Date: August 18-19, 2018
Location: Arches National Park - Moab, UT
Distance: 5 miles / 3 miles
Trails: Various trails to various arches / Delicate Arch
A revitalization on a grand scale... These days really perked me up and revitalized my desire to hike and explore.
My BFF Molly and I met in Salt Lake City and drove to Moab for the weekend. We spent Saturday and Sunday exploring Arches National Park, it was her first time, and we covered some major ground.
Arches we explored:
- Double Arch
- North Window
- South Window
- Turret Arch
- Sand Dune Arch
- Delicate Arch
- Landscape Arch
- Broken Arch
- Tapestry Arch
We stopped at all major viewpoints and saw all the major sights! I don't need to get into detail about the trails, because I'll include some photos! But here is a map of the park to get an idea of where we went: Arches Guide
The real icing on the cake was our morning hike to Delicate Arch. Originally, we woke up at 4am on Saturday and got all ready to go, but it was raining so hard so we decided to get breakfast instead and try again Sunday. After an awesome breakfast at the Moab Diner, we had a great day of hiking and driving around the park and even drove to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. Sunday morning, we were back up at 4am and at the trailhead shortly after. We were one of the first people there and also one of the first people up to Delicate Arch. The hike up was intense and one of the coolest things I've ever done. We had our headlamps and I had a map, but they had installed trail signs which made it really easy to stay on track. It was basically uphill the entire way and crossing the rock surfaces was easier than I had thought. We made it to the top just as the light of day was showing and we were the second group up, despite following close behind another group that must have taken an alternative route.
Once at the top, we opted to stay away from the arch itself for a little while and plenty of other people swarmed it as they came up. We went down after the sun was up to get some photos with it and it was as wonderful as I remember it from 2010. Oh yeah, this was my second time hiking to Delicate Arch but I have very little recollection of the first time except from photos.
The trek back down was beyond amazing. Hiking up in the dark is surreal, because you don't know what surrounds you, but seeing it as you go back and piecing it all together is such a crazy mind bending experience. The views on the way down were expansive and gorgeous and the overall hike was pretty easy. We got back to a parking lot and even ran into people from Kalamazoo, Michigan where my BFF Molly is from. We gave them some pointers about the hike and shared a friendly chat before saying goodbye to Arches for this trip. If you are capable, and I think anyone that gets out and hikes is, do the hike to Delicate Arch.
My tips for the Delicate Arch hike
- go early, and I mean before sunrise (take a headlamp)
- take snacks, duh
- maybe take coffee in a thermos, I regret not doing this
- take your turn for a photo w/ the arch, but don't hog the arch and respect each other up there
- take a friend, if you're into that
- walk around the bowl and get different angles, once up there you'll know what I mean
- be careful, much of the trail is on the rocks but part of it is a ledge
- take plenty of water, a hat, sunscreen, etc. (especially if not going early)
- take some time to enjoy the views from all angles and on the way down
- follow the signs!