Arches National Park

Arches National Park is located on the outskirts of Moab Utah and is very close to Canyonlands National Park which is just over 30 miles down the road. I assume that most everyone that visits Arches National Park will also visit Canyonlands but I will have to say that I much more enjoyed Arches than Canyonlands. Arches was more accommodating and in my opinion had more photographic subjects. The only downside to Arches was the amount of people, I will get to that a little later.

The hike up to Delicate Arch, which is this weeks post picture, is strenuous and the heat just made the hike even worse. It was 100 plus degrees. It was one of those heats where you just step outside and start sweating, not to mention the sun was just cooking you. While driving to the trail head we followed an emergency vehicle to the parking lot. The rumor was that a fellow hiker had became sick and dizzy from the heat. We followed the rescue personnel with their unicycle gurney up the trail to the downed hiker. When we reached him he was already being attended to by EMS. Dehydrated and dizzy was what we were hearing and he had to be taken to the hospitable by the rescue team.

Words of Cation: The National Parks do everything they can to keep people safe but it also takes a wee bit of common sense from the visitors. People have been attacked by wildlife, fallen off waterfalls, suffered from heat stroke, been stranded, and many other occurrences just by not listening to the parks warnings and advisories. I can't tell you how many signs I seen for water, proper footwear, wildlife, etc... If it says to carry water, you should probably do that. If it says do not cross this barrier, maybe you should listen, if it says to wear hiking boots, maybe it's not a good time to be wearing your flip flops, if they say to carry bear spray, by golly carry some bear spray. Rant over.

The hike to Delicate Arch was just over 3 miles round trip and had a pretty significant elevation gain. We arrived at Delicate Arch for sunset along with everyone else in Moab. It was busy and the thing to do was to stand in the middle of the arch while other people took pictures. There seriously was a line of people that wanted their photo taken, I felt like I was at an attraction at Disneyland. That was probably the worst part. I try to get out and enjoy nature and in this instance that was hard to do. It was also hard to get a photograph of the arch with out someone in my photograph. I think it may have been because it was 4th of July weekend so maybe it's better at different times of the year or even a sunrise.

For Arches National Park it is wise to carry your tripod and a wide angle lens. A telephoto will come in handy to isolate subjects, but I found myself not using it very often. This weeks picture was taken at f16 at 16mm near sunset.

Enjoy Arches and other National Parks but do take cation and use common sense. Following some simple guidelines will make your trip much more enjoyable.