So far in this series I have spent two travel posts covering Arches National Park and have yet to show you what this park it's famous for....it's ARCHES.
First, let's talk a bit about the Arches. Arches National Park is known for containing over 2000 natural sand stone arches. These arches are formed over time when parallel fractures in the rock's surface erode to form "fins". Eventually, as the erosion continued through the years, these arches were created where the fins wore completely through.
The picture below shows a faraway shot of the North and South Windows. The mammoth size of these arches is unbelievable! Just notice the people in the picture to get an idea of the scale.
Windows Trail is a very easy, short hike on a paved trail. Of course, most people go off the trail and hike up under and through the arches. It is prohibited to climb or walk on any of the arches or natural bridges in the park.
The short one mile trail takes you to the North and South Windows seen above, and the Turret Arch seen below.
Anyone of all fitness abilities can walk on the main trail, but there is also an alternative return which is a primitive trail that is slightly longer and more difficult.
The short hike up is worth it for the views are amazing!
Here I am standing at the base of the North Window Arch. You can see the Turret Arch in the distance behind me.
This is the view from up inside the Turret Arch.
I love it when State and National Parks provide hiking trails for everyone of all abilities to enjoy. This is a trail that almost anyone can walk on for it's short, it has stone or board steps, and easy to follow gravel paths. We saw people of all ages enjoying this hike, from little children to the elderly. But the young and fit enjoyed this trail as well, they just climbed a little higher and got off the beaten path for a bit.
This is a far away photo of Turret Arch. It is so steep to get up under the arch. I was literally pulling myself up and climbing rocks to get inside of it. My husband always ended up going farther and he got so many of these lovely panoramic views. I just climbed to the inside of the arch and usually stopped and waited in the shade for him to return.
This is called the Turret Arch because of the taller rock formation next to the smaller hole. That formation looks like a turret...or a small tower.
I did make it to the top and climbed through Turret Arch. This is me on the other side.
The Double Arch trail is a 0.5 mile easy trail through some loose sand just to get to the bottom of the arch formation. But if you want to get to the top base of the arch, that requires some major climbing.
The Parade of Elephants are the formations surrounding the Double Arch on the left. They are named that because they look like, well elephants of course!
This is the base of the Double Arch trail. It is two arches that form a dome. It is an amazing experience to climb up into it as far as you can and look up and see the gorgeous blue sky. Or, if your strong and brave like my husband, to climb up into the window and see breath-taking views!
Here I am standing near the end of the trail.
And here is the view from inside the arch. See the tiny little person on the left? That gives you some idea of the massive scale of these arches!
Here's an idea of what you have to climb to reach the top.
Me in the basin of the arch looking up at the arches above me.
That's my husband standing at the very top of the window of the arch.
View from the top!
The Arches of Arches National Park are truly amazing and you really have to experience them in person to appreciate them fully. So if your ever in Utah, stop in Arches, even if you only have a short time. We only had about six hours to spend in the park and we were able to hike three short trails and one longer one. I wish I had about six more days to spend in the park, for there was so much more to see. Hopefully someday I'll get back there!
Next week I'll conclude my visit to Arches National Park with the most famous arch of them all....Delicate Arch! See you then!
Have a Great Day! Amy
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