This second post is on the two longer trails that I hiked at Arches National Park.
Our first night we decided to hike to Delicate Arch at sunset. This trail was marked strenuous on the map and is about 1.5 miles each way- so it’s not super long, though. On the way up there is a nice little grouping of Native American petroglyphs, (which as you’ll be able to tell from the next couple of posts- I could not get enough of them).
The hike to Delicate Arch goes up a slick-rock face which is marked by little stacks of tiny rocks that can, at times, be hard to decipher, but this being a popular hike at sunset, we were able to tell where the trail was. There’s a bit of slanted “edge” of a cliff at the end of the hike, but I never felt unsafe on it, even though the park cautions you about it.
When you see Delicate Arch the hike is completely worth it. We sat and stared at this arch, eating granola bars, and watching the shadow from the sunset move its way up the arch. We watch the shadow go half-way up the arch before heading back down. The Sunset illuminated the red rocks making them seem even redder. The hike down was much easier and a lot cooler as the sun was setting.
A couple mornings later we did a hike at sunrise. We set out to do the entire Devil’s Garden Hike. We got to the trailhead at 4:45 a.m., and it was pitch black! We used flashlights along this trail and it was so odd knowing these huge rocks surrounded you, but you can’t really see them. It’s like this presence lurking in the shadows that constantly makes you want to turn and look over your shoulder.
By the time we got to Landscape Arch the sun was up enough to barely see it, and we sat there until it was light enough to really see and photograph.
After this arch the trail is pretty primitive, and this is when we got a bit lost! There were so many little stack of rocks all other, that we somehow got of the trail, missed the sign pointing to the arches and wandered in circles for not quite an hour.
At that point we decided to turn back. We found a sign on the way, though, pointing to Navajo Arch and Partition Arch, and we hiked to those two. They were beautiful and you can get a pretty fantastic view from the backside of Partition Arch- it was probably my favorite part of this hike.
We made it back down to the trailhead a little disappointed we didn’t get to do this whole hike, but satisfied with the arches that we saw, and got some quality outdoor time together.
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