Travel,  Vacation

Utah Day 5 – Arches National Park

Arches National Park became my most favorite national park, I ended up entering it four times in 3 days while we were in Moab. And the hike we did today, Devil’s Garden, became my most favorite trail.

Devil’s Garden Trail

Devil’s Garden Trail is an 8-mile lollipop trail, which offers incredible views of 8 arches! There was not a dull moment with narrow ledges, uneven surface, rock scrambling and steep exposures. And most of all, the munificent view of giant fins and spires. Both casual sightseers and serious thrill-seekers can find what their heart desire in Devil’s Garden.

We skipped the first spurt that leads to Pinetree Arch and Tunnel Arch and headed directly to Landscape Arch. Landscape Arch is the widest arch in the world, expanding 306 feet. The narrowest part is only 6 feet in diameter. Part of the arches fell in the early 90s, and more might fall and maybe one day this arch will collapse and disappear.

Landscape Arch

We then scrambled up a sandstone fin and took the spurt toward Navajo and Partition Arch. Partition Arch became one of my favorite aches second to the Delicate Arch.

As we climbed on top of one of the fins, it got windy. But the view also got better. The trail was less crowded now, leaving us plenty of time to admire the fins and rocks around us.

Next, we reached Black Arch overlook.

More fins in our view before we reached Double O Arch.

Double O Arch

Next stop, Dark Angel. Dark Angel is just a giant pillar of sandstone rock. It’s darker in color and can be seen from afar. We did take the 0.8 mile spurt to get right in front of (or in the middle of) the Dark Angel. Honestly, one can skip the spurt and not missing anything. It was a bit windy there, but very quiet. We paused and had lunch.

On the way back onto the main trail, we saw Double O Arch from the other direction.

We then got back onto the Primitive Trail. There was hardly any markers for the trail, cairns were few and far between. We solely relied on the offline AllTrails map and GPS to stay on the course.

Part of the trail was very scary for me as we were walking on the side of one of the fins. I felt like I didn’t have a firm footing, but other members of my family all seemed fine. I did manage to slowly move through the fin. Isn’t it mind boggling to see that I actually walked along a fin like this?

We took a small detour to see the Private Arch. It was indeed very private. I guess most people are quite tired by now and not willing to hike extra to see a less famous arch.

Private Arch

The last stretch of this hike was a bit boring. It was a sandy trail all downhill, and it took some effort to walk. There were cactus along the trail. The Primitive Trail meets up with the main trail near Landscape Arch completing the lollipop.

Again, we decided to skip the Pinetree and tunnel arches and headed directly to the parking lot.

Potash Road & Petroglyph

Potash Road (UT Route279) is a bit north of Moab, very close to Arches. After a long hike through Devil’s Garden, this was a very nice break. The view is awesome, with Colorado River on one side and sandstone cliff towering on the other side. Part of the cliff is very popular among climbers.

Further north along the cliff, there were many petroglyphs from 700 to 1300 years ago, the ancient graffiti. And dinosaur track, which honestly I didn’t quite believe.

Dinosaur Tracks (do you believe those are truly dinosaur tracks?)

It’s the first time I see Tesla Cyber Truck in person, and there were quite a few sightings of them in Moab.

On the way back to Moab, I got a good shot of a vertical arch – jug handle arch.

Another successful hiking and sightseeing day ended. Dinner was at The Blu Pig BBQ restaurant in Moab. My deep friend catfish was very delicious, and quite light for a deep fried dish. The other family members had burnt ends, ribs, tri-tips, pulled pork, along with local beer. Everyone was satisfied with the hearty meal.

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