Arches National Park, UT: 10/5 – 10/6/20

We made a return visit to Horsethief Campground, which is about 30 miles outside of the town of Moab. This campground has immediate access to some great mountain bike trails with varying terrains for all levels. There are also trails for 4WD vehicles. We had fun here back in October of 2018 when we first came through this area. We started on Rowdy, which was a fairly easy trail. As I approached a slightly uphill, rocky patch, I decided to stop and consider my options. As I came to a stop, I lost my balance and fell to my left. I couldn’t get off my bike and the pedal left a few puncture marks on my calf. Then, I whipped my head on a rock that was jetting out below me. I never saw it, but the backside of the my head hit it. I could feel my brain get washed back and forth a bit, and I felt disoriented for just a few moments. Five minutes later, I decided to get off the bike and rest. The message here is to PLEASE wear a helmet…it can save a life.

Scott’s bike is placed where I fell to the left and hit that rock.
Bad Rock

Needless to say, Scott went off on his own for a bike ride while I rested and took it easy for the next couple of days. I did have a headache, which eventually dissipated within a few days.

Back in 2018, we tried on a few occasions to get into Arches National Park. “Water and ice, extreme temperatures, and underground salt movement are responsible for the sculptured rock scenery of Arches National Park. The park lies atop an underground salt bed that is responsible for the arches, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths of this Mecca for sightseers.”

The ridiculous line of cars entering the park always deterred our plan. Here we were again two years later, determined to get in without waiting on line.

We woke up early and arrived at the park at 7:00 a.m. To our delight, there were only a few other cars coming into the park at that time. The guard station didn’t open up until 8:00 a.m., so we just drove in. There is only one entrance station to this park which is off Hwy 191 from the southwest and 128 from the east. There is one main road that runs from the Visitor Center to Devils Garden Trailhead, the end of the paved road. We hiked 7.33 miles with 626’ elevation gain in just under four hours. It was busy in some areas and yet we found ourselves alone at some arches. We chose to begin the hike in a “counterclockwise” direction. The beginning of the hike featured soft, sandy terrain until we began climbing rocks. We stopped at eight of the eleven arches for a photo op.

Pine Tree Arch
Tunnel Arch
Lots of soft sand
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch from a higher angle
One of the many “dry” washes
Soft sand trails leading to large boulders
Private Arch
Double O Arch
Partition Arch

Scott walked through the “partition” and took a photo of the view on the other side.

Navajo Arch

The remainder of the hike was filled with boulders to climb down. There was a solo female hiker in front of us and she was carrying something on her back. Zoom in friends.

For some reason, she took off her shoes to navigate the steep decline. I’d imagine it had to be hot on her feet. P.S. – No dogs allowed on trail. This pup wasn’t exactly “on” the trail.

We had to stop for uphill traffic.

That evening, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

The next morning, we got up early again and prepared the rig for departure. Today, we would park the rig in the Visitor’s Parking lot and then drive the truck to Delicate Arch Trail. This is the famous arch that is depicted on some of Utah’s license plates. It is 3-miles, round-trip hike that begins heading uphill on a wide, paved trail. Although we had an early start, this trail was particularly crowded, especially at the arch.

Scott taking another couple’s photo.
Reciprocal Curtesy
Although I look pretty much alone, there are about eighty people sitting on the rocks behind me.
Other friends hanging out up to

Next stop, Durango, Colorado!!!!

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