Almost anywhere in the world, one stone arch would be enough to make a tourist attraction. Here they have catalogued over 2000 stone arches, ranging in size from 3 ft (the minimum span that qualifies as an arch) up to an improbable 300 ft.
Even as we entered the National Park, we sensed this was going to be quite mind blowing, just looking at some of the rock formations.
One of the first attractions we came upon was balancing rock
Two miles further on was the huge North Window.
Here is another view through the North Window
The equally impressive South Window was quite close by
This is Turret Arch, that was within a quarte of a mile
Looking back from Turret Arch you can see the North and South Windows looking like a pair of evil eyes
On the other side of the carpark was the improbable Double ArchOur next stop was the lower viewing point for the Delicate Arch. The upper viewing point and acces to the arch itself involve much longer and more strenuous hikes.
At the furthest end of the park are a number of arches that require a bit of hiking to find, but the views justify the effort. The path to these arches leads through a narrow gap in the rocks with this huge vertical face on one side.
The first place we walked to was Pine Tree Arch
The Tunnel Arch was not far away
The hike to Landscape Arch was quite strenuous, but rewarding with gob-smacking views in every direction.
Along the way we caught up again with this couple we had met at earlier stops. They were celebrating their 75th birthdays with a trip to Arches and other nearby National parks.
At the end of our hike we reached the gravity-defiying Landscape Arch, a slender piece of rock reaching 300 feet across the desert
Everywhere we looked we found more to wonder at.
As we left the Park we got a final glimpse of Balancing Rock, looking like the profile of Marg Simpson in a Victorian dress.
We returned to Moab at 3 pm to get a late lunch and fuel for the bike before setting off north towards our overnight stop in Green River, a truck stop town on I-70. The town is named after the Green River on which it is sited. It may be green by name, but it was a muddy brown colour to look at.
We found a motel and headed off to a highly recommended diner for dinner.