Located in Moab, Utah, Arches National Park is one of the lesser known parks in our national park system. This, however, doesn’t detract from the pristine beauty you will encounter from the moment you enter this outdoorsman’s paradise. Gorgeous red rock structures – 2,000 natural stone arches to be exact, hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks – all of varying shapes and sizes decorate this park and lend to its name.
Finding something to do in this national treasure isn’t hard. The number 1 attraction, Delicate Arch, offers a long, steep hike that provides million dollar views of the park. Though this is by far the most challenging hike in the park – the last half mile sports a narrow trail and steep drop offs on the side – the reward at the end is worth the effort. 4500 feet above sea level you’ll witness deep canyons, contrasting arches, and miles of desert ahead of you dotted with brush and small shrubs. To describe Delicate Arch and do it justice is impossible. The truth is the sheer size and majesty of it is something that only becomes a reality once you visit it.
If the steep climb to Delicate Arch isn’t appealing try Fiery Furnace. Don’t let the name scare you away. This site is perfect for a great hike and watching the sunrise or sunset. Ranger led hikes are available and provide insight into geology, history, flora and fauna or you can grab a map and enjoy a self guided tour. This site is popular amongst photographers who appreciate it for the incredible view it provides at all times of the day and the fiery appearance of sunsets and sunrises.
One of the best ways to get a sense of the diversity within Arches National Park is to check out the area of the park known as The Windows. This area is home to a juniper forest and collections of eroded sandstone formations, and is the most easily accessible area of the park. This makes it appealing to tourists of all ages and fitness levels. Primitive Trail leads you behind The Windows and provides a marvelous view along with many large boulders to sit on and take in the view. The trail itself is quite rocky, however, as long as you pay attention to the rock markers and stay on the path you’ll find it’s manageable.
Arches National Park is truly a gem that anyone who appreciates the beauty found in the desert will love. Brilliant shades of red and orange, coupled with vast differences in temperatures means that depending on the time of year you visit you’ll have the opportunity to see a different side of Arches. Start planning your visit to this National Park today and discover the beauty that lies right in your own backyard.