Moab, then back to Arches National Park, Day 2
Moab Travel Blog› entry 66 of 77 › view all entries
I don't remember the name of the campground we stayed at, but it was right on the main drag in the middle of Moab. We had no problem finding a campsite with room, despite the fact we got there late last night. We did have a problem getting to sleep, however, because some dolt was doing mechanical work on his truck till well past midnight. This is a place to sleep, not an auto repair facility! When we got up, we cleaned and reorganized the truck, and Tyler and I emptied out the cooler and washed it, since our site had a water spigot. It was full of soggy paper labels that had washed off the bottles and jars in the melted ice! After cleaning the truck and cooler, we hit the showers to clean ourselves, then headed back into town.
The first order of business, before returning to Arches, was to find a new memory card for the camera.
We returned to Arches National Park, able to enjoy a leisurely drive to all the sights, now that we were no longer under the pressure of the setting sun. We spent some time at the visitors center, got our passport stamps, and headed on down to the trails! Our first stop was Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers, huge monolithic spires so named because they look almost like big city buildings in New York! This spot was also featured in the movie Thelma and Louise.
The next stop we came to was Balanced Rock, so named because...well, just look at the pictures! It is interesting how these fragile-looking yet very sturdy formations can be created by erosion of just wind and rain and temperature. There was a little trail around the rock, so it could be viewed at all different angles.
Not far past Balanced rock was the road to the "Windows" section, and the various arches and attractions there, such as Parade of Elephants, Turret Arch, and North and South Windows. We were trying to stay one step ahead of a tour bus that had been following us, but they caught up to us around this section. There was a large group of Asian tourists on this bus, who walked the trails very fast because they were probably on a time constraint...too bad the tour operator couldn't just let them relax and enjoy the views...how often do you get to visit a place like this! Many of the bus tourists were wearing hats and jackets.
After thouroughly exploring the Windows section, we went to the nect stop, the Firey Furnace Viewpoint. It was starting to feel like a furnace by now! There are a series of trails and canyons here, but it is not recommended that you go down them alone unless you are very familiar with the area.
We stopped at a few viewpoints for pictures, but our next hike was from the Devil's Garden Trailhead. This is a level hike leading to some of the more famous arches in the park, such as Landscape and Double O Arches. There were a lot of cars in the parking lot here, and a lot of people on the trail. We loaded up with fresh water bottles and headed out! I was looking forward to seeing Landscape Arch, one of the largest and most flimsy of the arches here in the park. At the visitor center, we saw a video of a large piece of this arch actually falling off several years ago. It had rained for several days, soaking the porous sandstone.
There are plenty of Arch trails here, as well as canyons, trails, fins, overlooks, and dunes. Utah has such a unique and beautiful landscape, it should definately be high on your list of places to get to, if you haven't been here already. If you have been here, I'm sure you will want to go back someday! We spent the better part of the day here, exploring the nooks and crannys of the park.