Booking a kayaking venture on the day of during Labor Day weekend? Utter fail. Backup plan? Arches National Park!
Post-Canyonlands Needles hike, we were much too tired and hurt to complete the any sort of long hike at Arches. But, we fared pretty well through the short hikes to sight-see most of the highlights through the park.
Armed with Lisa’s handy dandy national park pass, we drove out to Arches National Park after making our reservation to kayak down the river the next day.
First stop: a quick peek at Fiery Furnace.
Second stop, near the end of the park: Landscape Arch and Devil’s Garden.
Devil’s Garden is a loop just about 7 miles long that brings you to eight different arches, including Landscape Arch.
Needless to say, we got as far as Landscape Arch before turning back – it was too long for blister-worn feet. It’s a short two miles round trip to the arch that’s well marked and mostly flat – there’s hardly any elevation gain here.
As with most of Southern Utah, there is plenty of gorgeous scenery as you hike. Mesmerizing in every direction.
Third stop: the Windows.
Exhausted and sun-worn, we didn’t get out of the car for this one. The Windows are a turn off the main road to a spread of incredible rock formations – mostly resembling… surprise, surprise… windows. And at least one that looks like the okay hand sign.
Do you see it? How about now?
There are several short hikes that allow you to get much closer to the formations. Next time!
Last stop: Balanced Rock.
After a quick tour of Arches National Park, we were ready to hit the Moab Castle Creek Winery for a small, speedy tasting (they give three very tiny hits of your choice of wines) then hit the river to rinse off. We were hot, sweaty, dirty and drenched in that outdoor camping look. Wine and water. Oh yeah…