Park Avenue, Windows Area, Balanced Rock, & Garden of Eden - Arches National Park - Utah
In this entry we do a little hiking in some of the more popular areas along the park road in Arches National Park. We got great looks at some of the named rock formations and arches on a gorgeous day.
This is another tour of Arches on the main park road, but this time we did a little more hiking at some of the stops.
Starting from the visitors center ....
the first two miles of the steep, windy park road capture you immediately.
Our day of hiking was to begin with the one-mile Park Avenue Trail. Here we are in the trailhead parking lot.
Views from the beginning of the trail.
The hike is down through this canyon.
Check out this horse-head rock. It looks like it has been broken and some force has pushed it to the point of toppling.
When we started, it was windy and cold. Linda had her ears covered, gloves on, and plenty of layers.
Looking back from the canyon wash.
View to the Courthouse Towers section of the park. The formation closest to the center is called Organ.
More striking views.
Again, toward Courthouse Towers. The formation in the center is known as the Three Gossips.
Nearing the end of the trail, we got a better look at the Three Gossips.
This is known as Sheep Rock.
The Park Avenue trail is a one-mile, mostly downhill, trail that ends at the Courthouse Towers viewing area. So our options for getting back to the trailhead were to hike the mile uphill the way we came, hike uphill along the road a little more than a mile, or find a kind soul willing to give us a ride back to our Jeep.
We chose the last option.
While we waited, I took a pic of this motorhome coming up the road between Sheep Rock on the left and the Tower of Babel on the right.
As luck would have it, the motorhome pulled into the parking lot where we were waiting. It turned out to be a family from Montreal that had stayed in the campground last night. They didn't hesitate to give us a ride. It pays to be really nice to the campers.
They dropped us off at the Park Avenue trailhead parking area, and we thanked them profusely.
We drove out of the parking lot and pulled off at the La Sal Mountains viewing area. It wasn't the best lighting at the time, so I snapped this shot aiming just a bit left of the mountains.
Oh what the heck. Here are the La Sals - they hung out in the clouds today so this shot is really of the Petrified Dunes in the foreground.
Distant view of the Courthouse Towers area where our hike had ended - Organ on the right, Sheep Rock in the middle, and the Three Gossips on the left.
We continued on and I took pics out the window as Linda drove.
A drive-by shooting of Balanced Rock from the main park road and ....
the North Window and Turret Arch from the Windows Section road.
From the Double Arch trailhead parking area, we could see a variety of arches and formations.
Hiking on the quarter mile Double Arch trail, I snapped this shot.
Upon further review, this rock had quite a profile. Any suggestions as to who this might be?
I'm thinking maybe singer Lionel Richie.
Approaching the beautiful Double Arch.
I did a little climbing for a slightly different angle.
Now, while at Double Arch, we met Andres, his brother and sister and his brother-in-law. They were taking pictures of Andres doing cartwheels in front of the arches.
It turns out Andres has a website called CartwheelsAroundTheWorld.com. He records his cartwheels and also invites others to submit their cartwheel photos and videos from all over the world.
I had to get a couple photos of these young folks.
We got to chatting and told them about our website and lifestyle. They thought that was pretty cool and they took a photo of us. And they offered to get a picture of Linda & I in front of the arches.
After they left, I crawled up into the window on the left. This was the photo looking back out toward Linda and the parking area.
And this was the photo out the window in the other direction.
Walking back to the Jeep, we spotted another profile. Sort of skeleton-looking.
Next, we did the Windows trail. This is the North Window as we ascended the many steps.
View out the other side of the window.
From the North Window, we had this view of Turret Arch. This shot shows the "turret" very well.
A view of the parking area from the edge of North Window.
Then we hiked up into Turret Arch. At just the right angle, you can see part of both North & South Windows through Turret Arch.
I climbed through the arch, then down, and up again for this shot of Turret Arch with Linda in the foreground.
Walking back toward North Window, we got this view of both Windows.
On around to the right, we got a better view of South Window.
Then we took the primitive loop around the "back" of the Windows. Kinda looks like the mask of the ol' Lone Ranger.
Continuing on around the primitive loop.
After leaving the Windows, we pulled off at the Garden of Eden viewpoint.
A little zoom brings in the La Sals.
Another part of the Garden of Eden.
Hey, wait a minute. Are those people on that rock?
Yep. Sure enough ... rock-climbers. We sat and watched for about a half hour. This young lady was beginning her descent.
She made it down safely.
Another formation in the Garden of Eden. It didn't have a name, but I'm calling this one Gazing Ball rock. I'm sure one of your relatives has one in the yard.
We backtracked on the main road just a bit for a quick look at Balanced Rock. It is the most prominent of many balanced rocks in the park.
Balanced Rock didn't make it in this shot.
But here it is. Very precariously sitting there.
It may not look like it, but that boulder on top is fifty-five feet tall.
From the backside of Balanced Rock, we could see the Windows Section again.
A closer look.
And even a closer look. That's Turret Arch and the La Sals still with their heads in the clouds.
By that time it was after 4:00 and we had hiked a few miles. So we called it a day and headed back to the campground. It is indeed a beautiful, spiritual place.
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