Arches – Utah

Date of Visit: July 7, 2015

How we got there: Combined park visit with nearby Canyonlands.

Lodging: Inca Inn, Moab

Favorites:

  • Delicate Arch Sunrise – We chose to visit the park’s most iconic arch at sunrise, when there were no crowds. A 3-mile round-trip hike up open slickrock leads to an overview of the arch and basin below it. Arriving for sunrise in the summer means beginning the hike in total darkness.
  • Devil’s Garden Trail – Popular trail that leads to a high concentration of arches, including Tunnel, Pine Tree, Landscape, Partition and Navajo. We went as far as Navajo, but continuing leads to another collection of arches further North.
  • The Windows – Short, easy trails lead from a central parking area to some enormous arches. Double Arch was our favorite formation in the park.
  • Fiery Furnace – Ranger-guided tour of a complex maze of narrow canyons and towering fins. Requires some minor rock scrambling.

Tips: This park gets extremely busy during the summer, arrive early to avoid waiting in line at the entrance. We got lucky with moderate temperatures, but heat can be intense in summer.

Next time: Visit the remote Klondike Bluffs section and hike to Tower Arch. Complete the Devil’s Garden Primitive Trail loop. Camp at Devil’s Garden Campground.

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