Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Arches

I have had another day of sensory overkill as Caroline and I spent the day in the Arches National Park just outside Moab, Utah. What amazes me most is that a year ago, I'd never even heard of the Arches National Park, and now after being there, I'd say it is one of the most stunning places I've ever been to. It is full of stone stacks, unusual rock formations, and the feature after which it is named, the naturally formed stone arches.

The Windows
The Arches landscape was created by sedimentary rock formation over millions of years. Rock erosion occurs by water and wind moving the stones around, depositing them on each other, and then pressuring the stones to form new shapes. The stacks in the park have some odd features including rocks precariously balanced on the top.
Rocks balanced precariously on top of stacks, like this group called "The Three Gossips"
We saw first hand how the elements can blast the rock as it was incredibly windy. Still, the sun was shining and it topped out at about 27 C today. Most of where we've been on this roadtrip has been high above sea level, and today we were about 1500 metres up. Still the rocks towered above us, and the varying colours of the rocks was, at times, absolutely beautiful.
The Fiery Furnace is multi-layered but predominantly red in colour
Traveling to see the features can be as hard or as easy as you want. There are tough hikes around the park, with some climbing involved. some easy and medium level walks, and even some viewing spots that don't require anything other than getting out the car. We did a combination of all of these and spent about 7 hours exploring the park in total. My personal favourite was Sand Dune Archway which is approached through a canyon between the stacks.
First you walk through here

Then you see the Arch.
Unfortunately, the sunset wasn't spectacular this evening which would have topped off an absolutely magnificent day. That didn't deter from the overall feeling that today saw another set of  memorable images that will stick with me for a very long time.

Broken Arch in the late afternoon

Park Avenue

The Organ

Posing at The North Window

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely fantastic descriptions and pictures of your trip, its like we are there with you.