After seven hours of drive through the scenic colorado highway we reached Moab, a small town in Utah .... almost past midnight. Our home for the next two days was a log cabin .... cozy and cute. After setting the alarm at 5 am we threw ourselves on the bunk bed ... dead tired.
I am not an early morning person and I have a record of missing the Sunrise. But not this one ........ not after I had seen the breathtaking photographs of the 'Arches National Park' at one of the art galleries of Vegas.
So I and J pulled ourselves out of the bed at 5 am. I dragged my feet to the car still half asleep. It was still dark and the stars shined bright in the clear Utah sky ... after driving for almost 15 minutes we reached the gates of the Arches National Park.
We drove through the park .... the early morning breeze was cool and we saw the Sun rise on the Utah Sky. The view was simply out of the world .... something that one should never miss if you are visiting the Arches.
At the foot of the Delicate Arch
We decided to hike to the 'Delicate Arch' as the Sun dawned over the park. We started our hike uphill looking into the horizon .... The trail was uncertain and little did we know what to expect .... the view of the Arch was far beyond our sight. After an uphill trek of almost 4.8 kms we experienced one of the most beautiful moments of our life. The view of the 'Delicate Arch' just took our breath away. The view of the valley from the top of the mountain looked splendid. We sat there gazing at this beauty of nature ...... It was indeed worth every effort ! After clicking few pictures we walked down the mountain.
We drove back to our cabin and slept again to recharge ....... Yes that was a wise decision after hiking. It is very important to cool your heals !!
Post lunch we went back to the park ...... it was beautiful beyond expectation. It was a vast stretch of dessert with snow clad mountains in the horizon and clear blue skies interrupted by the majestic carvings of nature.
If I have to describe this place .... I would call it a wonderland carved by the symphony of time, gravity and water.
Tips for planning a trip to 'Arches National Park'
Best time to visit .....
April - May. Summers are hot and may not be ideal for hiking or trekking in the dessert. Spring is definitely pleasant and hence the best time to visit.
Where we stayed .....
Cabins @ The Archview Resort (15 minutes drive from the park). You may also choose from hotels in Moab.
A day well spent ....
Begin with collecting pamphlets/ newsletter from the 'Visitor Center' inside the park. It gives you a fair idea of what all to see and when to see. Some of the places are best viewed at Sunrise and some at sunset. So plan accordingly.
Must See ....
The Delicate Arch (the toughest of all hikes), Landscape Arch, Double Arch, The Windows, The Three Gossips, Balanced Rock, Park Avenue. Though most of them can be seen from the car ... but one has to get on the trails to experience the actual aura of these magnificent natural wonders.
There is a 5 $ individual fees or a 10 $ vehicle fee (valid for 10 days). You may call the park to check for details.
If you plan to camp inside the park, make sure you make reservations before to avoid any last moment discomfort. The park information line .... 435-719-2299
Sunset at Arches National Park
Other things to keep in mind
Check for weather conditions before proceeding to the park. Wear comfortable clothes and hiking/ walking shoes. The dessert can dehydrate you very quickly, so drink lots of water.
Other Places close by
Canyon Land National Park.