Monday, September 29, 2014

Arches NP (Delicate Arch Trail)

Posted from Moab, UT    (Click on Pics to Enlarge)

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On Saturday we returned to Arches National Park to hike the Delicate Arch Trail.  You can actually see the Delicate Arch via two routes.  You can drive to the end of the paved road and take a short hike up to the Upper and Lower Delicate Arch Viewing Points or you can hike 3.0 miles roundtrip up to the arch across slickrock and steep climbs.

Of course, you probably knew which route we chose already.  There were a bunch of folks out on the longer trail on this Saturday.  Actually, a bit more than I like when hiking, but hey, when you start midday that's what happens.

The first half mile or so really wasn't too taxing, but then it got a bit steeper.  I'm not doing any type of photo effect in this picture.  It really was this steep.

The hardest (read heart-pounding) part of the entire trail was the uphill climb across a pretty large expanse of slickrock.  We stopped to take lots of pictures in this section.  (That's code for stopping to catch our breath.)

We finally made it to the top after walking along a narrow ledge area.  The first glimpse of Delicate Arch was truly impressive.

Here's a bit closer picture of the arch. Notice the size of the people nearby for scale.  I believe this is the arch used on the Utah state license plate.

It's hard to express what a "neat" area this is up here.  Just below the arch is a huge basin area. It's not really "hikeable" from this position as the slickrock is steep and there is no real way to safely traverse it.

This is the view looking north from the rocks surrounding the arch.

Here's a better look at the arch from rocks slightly higher on the north side.

This is the area where the previous picture was taken, and also the rocks where we decided to stop and eat lunch.  The temperature was in the lower 80's and there was a nice breeze blowing.

We finally pulled ourselves away from this beautiful location and began the walk back to the trailhead.  On the return trip, there is a small detour trail which takes you to a rock wall showing some Ute petroglyphs. Interesting to look at, but the nearby sign could only narrow down their origins to between 1650 and 1850. It would seem that a better estimation of creation would be possible.

Excellent hike!  We really enjoyed this one.  The next post will include an even "neater" hike. Stay tuned.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!


9 comments:

  1. So nice to see pics from this trail and to hear first hand experience, we've never hiked this one since I have a bit of vertigo in such places. Enjoy the rest of your time in Moab.

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    1. Concerning the vertigo issue, this one is "too" bad, but the next blog post was a bit scary in places.

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  2. Very impressive even just from the upper and lower viewpoints.

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  3. For that view, the hike was certainly well worth it! :c)

    Utah is such an amazing state, one of my all time favorites.

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  4. Color me green that you got to do the hike right up to the arch. Love your pictures and so sorry I missed that rock art. I'm a rock art hound and that's my next post.

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    1. Sherry I was a bit surprised not to see more rock art in the park, but this was the only one we saw.

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  5. We did this hike back in the day ... I'm talking early 1980s. I have very fond memories of the quiet time we enjoyed in view of the arch. Maybe it was the time of day (early a.m.), or the month we visited (October), or just that we got lucky.

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    1. Erin I think it was the time of day which made the area so busy. We're just not early hikers and I think we were there around 1 or 2 PM.

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  6. yep, remember that hike and we too stopped for lots of photos on the way up ;)

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