Around the town of Moab, many wonders are close by. Arches National Park was our first stop in this great town. We camped for free for a few days on BLM land on Willow Springs just 15 minutes north of the entrance to Arches. This boondocking spot was pretty easy to get to, and we had a good amount of space to ourselves the whole time we were there!
We stopped in the visitors center where we learned that this park has over 2000 arches, the most of any place in the world. The shaping of the sandstone into fins in this area by the changing weather and water levels here in the past is what made so many arches in one place. About 120 of these arches are named. During our 3 days in this park, we saw about 25 of these arches. We also were reminded that each of these Arches have a life expectancy and won’t be around forever, so we were grateful for the experience of seeing the arches that we did!
On our first drive into the park, we saw balanced rock, and the windows where we saw three arches within a short walk. The North Window, the South Window, and Turret Arches. We also saw Double Arch across the parking lot.
On our next stop, we hiked up to the Delicate Arch overlook, which was an uphill climb to see Delicate Arch in the background. We knew that we wanted to get a closer look at Delicate Arch on the trail the next day, but for now, and just in case we couldn’t make it all the way with the kids on that moderate trail. We climbed the steps, and viewed Delicate Arch from afar (first pic zoomed in x10 with person under the arch).
The next day, we were lucky enough to hike the 3 mile round trip Delicate Arch Trail. This trail was pretty challenging for young kids, so David carried Ellie a good bit of the way, but a couple of Powerades kept the kids motivated on this trail, and Ty and El killed it with minimal to no complaining! When you reach the Delicate Arch, it is worth the hike as it is a recognizable and well known sight. It is also cool how it is just sitting there and you are able to get your picture with it. We set out on this hike early as the weather was pretty hot, and it also helped us to not have to wait in a long line to get our picture taken with the arch like we saw forming when we were ready to leave. In our opinion, this is a “definitely should do” hike if you make it to Arches, and was our favorite of the few we did in the park. The icing on the cake of this hike was the Petroglyphs off to the side on the end/beginning of this trail that were different than any we had seen so far!
A close second for another favorite hike in the park was the easier Landscape Arch trail that also led off to a few other arches before getting to Landscape Arch. This arch is the longest in the world and is very thin. It looks like it could collapse any day! We saw some deer and rabbits on this trail, and also too many biting gnats as we were hiking at night in the beginning of June. Still, it was a great hike where we got to see 3 nice arches on a pretty easy walk.
We are sure that there were many other trails and arches that we would have loved to see! We heard that the Ranger guided tours, that you have to schedule in advance, for the Fiery Furnace are pretty awesome! Until next time, Arches!