Posts Tagged utah

Arches National Park – Day 3

Destination for Day 3 is Arches NP, located so close to Moab, this place is fun!. To be this close to this wonderful place within few miles away from the town, makes me want to go back there at all times of the day, to see what it looks like during the morning, mid day and evening!. But we had only 1 day, and tried to make most of it.

Three Gossips

Three Gossips

Our day started with a privately guided hiking trip for the Fiery Furnace trail. Though the total distance is only about 3 miles, the ups, downs, climbs, rock scrambling made it all strenuous and it felt like 7 miles under the hot summer sun!

Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnace

After the 5 hours, we were back in the park by afternoon to check out the rest of the park.

Garden of Eden

From the Entrance

Our first spot was the Park Avenue viewpoint, where I snapped few photos, skipped the hike, though it was only a mile.

Park Avenue

Park Avenue

Followed by the stop at Balanced Rock, and we headed to the Windows section of the park.  The North, South and the Turret/ Double Arch are some of the finest natural structures I have seen in my life. The trail around the Windows section are is only about a mile walk between the North/ South and the Turret arches. Sun was still bright above my head, and I couldn’t take any dramatic pictures.

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

North Window - Windows Section

North Window – Windows Section

After that, we headed to the Devils garden trailhead, which I totally skipped due to the painful blisters. My next stop which I decided to do was the Delicate Arch vista point, which is about a 1/2 mile hike; it provided a different perspective of the arch. The ranger at the visitor center suggested to do the Delicate Arch hike for the sunset.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

The trailhead starts from the Wolfe Ranch parking lot which was packed around 1700 though the sunset was not expected to happen until 1930 or 2000.

Scenary from Wolfe Ranch Parking Lot

Scenery from Wolfe Ranch Parking Lot

Totally skipped the Delicate Arch hike as I wasn’t sure whether I can do the slick rock portion with the condition of my feet.

To close the post, a picture of the Surprise Arch in the Fiery Furnace section…

Surprise Arch in Fiery Furnace

Surprise Arch in Fiery Furnace

On the way back, we picked up a few Red Dirt T shirts in Moab. The Red color on the T-shirt was made from the red iron oxide extracted from the rock formations which is used to dye the t-shirt. Isn’t that cool…

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My first trip to National Parks in Southwestern Utah – Zion Canyon

Last year when I was reading about Grand Canyon National Park, my friend shared a link with top best day hikes, and Zion Narrows was one of them. Initially the thought of hiking in water in deep canyons scared me, but the feeling of doing a river hike was so new to me and slowly it sinked in, and I started to feel little bit comfortable.  Having not traveled anywhere, the loads of information and travel blogs I read opened me to a whole new world. Alright, coming to the trip, the plan was to do what is called the Mighty 5, Utah National Parks, except we had only 5 days, which gives us only a day in each park.

Our original idea was to progress from Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, Arches and back to Vegas. But that would involve a long drive (7 hour) back to LV from Canyonlands on the last day. Hence we mixed it up a bit.

We started off with Zion on Day 1, following, Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef and finishing off with Bryce Canyon.

Flew to Vegas and drove to Zion the next day. The narrows hike was our main agenda for the day, and may be a short land hike if we are back from narrows in 4 hours (that was the original plan….). We rented water boots and equipment from Zion Adventure Company, parked near the side road there, got ourselves fitted with the water boots and lining our backpack and decided set off to the park. It was a late start that morning actually, and the final thing was to pick up a lunch sandwich packed for our hike in Cafe Soleil in Springdale which was only 5 minutes walk from the Zion Adventure company.

From Cafe Soleil, it was just a few minutes walk to the entrance of the park over a wooden bridge, and got onto the Zion Park Shuttle to Temple of Sinawava Shuttle stop to begin the Narrows hike.

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Excited about the water, but to get to the water, you would need to hike approximately 1 mile walk along the somewhat red mud road (which felt soo long), to reach the starting point of hike. Finally after dipping our feet in water, the first half mile felt slow, as we wanted to stop by every spot and click pictures of the water, the tall canyons and our face. After taking quite a lot of pics within the first half mile, we decided to put off our cameras and start wading through the river. I do not have an exact distance, but we went till a forking point, where turning right at the fork would lead to Orderville Canyon and just going straight would take towards Big Springs.

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I guess it must be 2 hours in the river from the starting point to this forking point. Decided to take the Orderville canyon path, and soon as you turn right, you will notice a pocket of water flowing through rocks which you need to climb over. From that jump up onwards, you will encounter a few minutes of wading the river, and jumps over the pockets of water gushing down. I was able to do around 3 or 4 more jumps, and the last one is where we decided to turn around.

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At this point, time was almost close to 4pm, and we were 3.5 hours in the river, we realized there is probably no time to hike the Wheeping rock trail, and thought we should turn back so that we can get out of water before dark. I was just hoping there is enough time to make it back to return the rentals and grab some dinner before heading to the hotel.

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