Moab has been in the back of my mind for a while now. In ’08 my dad and I contemplated going to Arches on our way back from our Mini Trip to the Southwest, but decided against it- 5 months later, Grand Arch fell. So, I had been itching to get out here before I missed anything else.!
We pulled in and made our way up the huge red-rock hill and drove past Park Avenue, The Tower of Bable, The Three Gossips and other huge rock formations. I knew I was going to be in love with this park. The reds, pinks and oranges blend together to create this other-worldly landscape that you can’t help wanting to explore.
This is a smaller park with minimal opportunities for backcountry hiking, but there are plenty of hikes ranging from less than .5 miles and more than 5 miles. We started our sightseeing at the precariously perched Balanced Rock that looks like a gust of wind would cause it to topple over. While at Balanced Rock you can catch a climpse of Double Arch and Turret Arch.
We started out towards the arches and saw 4 iconic arches in one area. Hiking to the North and South Windows and to Turret Arch is one of the busier hikes because it is a short, paved trail to see 3 arches. You can walk right under North Window with ease and look out over more of the park. South Window was very beautiful but not easy to get up under. Turret Arch was another that you could hike right up to, and from the opposite side you can see North Window in the background.
Our next hike was also short and easy- therefore, again, more crowded. Double Arch was one of my favorites because of the way they seemed to loop around each other. I climbed to the base of one of these arches, and got another great view of the park.
There are a couple of other arches on the opposite end of the park call Sand Dune Arch and Skyline Arch that you can basically drive up to, but these were not my favorites.
Stay tuned for Part 2 on the two longer hikes we did to Delicate Arch and a portion of the Devil’s Garden.