I visited Arches National Park in May of 2011, and I remember my self talk included a conversation about already knowing I wanted to go back one day. I didn't know when that day would be nor what that day would look like. Today I can now say, that when and what is crystal clear. I was excited to return because I remembered beauty was a guarantee but I was even more excited for my two friends who only had a very tiny idea of what they were in for. We left our home away from home 40 minutes before our designated time, that shows you our level of excitement. We had a plan of attack in place and that was to hit Devil's Garden first, then some short strolls to sights and top it off with a hike to Delicate Arch.
trail head for Devil's Garden
I had a hard time picking out photos to show off to you, my followers. We spent much time early on snapping this and that, and those, and over there, and that, and this. The lighting was top notch and the scenery was even more than just top notch.
Pine Tree Arch
view along the way
By now my friends discovered their comfort zone hiking on the slick rock. We purposely looked for fins and things to climb up on. Here we are on our first fin. It was mid morning and we commented it was hot already. Little did we know in comparison to what was to come, this was not hot though.
I loved the colour contrasts and even more so loved the cloud formations. I could not believe how foliage in the desert could be so green. Do I dare admit that I spent equal amounts of time admiring the clouds and arches!
We made our way to Double O Arch, see the little O below the big O. This time around, I made my way up and over the base to the back side of the O's. It was fun to scramble on the slick rock to get to this spot for lunch. We needed shade and this spot fit the bill.
At the end of the trail stool Dark Angel.
After our visit to Dark Angel, we found the detour to follow along The Primitive Trail. There were sketchy spots to get through and our route finding skills were tested. We passed with flying colours. I missed Private Arch on my 2011 visit, so was happy to add that one to list. It was a fun place to play a little.
Private Arch was the last Arch to visit in The Devil's Garden. Now it was just a matter of covering a couple more kilometres in blistering heat to get back to our vehicle and on to our next destination. This hike took much longer than we anticipated due to the heat and picture taking and playing and admiring. We came to a consensus to alter our plan and skip the short strolls and go for just The Delicate Arch hike.
Our timing arriving here was impeccable, there were maybe five others. We each took our turn securing our shot with The Arch. It was the most beautiful sight to see and I am glad we made it here today, who knows how long this one will be standing. You can see me in the bottom right. Just as we finished capturing our photos, hoards of folks started arriving, swarming the base of the Arch.