Day 14 - The Arches National Park
Thursday - September 19, 2019
We were out early again today. It was only a 10 minute drive to Arches N.P. from our room and we were at the park at 7:15. We have a tip for those of you who do not have a Senior Park pass (or other pass). ARRIVE EARLY We have been to three National parks before 8:00 AM and there is no Park Ranger at the check-in station. I realize these parks are open 24 hours, but it seems like it would make sense to have someone on duty by 6:00 AM instead of 7:00 or 8:00.
We were immediately impressed with the sudden change in the terrain after about the first mile. At less than 2 miles, we stopped at a scenic pullout to take some photos in the early morning light. Just as I was taking the first photo, Kay yelled "there is a big buck", and it sure was!
Since we did not check-in at the park entrance, we did not have a park map. Previously I had looked at the park layout online but only had a vague idea of the area. I knew I wanted to hike the Delicate Arch trail which is a little over 3 miles long so we decided to do that first.
We only saw a few of the over 2,000 arches are located within the park's 76,518 acres. There is also an astounding variety of other geological formations in the Park.
We stopped by the Visitors Center on the way out to pick up a map. We were fortunate that they were just about to begin a film about the arches. It was very enjoyable. In all we spent a little over 7 hours in the park today and hiked about 6 miles.
We left the park a little after 2:00 PM and went straight to the Moab Diner in downtown. It is billed as "down home eating" and it was. The food was great, the service couldn't have been better and the prices reasonable. What more could you ask for?
Tomorrow we plan to hike a couple more shorter trails in Arches before heading to Dead Horse State park to do a little hiking and then on to Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park. These are less than 50 miles away.