Thursday, May 28, 2015

Landscape Arch and Other Delights

Although we will be in Moab for a few more days, Wednesday was probably our last day to go into Arches National Park. We still want to explore Canyonlands National Park and Deadhorse State Park before we move on.

Wednesday was very warm, and once again sunny in the late morning when we left the rig. It did rain and blow a bit early in the evening, but we were back home by then.

We wanted to see Landscape Arch. If you have ever seen any pictures of the arches in Utah, you have probably seen one of Landscape Arch. It is said to be the largest arch in the world, and is approaching the end of its life. In 1991, several hikers were resting under the arch when they heard loud cracking noises that they mistook for distant thunder. Then suddenly, large sections of the arch fell. The park poster about Landscape Arch had an image of the event, but we can't find it on Google.

Looking at the picture below, you can see some lighter, newly exposed, rock on the bottom. Can you imagine being there when 180-ton blocks of sandstone came down? The trail under the arch is now closed.

When we got to the parking lot at the trailhead, it was full. But after going around the circle twice, we spotted a couple walking towards their car. I hopped out and confirmed they were leaving, then followed them to their spot. This may be a strategy we will use when we get to Yellowstone in July.   Being able to get out of the Jeep with Craig driving behind me is a help. He’s pretty good at pulling over far enough so other cars can pass him, but at the same time staying close enough to me and the car leaving, to indicate his claim on the spot.

The trail to Landscape Arch is an easy mile and half.  It was one of the first warm days we have encountered, and there was very little shade or breeze. Being the grumbler that I am, I couldn't help observing that hiking in the sun at high noon might not be a good plan! We agreed to get going a bit earlier as the days warm up.

There are over two thousand arches in the park, but only a few have been made famous through photography and art over the years. This one is just to the right of Landscape Arch.  It probably has a name, but I don’t know what it is.

As we walked along the trail we could see islands of sandstone out in the valley, every one of them worth a picture.

I did manage to find a bit of shade here and there, but it was pretty sparse.

On the drive back out of the park we stopped at the Fiery Furnace overlook. You can hike down into this area, but only with a special permit and a guide. We wondered if it was because it was particularly dangerous, or because it was vulnerable to damage by careless hikers.

Finally, there really is a lot of life around, but most of it stays well hidden in the day. This was a new kind of lizard for me. I'm used to California lizards, which are much smaller and gray. This one was almost yellow and spotted.


  1. Love Landscape Arch. We did the Fiery Furnace guided hike. I think it might be pretty easy to get lost down in there. Its bigger than it looks. Also, there were some places where we had to climb over boulders and between narrow rocks so it was good to have a ranger to tell us exactly where to go. Glad you've enjoyed Moab. Canyonlands and Natural Bridges National Monument are also great as was Capitol Reef. We didn't make it to the state park. We did go to the hole in the wall house which was a total tourist trap type of place, but I enjoyed it. Very different and quirky!!

  2. What a great ending to the park. Landscape Arch is beautiful!

  3. We are following your tracks. We will be there next week after the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley. Great images.

  4. Don't know if you saw this on FB. Depending on your plans you may be interested .

    Lorrainen & Mike Lynch - we have a coffee shop you need to add to your travels. Yesterday on our way to Capital Reef NP on scenic highway 12 about halfway up the mountain between Escalante and Boulder on the left if you are heading north is Kiva Kona's Coffee! It is a small coffee shop that is built in to the side of a rock cliff! You don't see the building until you park above the building and walk down a stone stairway! Very unique! All windows on 1 side in circular curve overlooking a wonderful canyon. They have specialty coffees, bagels, homemade bakery items, about 4 breakfast & lunch items including salads, wraps etc. We just had coffee, but the plates coming out from the very small kitchen, looked delicious!

    1. Thanks for the tip, sounds great but we won't be going through that area. Our next stop is Yuba SP, near Levan, UT.

  5. Pretty lizard, I don't think I've seen that one yet. Katie would have loved seeing him! I don't guess they would ever brace the thinnest section of Landscape Arch. It's just beautiful; it would be such a shame to lose it.

    1. The arch could fall at any time, or could stand for 15,000 years.

  6. The Falls pale in comparison!


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