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Monday, May 17, 2010

Amazing formations

I know that there has been a lot written about Arches National Park in Utah, but I am going to share my thoughts anyway.

In June 2009 part of our 4 state trip included a day of riding from SW Colorado into Utah and up to Moab to visit Arches NP.  As we rode up US 191 from Monticello, UT we saw many formations that gave us a small preview of what was in store for us.
Church Rock lies to the east of US 191, south of Moab, UT
Along the way we stopped at Wilson  Arch, a popular formation right beside the highway with paved parking provided on both sides of the road.  Hiking to the arch is allowed and the view from the arch is great.
Wilson Arch
The boys on the arch, what a view!
View from Wilson Arch and one of the group on the arch.
Parking lot as seen from the arch
The hike up the arch is short, but steep.  We made the hike in our riding boots and I am glad I went up.  It was really neat.

We continued to Moab and then to Arches NP.  The park is just north of Moab on US 191.  There is a gift shop with facilities at the entrance of the park.  We rode  17.7 miles to the farthest part of the park, Devils Garden Trailhead.  Along the way we viewed the desert landscape and the saw many of the 2000+ arches in the park.
One of the arches along the way.
There is numerous trails and we had limited time, so we decided to visit this area the most.  One arch we hiked to was Pine Tree Arch.  There were many in the area, but the hikes to them are longer.
Look closely and you can see me and my son at Pine Tree Arch.
There are many unique formations that are not arches.  The Devils Garden area had some neat formations.
 Elephant Rock - not the best angle, but you can see the elephant head and top of his truck.
Another unique formation.
We left Devils Garden Trailhead and road to Delicate Arch Viewpoint.  Due to time we did not hike to the famous arch, but we hiked a short distance to a great viewpoint just south of the arch.  It is an impressive site.
The iconic Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch
After view Delicate Arch we headed out of the park and on to Grand Junction, CO by way of an awesome road UT 128 (see previous post about the road).

Arches National Park is a worthy destination.  Allot plenty of time to hike to some of the sites.  Take plenty water, snacks, and sunscreen.  I look forward to visiting the park again in the future.

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