Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Delicate Arch (Arches National Park) - 10/9/14

This Evening's Best Shot

Cloudy Skies before Sunset

Easy Walking Trail
 As you can imagine, Delicate Arch was hiked several times through the four days of the club's excursion. On the first day, there were nine hikers stretching their legs after the 7 hour drive up from Las Vegas. It would be a sunset hike when the arch is most photogenic. Later, during the trip, there was another sunset hike and 3 or 4 other individual trips up to Utah's most famous geological anomaly.

The Rock Hill - Trail to Left

Recent Rain-Filled Puddle

Newly Carved Steps
 The trailhead is found on Delicate Arch Road, 12 miles up the Arches Scenic Drive. Parking wasn't as bad as it has been in the past and we all just barely found a parking space. The trail has been extremely improved! Eleven years ago, the trail still had uneven footing and required a minimal amount of scrambling. Now, the trail has been flattened with pea gravel and steps have been carved into the rock in the top part of the trail (seen in the photo to the right). If they improve it any more, we will still be able to climb the trail in our wheel chairs in a few years!! We got to the arch at the top and still had about 30 minutes before the sun would set. There were clouds above and, until the sun came down a little, the shadows predominated.

The Ledge

The Amphitheater at the Arch

The Arch above the Amphitheater
 Finally, the sun came below the clouds and we were ready. Everyone (about 50 people total) were set up with everything from tripods to iphones. Every time someone would step into the arch area, everyone on the ledge across from them would yell, "Get out of the shot!" It's a tradition. Our pictures were fine but not exceptional. The most dramatic skies were seen in the opposite direction on our way down the hill.

3 miles; 850 feet elevation gain

Gathering at the Arch

The Sky in the Other Direction!

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