In the end, we drove about 2000 miles between Seattle and Scottsdale. By US standards that’s not much, but to Europeans a 3200 km trip may seem significant.

We heard that the parking lots and trails at Arches were overflowing and that the park rangers were closing the gate after a certain number of visitors entered each day. To this I can only say, ”Get back to your cubicles, you slackers and leave the parks to retirees!”

As it turned out, we found Arches well-attended but not annoyingly so. We cruised in both mornings without delay and saw everhthing we hoped to with the exception of the Feiry Furnace.

There’s not a lot for me to say about Arches that hasn’t been said better by someone else. If you’re a fan of multi-colored sedimentary (mostly) rock, this is the place for you. Because the softer layers erode more quickly than the harder, you get lots of strangely shaped formations, deep narrow canyons and, well, quite a few arches.

To my way of thinking, the most interesting walk is to Delicate arch. This is the arch shown on Utah license plates. It’s a couple of miles or so each way with about 500 feet of elevation gain.

The trail begins by a long-abandoned small ranch, passes a few petroglyphs, then climbs steadily upwards until arriving at Delicate arch, on the rim of a large bowl.

I got a bit carried away photographing Balancing Rock from all angles. But hey, who knows how much longer it’s going to be up there?

Want to know a secret? I’m getting kind of tired of trying to identify where each photo was taken. Besides, do you really care? The point to keep in mind is that Arches is full of staggering scenery and hikes from easy to sadistic. Here, without identification are examples of what you will see if you make the journey.

these are the North and South Windows There’s a short loop walk that takes you around both.


  1. Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing. I feel as if I’ve been on tour. No wonder the two of you are in such good shape, hiking in these lovely, but challenging places.

  2. We took the boys to a number of National Parks in 2008 starting in Moab – Canyonland, Arches, Escalante, Bryce and Zion. They were all spectacular in their own way. Arches was definitely a favourite. We’d never seen anything like it. The Wall Arch collapsed just a month or so after we were there, giving weight to your comment about their longevity.

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