After Wyoming we went back to Denver, CO for a wedding and to tie up some loose ends. We’ll post more about that later, we felt it was time to hit the road and do some serious exploration. The season, location, and other influences indicated that this was probably a good time to head south instead of North. – I know, I know it took a genius to make that decision in early September!. It also looked like our original plan for march would work well now that summer was winding down. We would be able to avoid the over 120 degree temps in the desert and even though daytime temps were high we could enjoys the fall evening temps of the desert.
All that said we continued / started our journey as we headed to Utah. There is a lot to say about utah but I’ll say all that in my wrap up post about that state. So on to the point of this post.
Arches or ARCH as it is designated by the department of the interior, is freakin massive! We had planned 1 day to see the sights but spent 4 days and still didn’t see / do everything. We even tackled the hardest longest hike on the first day.
The hike was not too physically demanding, but we didn’t exactly know how long it be, and we hadn’t been as active coming out of wyoming, and this was our first desert hike ever. It ended up being over 7 miles across desert terrain, sand stone fins, water obstacles, some climbing and fall potential and temps well into the 90s. Reading this description doesn’t sound that bad, but it was tiring and mentally challenging.
The hike was to Landmark Arch, then out to Double Arch, all the side arches and the primitive trail. The beginning of the hike is simple – it’s on a developed path with some ups and downs. After a couple of miles, including the off shoots we arrived at the split, primitive trail or landmark arch. If I had done my research I would know that primitive trail is the recommended return, but I didn’t. so we took the path backwards by starting with primitive trail. By the time we reached the arches we had hiked/climed a total of 5 miles with a 3 mile assent over fins, and steep trails. Every one was complaining about my choices – lol.Had we gone the right way we would have ascended for a mile and a half and descended for 3 miles then acceded and easy mile and half. It would have been easier, but We think Gail would have nixed the path if we had to walk the fins first which involved a real potential for falling.
In the end the arches and views were well worth it.
Some arches were awesome, other were like “Oh look another arch how ‘magical’ ” and after a while they started to run together. The most notable one for me was double arches’ likely because of its association with indiana jones. Also because its actually 2 arches created by a pothole arch so its actually a 3 in one. The all time family favorite and one I would recreate in our future yard or house, was sand dune arch. It was a simple walk but was like a natural play place. Also it was perpetually in the shade so the sand was cool and temps were a good 15 degrees cooler. “IT WAS AWESOME” my youngest will say.
For those that will here are the rest of the pictures. Warning, there were 200 total!