A trip to US West – Day 5

UTAH – Life Elevated

July 8, 2019

Today is our last day in Arches National park. Tomorrow we will be heading to the next place in our itinerary. Our plan for today is to cover the Balanced rock and Devil’s Garden. Balanced rock is an easy one. Devil’s garden has many arches in which some are easy, but many of them are difficult trails. We thought to cover the easy ones like – Tunnel Arch, Pine tree arch and Landscape arch. The other arches in the Devil’s garden include – Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O arch, Dark Angel Arch.

Balanced rock can be seen from the main park road. It’s a short hike of 0.3 miles round trip around the balanced rock. It’s a large stone balanced on a narrow stone tower.

Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock
Me and my little sister enjoying 🙂
Balanced Rock

This is famous for stargazing and night photography as it’s located near to the main park road and away from city lights. My dad took some night photos here.

From Balanced rock, we headed to Devil’s Garden. It’s one of the premier locations in the park. It’s located at the very end of the park. We planned to take the easy trails to Tunnel Arch, Pine tree arch and the Landscape arch. The trail becomes difficult beyond the Landscape arch.

Me and my sister were excited to do the hike. We started from the parking, my sister started running as she got freedom from her car seat 😉

It started off with flat surface. As soon as we started off, there are two sand stone fins to the left of the trail with a narrow path in between filled with loose sand which might be due to the erosion of the sand stone walls, with slope. We both climbed up even though it was difficult due to the loose sand.

Two sand stone fins and loose sand in between – Devil’s Garden Trail

Throughout the trail, we could see vegetation and several sand formations.

Devil’s Garden Trail
Devil’s Garden Trail
My little sister taking a break 🙂
Devil’s Garden Trail
View from Devil’s Garden Trail

Me and my sister was running ahead of mom, while dad was slow and taking pictures. I had to run to catch my sister as she was running all through the trail.

Tunnel arch is less than 1 mile from the trail head. The trail to the Tunnel arch and the Pine tree arch goes downhill. My sister fell down when she tried to run ahead of me and she started crying and asked my mom to hold her.

Tunnel arch looks like a pothole or tunnel. We can view it from a distance.

Tunnel Arch
Cooling down between trees in the Tunnel Arch Viewpoint
View of Tunnel Arch from Viewpoint

You can see a small arch next to the tunnel arch. It is formed by the same process as Double arch – downward water erosion.

Next arch is the Pine tree arch. It’s not too far from the Tunnel arch. It’s a tall think arch. The trail leads to the arch and we can stand under it. The arch is named because pine tree is growing under the arch.

On the way to Pine tree arch
On the way to pine tree arch
Pine tree Arch
Pine tree arch
Pine tree arch

We took some rest under the arch. We met another family with a baby girl and my sister befriended with her soon. Both of them started playing in the sand, running around. They didn’t want to leave. Since we need to cover the Landscape arch, we decided to leave. Both of them didn’t want to leave, they wanted to play. Her mom picked her up and they headed to Tunnel Arch. My sister again started running.

Landscape arch is the longest arch in the park. After Landscape arch, the trail becomes difficult to the Double O arch. So most of the visitors will turn around here.

Few years ago, the trail used to lead under the arch, but due to the rock fall in 1990’s, it’s closed and visitors are not allowed to travel underneath the arch. Now we can only have the view of the beautiful arch from the view point.

View from trail to Landscape Arch
View from trail to Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Trail to Landscape Arch – you can see the arch behind us
Trail to Landscape Arch – you can see the arch behind us

My sister was tired by when we reached Landscape Arch. She started crying and asked dad and mom to hold her. We headed back to the parking and it was around 3:15 PM. As soon as we put her in the car seat, she started sleeping.

On the way back from Devil’s garden, we stopped at Skyline arch. Mom just stayed in the car as my sister was sleeping.

Skyline arch trail is a short and easy one. This arch is situated in a high fin. We tried to climb on a smaller fin next to the arch. My dad could reach the top, but I was stuck halfway 😦 My dad took some photos of the arch and the panoramic view around it.

Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch – Me taking a break while my dad climbed the top of the fin
Skyline Arch
Rocks fallen off from Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch

After spending some time, we went back to the car as my Mom and sister was alone in the car. On the way back, I slipped on the rock and scraped my knee. Luckily we had the first aid kit in the car, so my dad cleaned it and put a bandage. Everyone was tired, so we didn’t stop any other view points, and headed back to Hotel. On the way back, we stopped at a restaurant to have some refreshments. We decided to try the Ice cream shake to cool off the heat. It was so delicious, I wanted to go back again.

After reaching hotel, we all went to bed early. We need to start early morning next day, from Moab to reach our next destination – Monument Valley to see the sunrise. Also my dad has a plan to take the night photos at the Arches before we leave, since he could not get one on previous days, due to clouds. So our plan is to checkout by 2 AM, so we can reach Monument valley before sun rise after taking some night photos at Balanced Rock and The Windows.

We all were not happy to leave Arches. We still have many attractions that we missed this time, we will surely come back to see those.

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