John and Doris, 2008, Awaaay we go! travel blog

Courthouse Rock

Balance Rock

Windows Arch

Turret Arch

Trail to Delicate Arch


Delicate Arch

Tunnel Arch

Pine Tree Arch

Landscape Arch

Jug Handle Arch

August 10 and 11, 2008 -- Arches NP

Everyone told us to make sure to go to Arches NP. John and I agree with them, this is a not to be missed park. We started our first day with just a drive through the park with stops at every turn out and trail head. What a beautiful place. The rocks here are red, very red, and when entering the park they rise up to the sky with sheer walls. Then as you progress into the park you start seeing what makes this place famous. The walls often turn into blades standing free. Or you will see rocks balanced on other rocks, amazed that they continue to stay balanced. Then you see the arches each with a different shape and its own story. We hiked the 1 mile round trip to the north and south window arches and turret arch. This is an easy walk up a slight incline, or use the steps.

On our second day we decided that we would take the 3 mile round trip hike to Delicate Arch. Several people told us this was a very good hike and fairly easy hike. This trail gains 480 feet and is in open sun with no shade. Part of the trail goes over slickrock (slickrock actually has very good traction) and has some exposure to heights. One, I did not know if I could make it up a trail that gained 480 feet, I get winded going up two flights of stairs. Second I don’t like heights and hoped that there would not be too much “exposure to heights”. John and I set out on the trail and most of you know that he is in very good shape and has been running and then walking for years. So John is very good and goes slow so that I can keep up or catch up with him. He is lightly walking up this hill and I and huffing and puffing and stopping often to get a breath. We were within 200 yards of reaching Delicate Arch when it happened. There in front of me was the LEDGE! No way in this world am I going out on a ledge with no rail to hold on to. My fear of heights kicked in big time and I stopped right there. I told John to go on and he did and so we do have pictures of Delicate Arch.

Since we were on a roll with the first hike to Delicate Arch, we decided two hikes were better than one. We went to the area called Devil’s Garden and took the 3.2 mile round trip hike to Landscape Arch with side trips to Tunnel Arch and also Pine Tree Arch. This is a relatively easy hike with only a few uphill sections to the trail. We took this hike starting about 11 a.m. and by this time this area is very crowded with other hikers, families and kids. It is also very hot by this time of day. We both made it to see all three arches and then called it a day. By the way it was worth the heat and the hike to see Landscape Arch.

We finished today with a drive along scenic Route 279 (Potash Road). This is a drive best taken in the early evening so that you can enjoy the change of light on the canyon walls on both sides of the river and Potash Road. It was a beautiful drive and the red rock walls and the changing light were great but we most enjoyed the surprises along the way. First we saw several groups of beginning rock climbers working at scaling these almost vertical walls. Then we found the petroglyphs and finally Jug Handle Arch. Just a really nice way to end the day.

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