Arches National Park


DAY 225 – F 5/13: Arches National Park (32,251.7)

Arches has a new timed entry system that gets booked up months in advance and that starts at 6am. I found the loophole: the park is open 24/7, so if you get to the entrance station before six, you can easily slide on in. So I got to the park at 5:15 and drove to Panorama Point to watch the sunrise driving by a number of the park’s famed arches – Pothole Arch, Double Arch, North and South Windows – on the way.

Then it was on to the Devil’s Garden to see a bunch more. On the 8 mile trail I walked past Landscape Arch (the largest in North America, more than a football field in length), Double O Arch, Private Arch, Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. I got lost at one point along the way (the “primitive” trail isn’t well marked in spots) but that was no problemo b/c the slots and hills, covered with blossoming wildflowers, were all a joy.

After Devil’s Garden it was off to the pièce de résistance – Delicate Arch, the most iconic formation of them all. A steep, 1.5 mile hike up a rock face led to the site/sight, which I reached by midday. I was glad I went early, as the heat and the crowds were starting to increase.

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