Arches National Park – Utah

October 6th hiking in Arches National Park completed a journey that started about 4 years ago. Our prior RV broke down in a thunderstorm on the Navajo reservation outside of Flagstaff, Arizona en route to Arches. We returned to Flagstaff for repairs and abandoned the trip to Arches.

We hadn’t planned to go to Arches this time because we were headed to Mesa Verde National Park and planned to hop night-by-night traveling there.  Having the flexibility to change the plan allowed us to revise the schedule and go see Arches. The RV parks were all booked or above budget in Moab, the cute little town nearest Arches, and the campground in the park was closed while repaving work was being done.  So, we stayed an hour or so away in Green River, Utah at a nice little park called Shady Acres for about half the price.  We visited the John Wesley Powell River History Museum while there. The history of Utah’s rivers was well presented and we enjoyed it.

We drove down to Arches National Park one day.  There was some great hiking and we love the rock formations but there were too many people!  We thought it would be perfect conditions in October, cooler, less crowded, but the crowds were still too much for us.  It’s a relatively small place and parking was in short supply. We opted out of one of the hikes to delicate arch because we were put off by the sheer number of people. There were buses of Asian tourists many of whom posed for pictures at every turn on the  narrow hiking paths – with hat, without hat, with scarf, with jacket, and so on. We could see delicate arch from an overlook trail and people were taking turns posing for photos under the arch.  It seemed so cliche.  The arch formations are so beautiful and unusual, no wonder they are so popular!

We didn’t have enough time to visit nearby Canyonlands National Monument because we already had reservations at Mesa Verde so we skipped seeing it this time. It is on the list for next time around.

Took a trip to Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry. They found more Jurassic dinosaur fossils per square yard than anywhere in the world and most are the meat-eater allosaurus (they remind me of velociraptors in Jurassic Park (remember the kitchen scene?).  This was an interesting place but not much to see on the hiking trails.

I can’t imagine what Arches is like in the summer when it’s hot and even more congested.  We’ll have to research the best time to visit here again.  It’s hard to capture the feeling or the colors of these immense stone formations in pictures but here are a few favorites:

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