Arches National Park, what an incredible place! I’d like to say that we did everything there, but honestly, we didn’t hit up the Visitor Center (*gasp*) which is an act non grata when it comes to National Park visits AND we didn’t hike to Delicate Arch (because both of us had done it before). However, I think you’ll agree that, those two items withstanding, we did Arches mad-justice. It’s just one more reason on the long list of why Moab is amazing.
Devil’s Garden Loop hike
8.7 miles of arches, arches, and more arches hiked with Colin’s brother, Will, on October 15. Though it was a bit chilly, blue skies and sunshine made for some lovely sightseeing.
The quintessential picture of Balanced Rock.
Canyoneering: Elephant Butte
On October 22, Colin and I decided to try our hand at canyoneering. The summit of this canyoneering trip brought us to Elephant Butte, the highest point in Arches National Park. The view was incredible. The experience itself was quite unique and I learned a lot. Quite mistakenly, I had assumed that canyoneering was only a “downward” sport. Go down into the gorge, rappel down into the slot canyon, etc. What I failed to realize is that, at least in this case, in order to go down, you must first go up. Color me surprised when our 2.5 mile “hike” brought us up almost 1,000 feet before we could go down. Nevertheless, it was a fun day of exploration and route finding (on Colin’s behalf) and, as expected, the views were perfecto.
Climbing Owl Rock
Why have a day with only one “first” when you can have two? After completing our trip down from Elephant Butte, Colin and I climbed Owl Rock, a 100′ roadside spire and our first tower climb. We were racing against the clock with both sunset and rain on the horizon, and it was a bit windy, but it was a blast. As an added bonus, it was a stone’s throw away from the parking lot so not only did we have a quick descent, we also had a lot of onlookers and cheerleaders.
Next up: Canyonlands National Park, the home of my favorite arch.*
*I realize that saying this in the “Arches National Park” blog is a bit in poor taste, but it’s true nevertheless.