It was a really windy night and we both kept getting woken up by noise and the motion of the RV. Last night I had said we should get an early start because the park is likely to be crowded. That fell by the wayside as we dragged ourselves out of bed at about 8:30.
It was kind of a grey day and it looked like it could rain so we did what I thought would be some shorter hikes. The wind kept being very strong and we ate a lot of sand but the rain held off. Jennie even put her bug net over her head to try and keep the sand out of her eyes and mouth. It did seem to help.
When we got to the park it was not that busy. There were only 3 cars ahead of us at the entrance station and most of the pullout had parking spaces.
We first drove the park’s 18 mile main road to the end just to get a feel for the place. I won’t include too many pictures because we will be back when the light is better but it is breathtaking.
You first climb up from Moab onto a plateau.
There are giant monoliths everywhere.
The area below is called the Fiery Furnace. You can only enter via a ranger guided hike or by getting a backcountry permit, which they discourage. There are so many pinnacles and slots that it is very easy to get lost. It is also a tough hike with lots of scrambling. You have to reserve to get on the ranger hike and from other blogs I had though it would not be too hard. It turns out that the hike is booked though June 1. Oh well.
Our first stop was Skyline Arch which is just off the road.
We explored this area for a while.
Next was the Broken Arch trail. It is a 6 km loop trail with branch trails to two other arches and the Devil’s Garden Campground.
First up was the very short trail to Sand Dune Arch. You must go in through this narrow slot.
The arch itself was kind of unimpressive but the surroundings made it interesting.
Onwards towards Broken Arch, just to the right of Jennie’s head below.
We saw a bunch of beetles on the hike.
And a few more of these.
We climbed through and sat to have lunch on the other side.
Hmm, I think I see a way up.
Back down to Jennie.
And looking back the way we came.
I headed back down to look at the mountains in the distance.
We thought the formation on the pillar over Jennie’s head looked like a frog.
Lots of interesting desert flowers.
This pillar looked like two people tied back to back.
Then we took another short side trail to Tapestry Arch.
Jennie looking up at me in the arch.
Me looking back down at Jennie.
You could only go a little way behind it.
Then we got to the campground and the bathroom.
We noticed that you could see the other side of Skyline Arch from here but there didn’t seem to be a path to get to it.
This looks like a great campground but it books up really early and fast. I should probably have tried to get at least a few days here.
The return part of the loop took us through another narrow finger canyon. The narrowness made it REALLY windy in there.
Jennie is just visible at the bottom of the right side of the large central pillar, below.
Heading back to the car. Sand Dune Arch is in the fingers in front of Jennie.
We had had enough for today so we headed home. On the way we stopped at the visitors and watched the park’s movie.
Back home at our campsite.