Monday, November 29, 2010

Road Trip 2008: Arches NP

Arches NP preserves over 2000 natural sandstone arches. The most famous one is Delicate Arch, to which I dedicated a separate post. But the park is also home to many other interesting rock formations that can easily ignite imagination not only of photographers.

There is only one small campground in the park, so it fills up very quickly. As we really wanted to stay within the park, to make sure it would happen, we got to the park at around 6 am... And even though we were there so early, there were already several other people in line in front of us. Luckily, the early bird catches the worm, and so did we manage to get one of the campsites.

We spent two days and two nights in the park, which seems to be just enough to see most of it (unless you plan to go backpacking). During that time we went for two longer and several shorter hikes. Descriptions of the shorter hikes you can find below, and to the longer ones I dedicated separate posts.

The Balanced Rock Trail is a short (0.3 mile) loop hike up to, and around, the Balanced Rock. It is definitely fascinating to see this balancing act of Nature:

The trail leading to the Park Avenue area is 1 mile long (one way) and leads next to several interesting rock formations. My favorite was the rock that Agnieszka and I called "Pharoah" (I think the official name of the rock is "Queen Nefertiti"):

Park Avenue, Courthouse Towers:

Petrified Dunes, La Sal Mountains in the background:

Garden of Eden, La Sal Mountains:

The hike to North and South Window is 1 mile (1.6 km) long and takes around 40 minutes: