Dizzying heights and sweet vistas characterized the Colorado National Monument. Arches National Park, just outside Moab, UT, could better be described as an accessible, yet mysterious, wonderland. It’s a short climb with some stunning monuments dropping your jaw right out of the gate from the visitors center. Then there are rolling hills and astounding viewpoints around just about every corner. We camped at Devils Garden, which is situated at the far end of the park, and were consistently in awe at being surrounded by so much scenery and within easy walking distance of so many trails. I think our final tally on photos was somewhere over 200 (a small sampling will follow). And this still left plenty of time for delighted giggling at snow flurries in sunshine, “cloudbusting” formation features, scrambling up and down rocks like kids on a jungle gym, and taking a few excursions elsewhere in the park. We also celebrated Thanksgiving and were especially thankful to note the odometer turning over the 10,000 mile mark of courageous Charley carrying us along on this madcap adventure. We’ve seen many a wondrous thing and made a few singular connections on this journey, but Arches will always occupy a precious place in both our hearts when we look back on this time.
Our second morning, Thanksgiving Day, we made our way the half mile from the campsite to the Devils Garden trailhead. The winds had died and the day was dreamy as we explored around 8 miles of both maintained and primitive trails.
Our last morning, we were able to access the Broken Arch trailhead just a few steps from our campsite and had a nice mile or so loop to explore with relatively little traffic compared with just about everywhere else we went in the park the previous two days.
We had a good time spotting Charley van from various vantage points while we explored. Below are thumbnails of a series I like to call, I Can See My Van From Here. Lance gets photo credit for the one in the middle. Of course, it was taken while at the campsite with Charley, and so is a bit sharper and more arty than my shots on either side. 😉