Monday, October 3, 2016

First in a Series of National Parks-10 Things you shouldn't miss at the Arches!

National Parks and our 26th President Theodore Roosevelt 

He doesn't look tough, but Teddy (pictured here) was a Rough Rider and the Teddy Bear was named after him. I am getting off track. He established a myriad of new national parks, forest, and monuments intended to preserve the natural resources. Source
That leads me to our  first of many trips to National Parks. 
The Arches National Park in Utah--

Arches National Park contains over 2,000 cataloged natural arches, making it the world’s largest collection!  Some of these are very small, but some are massive and will take your breath away.

2.Balance Rock

Think about how many centuries it took with wind and rain to form this rock and why just this rock. Plus, when is it going to fall down! It is .03 miles round trip. You can drive there and hike up the formation. Great for children!

3. The Windows

The Windows at sunrise.

4. Courthouse Wash Rock Art

Native American history and culture, so this hike is a must-do if you ask me.  Seeing rock art like this connects us to the past and helps us to appreciate what we have and the beauty that surrounds us.  It’s like going back in time.  I love trying to decipher the pictures and create a story that explains what the ancient people were trying to share.
This hike is 1.0 miles round trip
5.  Double Arch

Double Arch is among the best that Arches has to offer.  It is a stunning display of the erosive handiwork that formed the park, and it helps you to appreciate the forces that shaped the landscape.  Two arches out of one slab of rock.  Amazing!  Plus, Double Arch is the tallest arch in the park so its even cooler that you get to stand under it at the end of the hike.
What You Need to Know
The hike to Double Arch is short and relatively flat, but expect lots of red sand in your car after this one!  You will be collecting it in your shoes as you trek to the base of this arch.  This is a fun area to explore, so you may want to plan some extra time to hike up the slickrock to get a better look.
This trail is 0.5 miles round trip.
6. Fiery Furnace

If you have three hours of time, are in decently good shape, and want to experience something truly unique, hike the Fiery Furnace.  This hike will have you weaving through spectacular fins of red rock, passing by beautiful arches and slot canyons, and climbing all over the place in a land with no trails.  I had a blast and loved seeing a different part of Arches that isn’t as easily accessible.
What You Need to Know
The Fiery Furnace is a guided ranger hike (unless you are totally a pro and have killer navigation skills) and tickets need to be purchased to enter.  If you start the hike, there is no going back..muahahaha…so be sure you read more about it here to determine if it would be a good fit for you.  Because of the difficulty, no children under the age of 5 are permitted to enter the Fiery Furnace.
Morning tour tickets are available for purchase online and afternoon tours can only be purchased in person at the Visitor Center.  Tickets cost $10 for adults and $5 for children, Senior Pass Holders, and Access Pass Holders.  Be sure to bring plenty of water with you and wear shoes with good traction.
7. Courthouse Towers Viewpoint 

The Courthouse Towers Viewpoint is one of the best places to stop and photograph some of Arches most famous “non-arch” landmarks.  Snap some photos of The Tower of Babel, The Organ, The Three Gossips, and Sheep Rock
8.Landscape Arch

Visit Landscape Arch, the longest arch in the park.  Staring at it makes you wonder how long it will hold up, especially in those extremely narrow-looking sections.  You can see the pieces of rock that litter the ground underneath, which remind us that we need to enjoy the arches now because they are constantly on an erosive journey.
What You Need to Know
This trail is one of the most popular trails in the park, so expect to see a lot of people.  The trail is mostly flat but it does get incredibly hot in the summer sun.  Water is available at this trailhead, as it is the jumping off point for the longer, more primitive Devil’s Garden loop.
The trail to Landscape Arch is 1.6 miles round trip.
9. Park Avenue

Park Avenue has always been one of my favorite areas of Arches.  You don’t actually see any arches along this trail, but you descend into a gorgeous canyon with sheer towers of rock in every direction.  I love snapping photographs of this dramatic landscape, meanwhile scouring the cliffs to catch a glimpse of the resident Desert Bighorn Sheep.
What You Need to Know
This hike is 2 miles round trip, but can be made shorter by parking a shuttle car at the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint if you want the option.
10. Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is the most breath taking monument in the park and let's take different views and find out why.

Oh! My Heavens!

At sunset

Moon over the Arch

For more information please go to Dirt In My Shoes

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