Monday, June 27, 2011

2011 - March 23rd - Devils Garden Section, Arches National Park

Sorry for four hundred posts regarding this trip, but I took a lot of pictures and we fit a lot into one day!  We left off after hiking to Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch.  It was still only mid-afternoon and I had my eyes on the Devils Garden area just to the north.  There are a lot of arches in this area including the famous Landscape Arch.

Along the road, we spied Skyline Arch and though we did not hike to it as a group, I ran half-way up the trail for a couple of snap shots before returning to the car and an ice cold Hansen's Creamy Root Beer.  Thank you, cooler-packing foresight.

Skyline Arch

After our brief stop at Skyline Arch, we arrived at the crowded Devils Garden trailhead.  We debated the extent of our adventure here as I tried to schedule a sunset visit to Delicate Arch.  We figured that we would at least get to Landscape Arch and see where we could go from there.

The hike to the arch was maybe a half hour at the most and though the light was terrible for pictures, I still found the sight of it quite substantial.

Landscape Arch

We played around for a while, trying to find a good angle for a photo but I wasn't all that satisfied with what I could find.  I decided to continue farther on the trail.  Though I wasn't planning on leaving Kendell and Katherine, I wanted to see if I could get a different view.

The climb was somewhat challenging as the trail follows the spine of a sandstone fin.  From this area, I was able to view the now-collapsed Wall Arch.  The collapse happened back in 2008. This area also gave me spectacular views back along the trail and to the distant La Sal Mountains and to Partition Arch.

Partition Arch

When I returned to the bottom, I tried another shot of Landscape Arch with the sun directly behind the rock, but I still don't think it turned out very well.

One of many interestingly shaped rocks.

Partition Arch from a different angle.

I found Kendell when I returned but not Katherine.  We both backtracked to find her but to no avail, so I headed on back toward the trailhead.  I asked that Kendell head toward Pine Tree Arch, another that we planned to visit.  The trail for that arch splits from the main trail after the trail head and the plan was to catch it on the way back anyway.  To make a long story short, I eventually found Katherine near the trailhead and she accompanied me to meet up with Kendell on the Pine Tree Arch trail.  And that's where we ran into the deer. 

And it was a rather friendly deer.  I guess that's what you get in the National Parks.

Inspector LaRoche is fooled by the doe's invisibility cloak.

Finally, we reached Pine Tree Arch, which turned out to be one of my favorites from our trip. 

Pine Tree Arch

From the light-side.

Tunnel Arch
Out through the fins of the Devils Garden.

I think everyone was a little tired from driving around and hiking in the 50ºF heat, but I wasn't done yet. We still had the Park's Delicate Arch to visit.  It is perhaps the most famous arch from the park and it even adorns the state of Utah's license plates.  As we left the Devils Garden area, we were right on schedule to visit Delicate Arch for sunset. (and that will be the final installment from this trip!) 



James Langford said...

Great stuff Dann! One of my favorite parks. I camped two nights in Devil's garden while I was there. Can't wait to see there the shots of delicate arch!

Pat Boomer said...

Another lovely set of photos Dann.
I keep thinking about how some of those places would look with a sky full of stars behind :)
You have sure seen a lot for the time you've been there!
Quite the playground you have in your back yard.

Dann Cianca said...

James: Thanks! I wish I would have timed our trip to Devils Garden better. But I guess you can't be everywhere at sunrise and sunset. ;)

Pat: Thank you! I wish my camera's sensor was good enough to do good work with stars. It gets VERY noisy above ISO 100 in low-light settings. Oh and by the way, I'm three months behind on adventures. And I've been on a lot since!