A, B, C’s of our 2nd National Park Experience

A is for "Arches"

A is for “Arches”

B is for "Balancing"

B is for “Balancing”

C is for "Cairns"

C is for “Cairns”

The U.S. National Park Service is 100 hundred years old!  And, in celebration of this centennial, entry to National Parks across the country was free this entire week of April 18th to the 24th. We didn’t realize this when we entered the park and we were disappointed not to be able to use our new $10 senior’s pass! Considering the $25 entry fee was waived it wasn’t crowded and we spent 1 1/2 days in this amazing Arches National Park in Moab, Utah.

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The tour starts with a visit to the Visitor’s Centre to watch an amazing orientation film, peruse the exhibits, browse the store, use the facilities and stock up on water.

Arches National Park Official Map

Arches National Park
Official Map

As you twist and turn up the highway into the park it’s immediately awe inspiring. You can’t help but look up at the balancing rocks perched atop inadequate bases, locate an arch in the distance – there’s one!, stare at the towering spires and smooth rock fins and think this can’t be real…

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There's one!

There’s one!

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Oh, but it is real! Millions of years real!

This amazing National Park covers over 76,000 acres, is open 24 hours, 365 days a year and boasts over 2,000 natural sandstone arches – the world’s greatest density of arches. I think we located about 20 of them! Where the heck are the rest?

The minimum size arch has to have an opening of three feet and if you locate a new uncatalogued arch you have the privilege of naming it – you just can’t use your own personal name. Landscape Arch below – is the longest.

Longest - Landscape Arch 306' base to base

Longest – Landscape Arch
306′ base to base

FYI, in 1991 a rock slab 60 feet long, 11 feet wide and four feet thick fell from the underside of Landscape Arch.  Forever more – changing this landscape!

You can’t help but look up at all of this rock and wonder when the next chunk is going to fall.  Chuck kept looking and waiting and wanting for something to fall…  I’m thinking – which direction do we run?

There are plenty of view-points; miles of marked hiking trails and observation pull-outs. Trails directly from the parking lots are well-laid out to the rock features and usually include an alternate primitive trail for those looking for a little more adventure.  Rock cairns (small rock piles) mark the trail routes. You are instructed to “follow them – but don’t build your own…”   I had to look carefully for them as many of them had toppled over leaving a rubble of rock…within a rubble of rock.  Often what helped point me in the right direction was This is not a trail… 

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This amazing landscape had so much to offer from –  the Courthouse Towers… to the Petrified Dunes… to the Windows Section… to the Fiery Furnace… to Devil’s Garden – and back again.  And you can bet this landscape will continue to change as Mother Nature forms new features and destroys the old.  Yes, those balancing rocks will someday tumble and, Yes, new arches will form.

I can’t begin to give this National Park the accolades it deserves.    “D” is for drive on over and “E” is explore for yourself!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Responses to A, B, C’s of our 2nd National Park Experience

  1. Jeanne Koselek Armstrong says:

    Amazing, Awesome, Magnificent, I can’t think of the proper words to describe this blog. Great pictures, makes one feel as though we are present. As usual, your photos are so professionally taken. Thanks again for sharing another adventure with us.
    Love you.
    Mom

  2. MMG says:

    Photographer. Writer. Storyteller.
    Really, Jacquie: Start the BOOK!
    Meantime: KEEP travelling safely!
    And please keep enJOYing all your travels some for me!
    Blessings.
    Love!
    MMG
    xox xox Woof! Meow!

  3. Susi & Cal says:

    Holy Rock Stars… WOW, I too am at a loss for spectacular words, just like Mom was… VERY KEWL… So great that for many of us we wouldn’t have the opportunity to see these amazing adventures that you share with all of us AND I THANK YOU for that…You are definitely research & are on top of the lingo and the facts…wayyyy to go go Jacquie…you ROCK…lol…big hugs, Susi and Cal…xo

  4. Jim Hanson says:

    Two terrific blogs on your stay in the states in the Grand Canyon area. It loloks like a fascinating place to visit, and your photos really bring home the grandeur of the landscape. Thanks for letting see the area through your eyes…..

  5. placestheygo says:

    Love Arches NP! We’ve only been through once this trip and that was to rehike to Tower Arch. Not sure how you managed to get photos without people with this being free week…great job!

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