Thursday, September 25, 2014

Movin' On to Moab

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

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Click HERE to check out our Google+ Album for MANY additional pics.
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Last Tuesday we left Capitol Reef NP (Torrey, UT) and traveled to Moab, UT.  Our intention while here is to visit Arches National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and possibly Canyonlands National Park.  Quite a tall order in the number of days we have allocated.

As we always do once arriving in a new area, we first make a visit the Visitor's Center of the park we intend to explore.  We've never been in this area of Utah at this time of the year, so we didn't realize how busy it would be.  There are a lot of folks visiting during this cooler time of the year.

The first day here we just went inside the Visitor's Center, watched a video, picked up some maps, and made a drive thru of the park without taking too many pictures.

The first mile or so is a steep drive.  The first pullout shows the Moab "fault line" and allows you to take a first look at the surrounding cliffs. The Visitor's Center is located near the center in this picture.

Ok.  It's now Day2 and time to do some hiking. We originally decided to do the trails in the "Windows Section" of the park, but later added the Park Avenue Trail later on the same day.

We didn't even get to the first trail when it was time for a pullout.  We're stopped here at the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint and looking at a formation nicknamed the "Three Gossips".

Here's a closer view of the "Three Gossips".

Our first stop was to visit one of the park's more famous formations called "Balance Rock".  This was a short 0.3 mile walk from the pullout to the formation.  "Balance Rock" has a total height of 128 feet and the boulder at the top is 55 feet in height. The rock holding up the large boulder at the top is eroding faster than the boulder, so eventually the "Balance Rock" will fall and be gone forever.

Moving toward our first hike we parked in the "Windows Section" to visit "Double Arch".  This rock formation is 0.5 mile from the parking area and a very popular point for visitors. This was a pretty cool formation.

Walking directly from "Double Arch" we headed toward the "Windows" via the primitive trail. This trail leads behind the "South Window" (on the left side) and the "North Window" (on the right).  It was a lot quieter behind the rocks because most folks just take the shorter hike from the parking area to the front side of the "Windows".

We also found this a quiet place to take a lunch break. Not one person passed by on this trail during the entire time we stopped for lunch.

Continuing along the trail, we next came to "Turret Arch".  Some of these formations need a bit of an imagination to visualize.

We also decided to hike the Park Avenue Trail before calling it a day.  This trail is listed as 1.0 mile in each direction as has trailhead access at two different points along the park's main road. We decided to begin the hike at the "Courthouse Towers Viewpoint" lot and we were glad we did. The first half of the hike is slowly uphill, so the return trip was much easier.

The area was first named "Park Avenue" because early explorers thought that the towering walls and formations reminded them of buildings in New York City.

Much of the hike is along a wash which runs thru the area.  There was absolutely no water present today, but the movement of the water on the rocks is beautifully evident as you hike.

Another view of the walls along the trail.

Our view at the end of our "out" portion of the hike was stunning. This was also near the other parking area for the trail and quite crowded with tourists.  The good thing is that most don't hike the trails, but only take pictures from the top, so the trail wasn't crowded.



It was a good first day of hiking in Arches National Park.  Don't forget to take a look at many more pictures in our Google+ album which didn't make it into today's blog.

Thanks for stopping by to take a look!

9 comments:

  1. Thanks again for all the pictures, I had no idea there were so many beautiful rock formations in Utah.

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    1. Utah is a varied state when it comes to things to see and explore. Even the areas we intend to visit on this trip are greatly different from each other.

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  2. Thanks for the back country shots of natures amazing sculpting. We enjoyed our too-short stay in Moab last year and would definitely go back.

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  3. Looking forward to returning to this area next year. Very nice pictures!

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  4. Sounds like you did even more than we did on your day there. Don't know how you do the mid day heat. I just wilt. Great pictures. Love the 3 gossips. Wish I knew what they were gossiping about. Fun to see the Park Avenue hike from the other direction. We had the same experience there. In spite of all the people everywhere, no one was on this trail. Just us.

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    1. Sherry we hike midday because we're too lazy to get up early. Also, it's not nearly as hot here now as when you were here. (Although it got up to about 93 today.)

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  5. If possible we choose to go up at the beginning of a hike too. We've been especially enjoying your and Sherry's blogs this summer as you've both traveled through some of our favorite areas.

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    1. Yes, it seems as though we've been following Sherry around all summer, but haven't actually met up with them yet. Now that they've had to head back to CO our paths will be separating.

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