Today we did Arches National Park. Well, maybe saying we “did” the park is a little of an over-statement. Let’s say we did some of Arches NP. I do think we hit the highlights, got in a couple of nice hikes, and was once again (of course) struck by the amazing beauty of this country.
The park doesn’t just have arches, it also has some amazing rock formations. In the group above is the Three Gossips, the Sheep, and the Courthouse Towers. Can you figure out which is which (even though they are small!)?
Those are the Petrified Dunes.
This is Balanced Rock. We actually saw lots of examples of balancing rocks, but this one seemed to warrant the name.
And we did see plenty of the beautiful arches –
The Cove Arch
The South Window
The South Window with perspective!
This is the Double Arch.
And this is NOT A TRAIL! There is this ancient,living dirt in the park (and all over the area) called cryptobiotic crust. And we had to be very careful not to step on it. This being a tourist is trickier than you think! Antique Dirt. Hmmmmmm.
But back to the sights –
These are the North AND South Window arches.
And that was the view as we completed our hike to those arches. Such expanse!
The Double Arch
The hike to the Delicate Arch viewpoint.
And the view of the Delicate Arch – probably the most recognized arch in the park. It’s on many of the Utah license plates, and is the unofficial state symbol. We could have hiked all the way to the arch itself (like all those little people in the picture), but it was over 3 miles and according to the guide, considered “strenuous”. We decided that a good view was just fine with us!
That hike was under mile, but still “moderatly strenuous” – and well worth it!
Our final arch of the day was the Landscape Arch –
and that hike included this view –
This was a lovely park!
And after a full day, we hooked up the truck and headed north.
Isn’t it amazing how quickly the terrain changes out here?
The road dead-ended at those mountains, which is where I70 passes by (E-W). We are actually situated on the top of the mesa to the left, parked in a nice rest stop. Tomorrow we hop onto the interstate for an exit or two west and then head south to Capitol Reef National Park.
The Rock Tour continues!
OH – one more interesting sight from our day at Arches –
This is a German touring bus from a company called Rotel Tours. It’s a rolling hotel – get it, ROlling hoTEL! Here’s a link to their website where they describe the accomodations. Good thing they have lots of pictures, since it’s all in German. 🙂