Arches National Park, Utah

Back in 2010, a friend of mine told me that the arch had collapsed in Arches National Park. I had never been there and thought there was only one or two huge arches that everyone drove to see. With its collapse, I put Arches National Park low on my bucket list. Little did I know, there are TONS of arches at Arches National Park. The one that collapsed was called Wall Arch, though the famous one that everyone sees and is on the Utah license plate is Delicate Arch, pictured below. This summer, we put Arches on our list and the more I looked into it, the more I wanted to explore this park. It’s huge, and there’s so much more to it than just the arches.

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Arches National Park from LYNN DAO on Vimeo.

On our drive up from Monument Valley, we stopped by Natural Bridges National Monument first since it was along the way. A nice welcome from Mr. Raven.
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We’re here! Chest bump excitement!
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Since we didn’t have much time, we stopped by the visitor center to look around and then drove to two out of the three natural bridges. They planned the park out well, so you can hike down to see the bridges up close and personal, or park at designated stops to see them from afar.

At the third bridge, Owachomo, we decided to hike down. It’s the smallest and thinnest of the three and therefore considered to be the oldest.
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Imagine thousands of years ago, water probably started seeping through a tiny crack in the rock wall. Rain brought floods and now we have this huge, amazing bridge.
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When we got to Moab, we checked into our place at Cliffrose Flats. Anytime we stay somewhere for a few days, we like to (if we can) get a place with a kitchen. Cliffrose Flats was perfect! Clean, new, and the perfect amount of space for two. The owners Ellyn and Michael are super friendly and there’s even a washer & dryer for guests to use. Our place had a grill and a nice little outdoor patio in the backyard area where we could dine al fresco.

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Full kitchen. Got everything we needed.
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There is so much to do around Moab besides going to Arches NP. Canyonlands NP is also nearby, though we didn’t have time for it on this trip. It’s an outdoors lover’s paradise. There’s great mountain biking, river rafting, tons of scenic hikes, fishing, and… base jumping anybody? Yup, you can do a tandem base jump in Moab. Um, I loved skydiving, but that was in Hawaii, near the ocean water so in case my chute didn’t open I would hope to fall into the ocean. Not to say I’d live, but it’s still more comforting than falling 900ft straight onto hard rock! Maybe when I’m 80…

The drive into Arches NP is breathtaking. With over 2,000 natural stone arches and hundreds of pinnacles, fins, and balanced rocks, your jaw will drop at every turn. 2,000 arches?!!! That’s a lot of arches you might say. Well, they consider an arch any rock formation with an opening over 3ft.
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What’s a fin you ask? This, I learned, is a fin.
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Balanced Rock. Wow. I wanted to get closer, but just in case it was the day the top rock decided to tip over, I decided to take the picture from afar.
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The hike up to Delicate Arch is only 3 miles roundtrip on slickrock.
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If you get there in time before the huge crowds arrive, you might be able to get a few pictures of the arch without anyone in it. Hallelujah!
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Once the masses arrive though, there’ll be people scrambling on the side of the arch or standing underneath it to take their pictures. It was a huge turnoff for people who were there to just appreciate and soak in the beauty of the arch on its own. But I guess everyone’s different, and some people traveled long distances to get there, so why not climb up on the side of it, or stand right underneath? Um, because it’s rude for everyone else there who’s trying to take a picture of the arch without strangers in it before the sun goes down. Ok, vent session over. Thanks for indulging me, and sorry if I sounded like a huge B. 😛
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There are tons of other places to see and hike in the park, but if you come in the middle of a heat wave, it’s hard to get out there in the middle of the day to hike since there’s barely any shade. So our hike at Devil’s Garden started in the early morning. The trail is about 7 miles long and takes you to some incredible rock formations.
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The first arch you’ll come across is Landscape Arch. It’s the longest arch in the park and in the world, measuring at 290ft.
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This hike at Devil’s Garden has got to be one of my all-time favorite hikes. It’s fun climbing, jumping, and sliding over slickrock. The scenery is awe inspiring.
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Yup, I repeat, awe-inspiring.
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Why does it look like everyone’s waiting to see if I tumble down this rock?
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Once it gets too hot to hike out, it’s time to head indoors til evening. The Windows is a nice, easy one mile hike. Great done around sunset when you don’t have much daylight left.
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Double Arch.
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The drives back to our place at night were always my favorite. Windows rolled down, warm wind blowing, music playing, and singing as the scenery passed us by.
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