A Day at Arches National Park, Utah

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 24.3mm, f/9, 1/1250 sec, ISO640
“Delicate Arch” Utah, 2021

Today was (for me) the highlight of the road trip: a day at Arches National Park, Utah. I had fond memories from my first visit here 30 years ago, so I was looking forward to seeing how Mariko’s first visit would be.

We arrived at the park at 7:45 am and there was already a short line at the entrance. Not too bad! We bought our annual pass a few days ago at Mesa Verde National Park, so we showed that, grabbed our maps and were on our way to our first stop, which was The Windows section of the park.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/1900 sec, ISO640
“Balanced Rock” Utah, 2021

Along the way, we saw some incredible rock formations including The Courthouse Towers and Balanced Rock. Even before seeing any arches, Mariko said she was already blown away! 😀

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18.8mm, f/9, 1/800 sec, ISO640
“Distant Arches” Utah, 2021

We arrived at The Windows parking lot to be greeting by plenty of cars and buses. Luckily, there was parking just below at the Double-Arch parking lot. I was actually a little worried about the crowds, but it turned out we had good timing.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 37.4mm, f/11, 1/950 sec, ISO640
“Double Arch” Utah, 2021

Our first arch to visit was Double Arch. It’s huge and amazing! The hike there is really easy and only takes about 10 minutes or so. Perfect for the tour buses full of older folks. Or for a couple shooting their wedding photos, as we saw. (Photo above)

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/750 sec, ISO640
“Double Arch” Utah, 2021

Next, we walked up to The Windows trailhead and hiked to Turret Arch. What’s kind of cool about this arch is that you can hike through it, then look back and see the South Window arch.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/11, 1/240 sec, ISO640
“Turret Arch” Utah, 2021

After that we hiked to the South and North Window Arches, then hiked the loop around them and back to the parking lot. There were plenty of cool view along the way.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/10, 1/500 sec, ISO640
“The Windows” Utah, 2021
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 34.3mm, f/9, 1/1100 sec, ISO640
“Cairn” Utah, 2021
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 42.5mm, f/9, 1/1400 sec, ISO640
“Arches NP” Utah, 2021

Next up was a short drive over to the trailhead for the Delicate Arch trail at Wolfe Ranch. This trail is rated “Difficult” on the map, but it wasn’t really too hard, especially in the cooler months. However it’s mostly uphill on the way to the arch so make sure to take your time and rest often (and keep hydrated!).

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 23.3mm, f/9, 1/1100 sec, ISO640
“Delicate Arch Trail” Utah, 2021

The effort will be worth it though as you suddenly come upon the iconic view of Delicate Arch. When we got there, there were not too many people, but enough to form a little line for taking photos under the arch. This was good because everyone handed off their cameras to the other people waiting and everyone traded taking each other’s photos.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/1900 sec, ISO640
“Delicate Arch” Utah, 2021

When we arrived back at the car, Mariko was pretty worn out from the hike so we just drove around the rest of the park and caught the views from the car, with a quick hike around Balanced Rock. By then it was about 4 pm so we headed back to Moab for a dinner at, you guessed it, the local brewery. Tacos, onion rings, and cold beer at The Moab Brewery were perfect after a long day at Arches!

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/40 sec, ISO400
“Tacos, Rings, and Beer” Moab, 2021

2 thoughts on “A Day at Arches National Park, Utah

  1. Ah, I’m in Utah at the moment, but unfortunately, I won’t be visiting Arches this time around! Your photos are absolutely stunning, and I’m glad you and your wife had a sublime time!

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