Monday, October 2, 2023

Arches National Park ~~Day 5

Welcome back!

If you missed the previous installments, here are links to them:

Colorado National Monument Days 1-3

Canyonlands ~ Day 4

Courthouse Towers and the Three Gossips

 Monday 9.11.23

There are a handful of national parks that require a reservation/ have timed entry, in order to help alleviate excessive lines at the entrance.  Arches National Park is one of them.  Back in June, I was able to nab ours (you can book the reservation the 1st of the month, 90 days in advance) for September 11.  I got the earliest time, which was 7am.  If you enter the park before 7am, or after 4pm you do not need the reservation.  Turns out we arrived at 6:40 so we didn't need our reservation anyway, and there was no line.  I had been concerned about the park being super crowded, but it wasn't as bad as I feared it would be.  We arrived just before sunrise and it was super cool driving through the entrance and lead in road as the sun was rising.  Watching the sun come up over the huge rock formations was really remarkable.


 The first thing we stopped to see was the balanced rock. This flabbergasted me (as did many things on this entire trip). It's this big, huge rock, just balanced up on this little amount of a little neck of stone.  Mark and I stood there and pondered how long it had been like that, and how much longer it would be that way. I wish I had taken a photo of me standing under it so you could understand how mammoth this thing was, the photos just don't do it justice. However, since I didn't know how long it would stay balanced up there, I didn't stand under it.  I was not chancing it. That day could have been its last day, ya never know..

There's an arch in there somewhere.

The Sand Dune Arch hike was the first hike on our list. It was listed a short hike, through deep sand but it looked like it was going to be a fun one. The map said it was a hidden arch in between tall sandstone walls, and that it was! It was like stepping into some Indiana Jones movie (not that I have ever seen one, but Mark said it was).
Entering another world
Tight Squeeze.

Hope those rocks don't fall!

The Sand Dune Arch

We moved on to the Delicate Arch viewpoint.  The hike to this arch was a bit beyond what we were capable of that day, given the fact that Mark was still not feeling 100% from his bout with altitude sickness from the day before.  Thank goodness I have a super zoom lens on my camera! 
Delicate Arch

The Skyline Arch hike was the next thing we took on. It was an easy hike back to a very tall arch. When we got back there, there was a young family already back there with two little boys just rolling around burying themselves in the sand.  All I could think of was that I was glad they were not getting in my car because they were COVERED in sand. The mom was just sitting on a rock staring off into the distance and I don't think I have ever in my life known more just what a person was thinking. I just wanted to hug her and telling her to hang tough.  LOL. The arch was very beautiful. We were able to walk right up underneath it.  I loved being able to see the boulders that had fallen out of it over time, to create the arch.

Skyline Arch

Standing under the Skyline Arch with the boulders

The final hike we did was the hike to the North and South Window Arches, and the Turret Arch. This hike was the most crowded one we did all day, but it was easy to see why.  The arches were spectacular. There were two side by side arches, the North and South Window Arches. Then opposite them was Turret Arch.  They were enormous.

North and South Window Arches

The Turret Arch

We stopped at several more overlooks while in the park, taking photos and wandering about. The park was very interesting and completely different than Canyonlands.  We found this interesting because it was only about 50 miles away.  We decided to wrap up our time at Arches so we could go back to Canyonlands and see the things we were missed the day before when we had to leave early. 

On the way back to the hotel we stopped at two sculptures I have wanted 
to see up close for years.  Ratio and Elements
Ratio is a 44-foot-high sculpture of concrete blocks arranged in a Fibonacci sequence. Elements is a four-column structure where each column represents one of the four elements, earth, fire, wind and water. It is 32 feet high. As a bonus, we also found the WORLD'S largest watermelon slice.  Now how many people do you know that can say that? Not many, I would bet!


Me, on Ratio (climbing on it is totally allowed)


Now that is one big watermelon slice!

Pics or it didn't happen!

More pics from the day at Arches.

Fallen Arch

Another view of the Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock in the sunrise

Delicate Arch in the distance

My Hunger Games Tribute

Sand Dunes Arch

Good thing is shoulders are not any wider

Skyline Arch

Garden of Eden

One of the windows arches

Turret Arch

Susan's view of Arches National Park💖

The Three Gossips

The Courthouse

Next up

Thanks for reading.
Love to all.


  1. I can't believe you so so many wondrous things in such a short period of time. I would be dizzy with the gloriousness of it. These photos are really amazing.

  2. Wow! Just Wow! What a beautiful park!
    I wonder how long we will have to enjoy balanced rock?!