Hiking, Travel

Canyonlands National Park and Delicate Arch in Arches NP

After mountain biking and eating lunch, Jordan, my parents and I drove the ~45 min to Canyonlands National Park. We didn’t have much time to spend here because we had plans to hike Delicate Arch back at Arches, so we made a quick stop at the visitor’s center and drove to the trail to Mesa Arch, one of the most popular spots in the Island in the Sky District.

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The trail was short, but offered some great views. You can see the La Sal Mountains in the background.

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What an awesome spot! There were lots of people wandering around the arch so I wanted until nobody was under it to take some good pictures.

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There is a pretty steep drop off right behind the arch…scary!

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Mesa Arch
Total distance .7 mi RT

We didn’t waste much time and drove straight to Arches National Park. My dad had said a few days earlier that his goal was hike to the famous arch. It was only a 3 mile hike total but it was warm out. I told him he could do it with us while my mom waited for us at the car. She knows her limits and decided it was too hot for her, so she was fine with us going ahead. The trail starts next to an old homestead where you can go up and look in. It is a one room house that an entire family lived in–talk about tiny home.

 

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The trail is nice and wide for a while with a gentle incline. Eventually you come to a big slickrock hill you have to climb up, with cairns to guide you.

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Eventually you come to a narrow ledge that has a steep drop off into a crater-like hole. I didn’t want to particularly fall down in there.

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Is this what walking on Mars would feel like?

We rounded a corner and finally saw it. Holy crap!

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There is a line to get your picture under the arch

Walking up there is another large crater with a steep drop off. Yikes.

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My turn! At first I wasn’t going to go up to it, but Jordan convinced me to. I mean, when was I going to come back here. I did it!

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What an epic end to an amazing trip. I was pretty tired from mountain biking earlier in the day, but I am so glad we hiked to Delicate Arch. My dad made it the entire way, too. So impressive! I was so happy I got to do this hike with him. I wish I had gotten some pictures with him!

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Jordan by a different kind of cairn

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It was a gorgeous evening.

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Heading back down the slickrock hill.

On the way back down we stopped to see some rock art, more petroglyfs.

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Delicate Arch
Distance 3.4 mi RT
Time 2 hr, 7 min, including stops
Elevation 622′

I soaked it all in since this was our final day in Utah. I’m missing it for sure. It is fitting that yesterday was the 100th Birthday of the National Park Service. I am so grateful that I got to experience so many incredible national parks on this trip!  There are still so many more I want to visit. If it weren’t for my parents, it wouldn’t have been possible for us-they planned almost the entire vacation!

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Missing the Utah sunsets

We had dinner at a restaurant across the street at the Broken Oar and got to enjoy some Polygamy Porter-ha!

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