For a while now I've been wanting to find a way to go back and visit Arches National Park in Utah. The last and only time I was there was after my first half marathon in Moab which was at least 6 years ago, so it was definitely time to go back and visit once again. Since Stephanie lives in Price I drove down to her one day during my trip to Utah and then we rode over to Arches together. She has been there numerous times and loves it as well. We had a really fun day together catching up and driving around this beautiful area.
On the way over she studied like a good little nursing student. Before heading over to the park we grabbed lunch at the Peace Tree Cafe in Moab.
By the time we actually got into Arches it was around 4, so we didn't give ourselves a whole lot of time, but it still ended up working out pretty well. We started at the main entrance, grabbed a map and just started driving. We drove around the Windows Section and then up to Delicate Arch and back.
I absolutely love the red colors of the rock and earth. It's really such a gorgeous and unique landscape.
This road reminded me of that level in Mario Kart where you drive along the desert avoiding the train haha.
Above is a picture of the "Organ"which is a pretty cool rock structure you'll see as you start driving along the main road. Poor Steph was just ready to get to some actual arches, but I kept making us pull over so I could take a picture of everything. Below is the famous balanced rock.
I love how open, warm and colorful this part of the country is. Forests feel mysterious, while this landscape feels honest - take it or leave it, what you see is what you get.
Here we are walking up to the North Window.
I absolutely love the picture below on the left.
Out there is the Fiery Furnace which I hope to explore one day. Steph said a lot of people get really lost so it's good to have a map and go with someone who knows what they're doing when you around the part.
The hike to Delicate Arch is about a mile and a half and a bit strenuous mid day in the summer. Definitely bring some water and wear cool clothes.
The famous Delicate Arch!
Can you find me in the picture below?
People had lots of interesting poses when they had their turn under the arch, like this guy break dancing.
While Steph and I were sitting enjoying the sunset a random girl walked up to Steph holding a pie tin with a single piece of pumpkin pie left and asked if she wanted it while promising it's fine to eat, they were just too full to eat it. Most random thing ever! But sure enough, Steph took it and ate it :)
We met a really cool, young couple from New York at the arch who were spending 3 months road-tripping across the US. He convinced his job to let him take a sabbatical and she just graduated from law school so they bought a VW bus and off they went. They had a nice camera and let me borrow their lens so the two pictures below are from their camera. I loved being able to use wide angle lens so I could get more of the landscape in the picture with a better view of the clouds.
And back to my zoom lens.
The sunset was so incredibly gorgeous that night. Everyone turned the opposite direction of the arch to watch the sky turn the prettiest shades of pink and purple.
Why do sunsets have to be so short!
I loved seeing the moon rise over the arch. Just wish I had a tripod with me and a lens that did better in low light settings. As much as Steph and I loved dusk at the arch we realized we didn't want to make the mile long hike back in the dark, so we left shortly after these pictures were taken.
Our road tripping friends with their bus :)
I love Arches and think it's absolutely worth the visit. All of the pictures from this post were taken in about 4 hours, so imagine what you could see if you stayed a full day. Next time I hope to do just that and make it even further up the road.