider and the pup put a smile on my face every time I see it !
Also, another point of interest is Wolfe Ranch. The only picture I took of the one-room cabin was too blurry to post. There is signage that details the history of John Wesley Wolfe.
It was about 8:30 am when I snapped the picture below. I was mighty glad we were done ! Check out the traffic, an overflowing parking lot and the "herding syndrome" of folks getting started.
I am always happy to make memories at Delicate Arch. And this day was no exception ! We were back home with coffee in hand surrounded by lots of puppy love at 9:30 and discussing our plans for the day ! Life is better than good, it's awesome !
So, until next time, we hope you have happy days and...
|Balanced Rock in Arches NP|
HAPPY TRAILS !