Utah – Moab and Arches

When we were planning our trip, we weren’t sure where we’d go after Jackson. We wanted to go to both Devil’s Tower National Monument on the other side of Wyoming, or Arches National Park in Utah. Both destinations involved a lot of driving, and were in opposite directions. When we were in America in August last year we spent a little bit of time in Utah, and we loved the desert scenery. We had started to get a tiny bit mountain-ed out by this stage, so Arches it was! Getting to Arches involved 2 huge days of travel. The first day we went from Jackson to Orem, which was about 6 hours straight through. It was a very unexciting drive, and we were exhausted and hungry by the time we got into town. We got pizza for dinner – AGAIN, and had an early night.

The following day was a shorter drive to Moab. Arches NP is located just outside of town, so we could come and go as often as we liked. We went to the park briefly in the afternoon to get a map and some info, and then decided to come back at sunset to hike to Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch is described as the most widely recognized landmark in Arches NP, so we were not alone in wanting to visit it at sunset!

 

We chose a bad afternoon to visit, because there were a lot of clouds around. We didn’t see the arch light up until the sun was quite low on the horizon. It was well worth it in the end:

The pretty sunset on the return hike:

We went back early the next morning to hike the Devil’s Garden trail. They describe the 7.2 mile hike as strenuous, but for the most part it is fairly easy. The first highlight of the hike was Landscape Arch. 

From Landscape, the trail climbs up and over one of the ‘fins’ – these are what will turn into arches one day. If you were afraid of heights it might be an interesting experience!


The trail ends at Dark Angel, seen here through the Double O Arch.

 

We walked back along the primitive trail, which involved a bit of rock scrambling, or as I called it – playtime! There’s not a lot to see along the primitive trail, most of the cool arches are back on the main trail. Luckily a deer and her fawn decided to give us some momentary entertainment.

We were hiking along when we heard a mewing noise – it seriously sounded like a cat! If you look closely at the photo the fawn is lower than the mum, and it was struggling to scramble up the rocks. It would try to climb up, slide back down, mew at its mum for help and then eventually find another way up. Pretty adorable!

By the time we got back to the start of the trail it was getting busy again. Like I’ve said before: if you’re doing anything touristy in the States, go early!

We decided to have dinner at another brew pub. As per usual, we looked up the address and decided to walk. Of course it ended up being at the opposite end of town! Once we finally got there I was rather thirsty…

Being Utah, they have slightly unusual rules when it comes to drinking. They have only just introduced areas in certain bars where you can drink without also ordering food, and when you do order drinks you can only have 2 drinks (of any size) in front of you at a time. Luckily service was quick, and the beers were tasty. You can’t ask for much else in a brew pub! (Are you starting to see a theme? This holiday is all about National Parks, and beer.)

And to finish off, here are 2 more photos of Arches NP. Just because I haven’t raved on quite enough about how much I loved it. Look at the geology!

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