State #41 Utah and the Fourth of the Mighty Five

Here we are in Moab to visit Arches. After a much needed day of rest we hit the park. I just have to say it again. I can’t imagine visiting during the busy season. We are at the very start of what they consider their busy season and we were concerned about finding a parking spot. I think full parking lots would suck the fun out of it for me but if that’s when you can go, you go, right? That’s when you try to be patient and kind and make the best of it, knowing the reward is worth the minor aggravation. I’m not sure if these knuckle heads below, are supposed to climb on these big horn sheep (I didn’t see a sign not too but that can’t be good for the sculpture), but there you have it.

After getting ranger books at the visitor center, we realized we needed to get out to Delicate Arch before it got too busy. We would come back and watch the video later. On our way out to Delicate Arch, we saw Balanced Rock. This loop trail is easy and partially paved. These rocks are mind blowing how they sit perched so perilously.

When we got to the Delicate Arch trailhead around 9:30am, the parking lot was about half full. When we got back, people were park-sharking. Not fun. At the trailhead, we stopped to see the Wolfe Ranch. This one-room cabin is the second cabin Mr. Wolfe built here. With a wood floor and actual windows, this one was way nicer than the original basic shelter Mr. Wolfe and his eldest son lived in for almost ten years. Say what? Yep. His daughter, her husband, and two kids came to live with them in this one-room cabin, measuring 17 feet by 15 feet. Seriously.

Delicate Arch is considered a difficult hike as it climbs 480 feet up a steep slickrock slope. Right before you get to the arch there’s a narrow rock ledge for about 200 yards. But never fear, if you’re not into heights or steep climbs, you can drive out to the Viewpoints instead.

And there it is, Delicate Arch. It is huge. I tried to get a picture standing underneath it but I could only get it in parts like the picture on the left. The picture on the right is of the arch before we got closer. Those little dots are some random family that was standing there when I snapped my picture. I can’t attest to the really busy times, but everyone was cool about standing in line to get their pictures taken without other people being in the picture.

I love these men!

This is me and the boys under the arch. You kind of have to choose whether you want to see yourself or the whole arch in the picture. If you blow it up you can see my hair blown all over my face so just enjoy the beauty of nature and admire the arch.

After our hike back out, we headed up the road to see Landscape Arch.

Nothing lasts forever. Nature reminds us that everything has a lifespan. Part of this 306 foot arch collapsed in September 1991 and the Park Service has closed the trail due to concerns of the final break. You can still hike out to it but you are no longer allowed up the part of the trail that ran under the arch.

It looks so little in the pictures but, trust me, its large.

There are lots of other arches in the park that you can see, like the Tunnel Arch.

This is the Windows.

The Double Arch is really cool. We didn’t have a lot of time to explore before the visitor center closed. (It closes early during this time of year). We needed to get back so the boys could get their badges.

Made it in time!

Well, that’s four down and one to go. On a side note, Moab is a funky little town with plenty of small restaurants and coffee shops. There is also MANY opportunities for off-roading with Jeeps and UTVs. I bet that would be a lot of fun. So if that’s your thing, southern Utah is a great place. Up next is the largest of the parks. CAN YON believe we’re almost done with the Mighty Five?

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