Ellie of Roadtripable back with my second guest post on some of Utah’s national parks. Next up: Arches. Arches has a very special place in my heart because it is the first time I had been down to Southern Utah and where my then boyfriend proposed to me. That was about a year and a half ago and every detail of that weekend is still etched in my mind.
Arches and Canyonland National Parks are both accessible from the town of Moab in South-Eastern Utah. Moab is an awesome desert town that I will eventually write a feature on, it has something for everyone. Jeep rentals are popular for off-roading, zip lining the canyons, MOAB Brewery, and river rafting for the adventurous spirit. They also have Castle Creek Winery, horseback riding, and fine dining for those with more refined taste and looking for a classy trip. My newly coined fiancé and me did a little bit of both on our trip but we were not there for nearly enough time to experience everything (a running theme with my trips apparently).
Arches National Park is much smaller than Zion but arguably more famous. If you have ever been to Utah you should know about the Delicate Arch. It is featured everywhere; on license plates, paintings, store fronts, bumper stickers, and more. It is a perfectly shaped half-circle that miraculously has not toppled from wind, rain, or snow. What you don’t expect when you first visit the park is just how big it is. It towers over you and seems to defy gravity, it looks like a strong gust of wind could knock it down. There are two ways to view the Delicate Arch. You can see it from a viewpoint on the road or you can hike to it. We chose the latter option and this was the main feature of our visit. The hike to the Delicate Arch can be difficult, there is virtually no shade and it is completely uphill. The trail disappears for entire sections and you have to trust in the cairns (Little towers of rocks created by hikers) to guide you along. However, if you hydrate appropriately and avoid the middle of the day there should be nothing to worry about.
As you round the last corner I promise that your jaw will drop at the view. On the other side of a sandstone bowl the Delicate Arch stands completely unsupported. She is a strong, independent lady. This is the perfect spot to sit, take in the view, and eat a picnic lunch. I could have stayed there all morning long.
Although the Delicate Arch is the main feature of Arches National Park it is important to observe the plural, Arch(es) because there are so many more too! Skyline Arch, Double Arch, and Sandstone Arch, to name a few. Most of these are little turn offs from the road and I wouldn’t necessarily classify them as ‘hikes’ more like short walks. We were able to see most of the Arches National Park in a day but there were some trails that we missed out on. This is also a great place to visit at night, there is virtually no light pollution nearby so you can see endless amounts of stars.
Coming Soon! Canyonland National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef National Park. In the meantime, check out my blog and my sappy proposal story you can go see it here Engaged at Arches National Park for a quick cry. 🙂