Arches National Park situated in southeast Utah just 5 miles north of Moab, has been called a “Red-Rock wonderland” and for good reason. The moment you climb the winding road upward you are filled with awe at the monumental formations. There are over 2,000 arches located within the 76,518 acres. The words colossal and monumental are futile trying to describe the awesomeness of this place. The paved scenic drive allows everyone to enjoy the scenery. Many features you can see easily without leaving the comfort of your car, but to fully experience the landscape I advise walking on the many trails to experience the majesty first hand. I used an app called the Arches National Park Moab, Utah driving audio tour which describes where you are, history of the place and other pertinent interesting information. It was like having your own personal guide and the cost was only $5.99. Normally, I like to “discover” a place on my own with just a map as a guide, but in this case the audio tour was really great.
Hikers can choose from so many different types of trails. Some are very short others are more difficult and longer. I managed to hike to three different arches. The North and South Windows, Sand Arch and Broken Arch. I really wanted to go to the Delicate Arch but even at 9:00am the parking spaces were full. It is advisable to come to the park early at least before 8:30am. Unfortunately, parking is limited and if you want to have a chance at some of the popular hikes you must come early or later in the day. Surprisingly the park stays open 24 hrs and open year-round. You are encouraged to come in the evening to see the magnificent night sky star shows . We travelled here in May and the weather was perfect.
There is an entrance fee of $30. for the older folks we enter for free with an “America the Beautiful national park senior pass which just increased on August 28, 2017. The price is now $80, The nice thing is not only Granny gets in free but up to three additional adults enter free of charge too. Children 15 and under are free anyway.
I am really glad we were able to camp in Moab. As cute as the town is I prefer not to be in the busy center of things. We were very isolated at the Seven Mile Park Campsite just minutes from the town and from Arches National Park. It was a very windy two days. I managed to get one quick painting finished.
“Native American Tribes considered this land to be a powerful and a sacred place. the mountains are a dwelling place for spirits and sacred beings. The arches as portals in space and time that play an important role in ongoing tribal religious practice . The rock spires are sentient beings who continue to provide help or resources to people. In addition, there are many plants, pigments, and minerals in the park that tribes use for traditional purposes.”
We only had two days in this magnificent place. Clearly not enough time to see everything. I can understand why the Native people felt such a religious connection. I felt like I was looking into the portal to Heaven. I thought of all those who have stood here before me. I thought of all of my loved ones, especially my dear son Claude who has joined the saints in Heaven. I thought of how lucky and fortunate I am to have this opportunity to travel, and explore ancient and distant lands.
Take care everyone. I hope you will have a chance to visit this unique and magical place someday