Monday, June 13, 2011

Delicate Arch


I was up in the dark this morning, heading for Arches National Park, just a ten-minute drive north of Moab, to the pay station which was closed, and another twenty minutes to the trailhead.  I wanted to complete the two mile hike to Delicate arch in time for sunrise.  


The morning air is dry and clear and cool, perfect for hiking.  I arrive before the rays of the sun first strike the cliffs, my camera clicking before it happened.  Suddenly it comes, the flaming globe, blazing on the pinnacles and minarets and balanced rocks, and touching the top of the arch for which The Arches are famous.  All of the next pictures show Delicate Arch from different angles as the sun was rising.


I walked back to the road over this trail, and came in again on the other side to view Delicate Arch from across the deep Winter Camp Wash.


I returned from Arches National Park around noon and found myself facing a gush of cars, RV’s and motorcycles coming in.  Early this morning I had seen nobody.  Edward Abby, writer of “Desert Solitaire” would be unhappy to see his worst fear become reality.  As a park ranger here in the fifties, he did all he could to stop mechanized tourism, which he said was ruining the parks.  At least there are solitary places to hike.


  1. Spectacular pictures. When I was there years ago, I loved the scenery but it was sooo dry. At the end of the day, I drank a whole pitcher of ice water!

  2. Beautiful arches at such a special dramatic moment... here I walk through them in the garden of "pleasance" and welcomed by the Master of Nets... Love the beauty and colors of your experience there! Interestingly the Chinese have made people leave their mechanized tourism vehicles aside and walk up the mountains... or at least take bus train and cable car there. You would love the profusion of bicycles here... I think someone was moving his whole house on one here yesterday. They do not ride them up the mountains though. You would be amused... some people try to get the job of carrying a tourist in a chair on the mountain paths. I refused, you will be glad to know. Also the motor bikes are completely silent everywhere and all electric. I have not seen anything else in any city in China! (They do not ride them up the mountain either...) Back to your exquisite morning... thank you for sharing those precious sunrise moments of revelation. love from "kaba" of Suzhou

  3. Sharon,

    You continue to amaze me !

    Getting up so early to see sunrise is very cool. And sunrise this time of year if VERY early.

    Shots are beautiful.

    Ed would be proud of you !!