Saturday promised to be another scorcher of a day, so we got an early start, arriving at Arches National Park by 8:30am. Lots of other people had the same idea, and there was a steady stream of cars driving through the park.
Our first stop was the Park Avenue Viewpoint,
and we got a picture of the four of us before we got hot and tired.
We knew it was going to be too hot for any hiking, so we just planned on stopping at all of the overlooks and possibly taking a few short walks.
Our next stop was the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint, where we saw
The rock formations in this area of the park seemed to tower out of nowhere, and were really amazing!
Balanced Rock is one of the more well-known features of Arches NP. We walked the circular trail around its base, and the boys each contributed a rock cairn to the collection along the trail.
We didn’t see much wildlife in the park, with the exception of a few lizards.
We did see some interesting dead trees, though,
and then there were the arches . . .
North & South Window
and Delicate Arch, probably the most famous arch in the park.
The walk to the upper overlook was called short but steep (only 0.5 mile), and we were really beginning to feel the heat . . . we were surprised by the number of people taking the 3 mile hike out to the arch! No way!
We made a quick stop in the Fiery Furnace Area (how accurate is that??!!),
and although Nicolas thought it looked like a lot of fun, there were no hikes going on there at this time of year! He’ll just have to come back sometime in the spring or fall to enjoy this playground!
The walk to Sand Dune Arch was another short one, and it passed between two fins, so it was almost completely shaded . . . it actually felt good walking in there!
We reached Sand Dune Arch,
and really hated to leave the coolness between the fins!
It was time to move on, though, and we were getting hungry and wanted to get to the Devil’s Garden picnic area at the end of the road.
We passed one more arch (I can’t remember the name)
and then reached the picnic area where we found a nice shady spot to sit and eat our lunch.
The boys had to get in a little climbing before we headed back out of the park!
Despite the intense heat, we had a nice visit to the park, and really were in awe of these amazing geological features!