Linda & I were campground hosts at Arches National Park in March and April of both 2008 and 2009. That was our first taste of the five outstanding National Parks in Utah, and for those four months we "lived" at the end of the eighteen-mile park road in the Devil's Garden Campground. We told everyone we had the most beautiful driveway in the world, and this post was just the beginning of our explorations throughout the park.
This morning it was beautiful - cold, but beautiful without a cloud in the sky.
We decided to do a little tour of the main park road in Arches National Park. We'll start with the visitors center.
It's a really, really nice visitors center set in front of a very scenic backdrop.
We were just checking things out inside and I quickly snapped this photo out the back window ...
when the film on Arches NP and Canyonlands NP began. So we watched the film in their wonderful theater.
After a trip into Moab, we continued the photo tour.
These first few shots are all taken from the park road with the snow-covered La Sal Mountains in the background.
Then we turned off the main road to the Fiery Furnace. Fiery Furnace is a series of red rock fins where you must have a permit to hike. Or you can pay a fee for a ranger-guided tour.
I love this shot along the walk to the Fiery Furnace overlook. I actually had to work a little for this one.
A portion of the Fiery Furnace with the La Sal Mountains from the overlook.
Back on the main road we went a bit farther and turned off at the Delicate Arch road. Delicate Arch is probably the most photographed arch and it is actually the symbol of Utah. It's on the Utah license plates.
To get to the arch, it's a three mile round-trip hike from a parking area. We didn't have enough daylight to get there and back, so we went to the viewing area on the other side of the arch.
For the best lighting, it's best to be at the arch itself at sunset and at the viewing area at sunrise. So we got that backwards.
Still, we got some decent shots after our half mile hike up the rocks.
Okay, a little more zoom for you.
Now you can see it better. You can see some people through the arch if you look closely.
Clouds were moving in and we were losing our color, but I moved farther to the east so I could get a better shot of the arch opening.
Can't wait to get some shots from the other side when we hike the Delicate Arch Trail.
Since the clouds were starting to block the sun to our west, we were losing our good lighting. We decided to cut our auto tour short and headed back to the campground.
But we still got a couple more decent shots from the road on the way.
I already have several shots of Skyline Arch, but I hadn't yet gotten this angle. Nice, with the glow of the setting sun.
That's just a quick introduction of Arches National Park and the eighteen-mile drive into the park. There is a lot more to see.