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Aug 22

Top Ten Things to see in Arches National Park

Arches National Park is just so chalk full of western icons that it should be on everybody’s to do list.  I have been to the park four times and there would have been a fifth time if a blizzard last March would not have blown through the area rerouting me to Tucson and Phoenix.  Every time that I go the wide open spaces just speak to me, and they keep calling me back.  Karen and I are planning on heading back that way sometime in the near future so we cover this park in detail.  Until then here is our top ten things to see in Arches National Park

Top 10 Things to see in Arches National Park

10. The Park Road

Arches National Park Entrance Roadvia
Like all national parks the farther you get from the road the more enjoyable the park is, but Arches National Park has such a wonderful drive and so many features close to the road that even less mobile people can enjoy this place.  One of the great features of Arches is that most of the road is one way and having been there in the fall, summer, and spring I have never really felt crowded like other national parks that I have been to.

9. Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock 1via
Balanced Rock is an easy stop right off the park road.  It is wheel-chair friendly and makes for interesting photography with minimum effort.  Eventually the rock will fall because it is two different rocks situated precariously on top of each other.  Hopefully Balanced Rock will keep its balance and not fall before you get a chance to see it.

8. Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnacevia
This really should be higher on my list but because it has no marked trails and taking a ranger-guided hike is the best option for most people I placed it here at eighth.  The Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons full of trails that will leave the average hiker lost.  It is an amazing hike that, with the proper precautions and the right guide, could be the highlight of your trip.

7. Skyline Arch

Skyline Archvia
A short, less than a half a mile roundtrip hike to this large arch is all it takes to be able to see it and be back in your car.  It is a great Arch to see for those that are less mobile or have young children.  The opening of the Skyline Arch actually doubled in size when a large chunk of it collapsed in the 1940’s.

6. Wolfe Ranch

Wolfe Ranchvia
At the beginning of the wonderful Delicate Arch Trail is where you will find what used to be the home of John Wesley Wolfe a Civil War vet that moved west in the late 1800’s.  It is an amazing place that helps people understand just what it was like to move to such a primitive place and try to make a go of it. 

5. Park Avenue Trail

Park Avenue Trailvia
Did I hear somebody say Indiana Jones?  Every time I go to Arches I have to stop and see all the spots from the final Indiana Jones movie (I stopped counting after the Last Crusade).  One of my favorite hikes is the Park Avenue Trail to the Courthouse Towers.  Lots of things to see on this short and very interesting hike makes this a do not miss location at Arches National Park. 

4. Double Arch

Double Arch by nightvia
One of my favorite arches in the park is the Double Arch.  It sits at the end of a relatively flat sandy trail and is a unique arch because it is two arches that are connected at one end.  It is also a good place to spot some of the lizards that call this area home. 

3. The Windows

Sunrise at Window Archvia
The Windows is another series of arches not very far from the road.  It is an excellent sunset area of the park if you are not on your way to Delicate Arch and good place to wait for the amazing show the night sky will put on when the stars come out. 

2. Devils Garden Loop

Double-O Archvia
Probably the best overall hike in the park since it leads to 5 different arches.  Like all hikes in the desert southwest make sure you take precautions so you can enjoy the unique beauty of the area.  Devils Garden if you have the time and are in decent shape should be one of the top things you have planned to see at Arches.  It really makes the trip here worthwhile.    

1.       Delicate Arch

Delicate Archvia
What else could be at the number one spot besides Delicate Arch.?  It is on their state license plate for crying out loud.  This is an amazing hike that is better at sunset, at least I think it is better at sunset because that is the only time that I have done it.  It is a rough go up the slick rock but I have seen people as young as five and all the way up into their seventies make the hike and I have yet to see an unhappy person once they reach the top.

We hope you enjoyed our list of the top ten things to see in Arches National Park. Is there anything that you think we left off or if you disagree with our top 10 sound off by leaving a comment. Happy Travels!

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