This is a great little hike from the Devil's Garden Campground in Arches National Park. There are three lightly visited arches and very few people on the trail.
This morning, I suggested a hike, but the wind had picked up and Linda wanted no part of that. They call 30 mph winds "breezy" here.
The sun was shining, so I decided to go by myself. This was a hike we did last year, in 2008, but the photos are a little better this time.
There is one trail that leads from the campground and it goes past Tapestry Arch (not shown on any of the maps), through Broken Arch, and then loops back to the campground. Or you can take a side trip to Sand Dune Arch and then return to the campground.
I walked about 100 yards into the trail where there is a sign at the side trail to Tapestry Arch.
Since Tapestry Arch isn't indicated on the park map and most people don't take the side trail, it doesn't get as much traffic as the other arches even though it is close to the campground. It's another place visitors can go to see a really nice arch and avoid the crowds.
It is an arch where you can climb up under it ...
though there are only a few feet to get pictures from behind.
After spending some time at Tapestry and looking at the La Sal Mountains from the shelf in front of the arch, I walked the 300 yards back to the main trail and headed toward Broken Arch.
This is the view of Broken Arch coming the back way from the campground. It's called Broken Arch because of the big crack in the middle of the span.
You can actually see the other side of Broken Arch from the main park road, though it is a distant view. You can hike to it from the Sand Dune Arch parking area as well as from the campground.
The trail passes under the arch, and I had better lighting from the other side.
I continued on until I got to this signpost.
It was windy and sand was blowing, but I decided to go ahead and walk across the open area to Sand Dune Arch rather than head back to the campground.
Sand Dune Arch is only about 100 yards from the main park road and there is a nice parking area. This arch is hidden amongst tall sandstone fins.
And the wind was whipping the sand through the fins. Take my advice. If you come to Arches on a windy day, you had better have wrap-around glasses and keep your mouth and camera covered while visiting Sand Dune Arch.
I had sand everywhere. But it was cool to see how it blew in a circle through the arch. It was pretty clear how this arch was formed. On a day with no wind, Sand Dune is one of my favorites.
As I walked back across the open desert, I snapped a shot of Broken Arch in the distance ...
and one of the fins through which I would travel back to the campground.
Once through the fins, there is a great view down into the campground.
It was about a three-mile hike, and one that I enjoy every time due to the solitude and scenery.