on October 14, 2011
We headed out of Moab and drove up into the park...the plan was to hike up to Delicate Arch in the cooler morning and before most of the crowds. The scenery as we drove into the park was amazing...we started to try and spot arches...and one or two could be seen from the road.We parked in the lot for the trail up to Delicate Arch...there are vault toilets here. Note the warning signs to take water with you. The first section of the path is gravel with some slopes. Then you have a long climb on rock...the first part is steep and tough going but once you get that you are past the worst. The path is marked with little mini cairns of stones placed and are easy to see from one to the next. The last section of the path is along a ledge with a nice drop...but its not that narrow. As a hike its not too tough but you need to have some fitness. Also there is no shade on this...so we were in sun all the way. Though the joke of our group was that if there was shade I could find it...and there were one or two spots that I was able to get out of the sun...but not really while hiking. Then all of a sudden the wall of rock on the right hand side suddenly disappears and you get this view of Delicate Arch, red rock against the blue sky. It is quite stunning. It was worth the short hike up. There are plenty of vantage points to sit and have a rest and have a good refreshing drink. You can also easily walk out under the arch. On the path on the way down...one can scramble up and take a picture through a window of the arch.While going up we had met the real early birds...but as we arrived before most...but as we went down we met lots of people...but it was getting hot at that point so I was glad we were going down. Once we got down we took the short detour to see the petroglyphs before getting moving again.We headed next to the very busy spot of the North and South Windows and Double Arch. Several tour buses were there, and it was difficult to find a parking space. Thankfully we had planned to eat our packed lunch here...so timewise the tour buses vanished whisking there numbers away to eat lunch somewhere. So I sat under the North window and ate lunch with an incredible view. I liked just wandering around and scrambling through the windows and arches here. Having spent about and hour and a half there we headed on to Balancing Rock and took the short stroll around it. We stop a few times to take photos...but we were reaching Park Avenue when it was clear that storm clouds we had been watching in the distance with flashing lightning were getting closer so we decided to skip our planned hike here...but they did look like rows of skyscrappers towering over us a both sides. Unfortunetely...the weather cut short our day in the park. And a day is too short to spend here. You must get out of the car and take a hike. Its incredible how erosion can create so many different forms. It is beautiful. The shapes, the colours, the rocks.
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