Colorado Plateau Photo Odyssey 12: Arches National Park

Arches SP13-122

Arches National Park is probably the most popular attraction in the Moab area. It is certainly the busiest park, with crowds choking the Devil’s Garden Trail by midday and the Delicate Arch trail in the evenings. The park entrance is a five quick miles from Moab (which perhaps accounts for the park’s popularity). From Moab canyon the road into the park leads up the side of a cliff to the higher ground where most of Arches sprawls across the desert:

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 7.18.57 PM

The first major attraction along the main road is Park Avenue:

Arches SP13-371-Edit

Returning to the main road, we next reach the La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, from which you can see a lot more than merely the distant La Sal Mountains. Below is a view of the out portions of the Park Avenue section, and, toward the center of the image, rising in the distance, The Organ:

Arches SP13 Pano 1

Here’s a closer look of the outer portion of Park Avenue:

Arches SP13-285

The Organ is popular subject for photography:

Arches SP13-52

Arches SP13-266-Edit-Edit

As we drive past The Organ, we see typical Utah upper desert scenery:

Arches SP13-59

Arches SP13-64

Arches SP13-308

Soon we have passed the halfway point of the road. There’s more to follow:

Screen shot 2013-07-10 at 7.20.28 PM

There’s the Fiery Furnace:

Arches SP13-132

There’s the Fins:

Arches SP13-129-Edit

There’s Skyline Arch and vincinity:

Arches SP13-110

Arches SP13-114

Arches SP13-116

Arches SP13-103

At the end of the road we reach the final destination, one of the great desert hikes in the world, the Devil’s Garden Trail. I only took the trail as far as Landscape Arch, but it was worth it nonetheless, despite the bright, bluish midday spring sun:

Arches SP13-334

Arches SP13-85

Arches SP13-320

Arches SP13-333

Arches SP13-96

Arches SP13-101

Arches SP13-338

Arches SP13-343