In mid-October we made our first trip to Arches National Park with Tanya’s younger sister Kristie, older brother Josh and their families. We all dragged along our travel trailers and stayed in Slickrock Campground in Moab. The weather was great with a mix of rain & sun and cool temps.
Our first day in Arches was the wet day. The crowds were fairly low, so we were able to enjoy several viewpoints by ourselves. Since this was our first time there, we decided to drive through the park and hit as many viewpoints as we could. The views were wow right from the start.
Arches was closed on our second day there because of the crowds, so we scooted over to Dead Horse Point State Park. Dead Horse is a gorgeous state park well within day-drive distance from Moab. The views were amazing and the clifftop picnic spot we picked, well, clifftastic.
On our last full day, we went back to Arches. To make sure we didn’t get turned away at the gate again, we got there shortly after the park opened. A hike to Delicate Arch was our main goal on our last day.
I wanted to make it to Delicate Arch for some Milky Way shots one of the nights, but after hiking it during the day I’m glad I didn’t make my first hike there a solo hike on a moonless night. You could easily get lost on the section of the hike that a climb up a huge nondescript face. (And then there’s that whole cliff thing on one side of it to deal with too…)
Once we made it to Delicate Arch, it was clear that getting a good shot of it during the middle of the day was pretty much impossible. People were stacked up right next to it for their chance to get a photo standing underneath it. As I expected, the mid-day light was also really bad. Still, it’s an iconic arch that’s definitely worth the hike!
With some creative editing, I managed to get one shot of the arch that wasn’t completely filled with people.
I gave up getting anything amazing (and vowed to come back at night). We got in line with the rest of the crowds and took some family shots.
After our Delicate Arch hike, we decided to do the short hike to Landscape Arch. There wasn’t any access under the arch, but the views from the end of the trailhead were still really cool. We waited around for the sun to go behind the arch so that I could get some fun shots of it.
With some rain on & off during the trip and bigger crowds than we expected, we didn’t get as much hiking and exploring done as we had planned. It was an awesome trip though – great to see family and great to explore a couple jaw-dropping parks! We’ll definitely be back.