After we finished touring the Colorado National Monument in the rain, we head west toward Moab and Arches National Park. We would arrive late in the afternoon so we new there would be no chance at camping inside Arches, so we planned to stay overnight at the Moab KOA. On the way to Moab we took a (slow) route that followed the path of the Colorado River — this turned out to be very scenic as we got close to Moab.

We arrived at the KOA and set up camp. The trick to camping inside Arches at the single campsite available (Devil’s Garden) is to get there early, so the we planned to stay at the KOA only to get up very early the next morning and head right away to Devil’s Garden. We got to Devil’s garden in plenty of time and found a very good campsite — it pays to be early so you get a choice. We set up camp and started hiking around the area. On our first day, we hiked around the campground to see the ‘local’ arches.

The next day we made the big hike to see the “Delicate Arch”. Most folks view this arch from a great distance — in fact you can see the cliff edge for the “standard” overlook at the bottom right of this picture. If you are ready for a good 2km hike with about 500m climb up steep slickrock you can get a much better view. The weather was overcast and raining so the contrast with the sky is poor, but it is still a good view. By the way, slickrock when it is wet really lives up to its name. In the afternoon, with the weather clearing nicely, we headed north of the campground on the “Landscape Arch Trail”. We got to the “Landscape Arch” shown below just as the sun was low in the sky behind it. I had to take a photo from an oblique angle (still pretty nice).

On our last day, we set out in the car to see more of the park and to visit the nearby Canyonlands National Park. There are many things to see by car in Arches. One of the most notable is the “Double Arch” in the ‘Windows’ area of the park . Of course, this area is chock full of day-tripping tourists — the worst! Just at the bottom of the picture of the double arch below you can see a person sitting in the arch. While this does help to give a little scale to the size of the arch it also shows how ignorant your average ‘tourist’ can be. Apparently they can’t read either, because there are signs all over the place explaining that while you might enjoy sitting in a arch, you will be acting most selfishly for the other folks who would like to take a picture of the arch — not some rude slob sitting in it. I actually asked several folks to get out of several arches so I could take pictures and most were quick to realize their error and light out. However, the turkeys here were not so obliging — too bad there wasn’t a park ranger handy.


Colorado National Monument 2001
Canyonlands National Park - Islands in the Sky 2001