Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Landscape Arch and the Windows

On Sunday we headed to Arches National Park. Our goal was to hike two trails, the Devils Garden trail and the Windows trail. We filled our camelbacks, packed some food and headed to the park. As we drove we made a few stops as the scenery left us in awe.
The first hike was up the Devils Garden Trail. The trail was really well maintained and an easy hike. Our goal was to reach Landscape Arch, and maybe Navajo and Partition Arches. As we hiked we passed between massive slabs of sandstone rising vertically.
We rounded a corner of the trail and suddenly saw Landscape Arch in all its glory. Landscape Arch is over a football field long. It seems to defy gravity in a way that words can’t describe. In fact it barely does as a 180 ton piece broke off in the 1990’s. It was actually witnessed by tourists and filmed. Landscape Arch is one of the most beautiful natural objects I have ever seen. Renita disagreed and said the Window in Big Bend was her favorite.

Continuing on the trail, we tried to find Partition and Navajo Arches. The trail led us to Wall Arch and then to a view of Partition. Confused and tired, we went back to Landscape and had an apple.

As another hike was planned, for the day, we returned to the trailhead. Back towards the Headquarters is the Windows road and trail.. Another beautiful hike, this one about a mile,(the part of Devils Garden was about 2.3 miles). It was neat that the trail surprised us with the South Window. The north Window is visible from the parking lot. The trail continued to Slot Arch. We had another snack there before returning to the truck.

We have been truly blessed. Clear skies.

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