Arches National Park
After Bryce Canyon we headed to Arches National Park. I love driving through Utah. The drive to Arches along I-70 was nothing short of spectacular. I find being on the open road so incredibly peaceful. I don’t know that I always enjoyed being in the car but I have come to love it. There are some really steep grades along this route so if you are pulling a trailer keep that in mind. There are rest stops everywhere with incredible views. So far this day was going well. Here’s where it started to turn.I love the above picture because of the looks on our faces. We had been in the air conditioned car for the past several hours and got out of the car for our sign picture and were like, “What are we getting ourselves into?” It was so hot in Arches. We knew it would be warmer in Arches than Bryce but were not expecting 100+. We had been watching the weather and it was supposed to be in the low 90s during our trip. Two days before we arrived the forecast jumped to 100+. Yeah, we were not happy. We live in the Arizona desert and spend the entire summer in temps over 100. Our idea of vacation is not camping in the heat without AC.
Arches really is beautiful and I would like to visit during spring or fall when we can enjoy the park without wanting to pass out. Enough complaining about the heat. Check out our campsite! No joke, this was our view. I was blown away when we got out of the car. The campground is amongst a bunch of huge rocks but there are a couple campsites that sit atop the plateau with no rocks. Ours was one, and in my opinion is the best campsite in Arches. It was flat and had a ton of space. The one next to us had good views but was on the side of a hill. Site 18 is the primo site, friends. This is where you want to be if you want gorgeous views. The campsite faces east so we were able to watch the sunrise from our chairs.Looking across the street to the rocks we caught an incredible sunset. Arches is known for its 2,000 stone arches as well, as many other neat rock formations. A drive through the park takes 45 minutes one way and is a beautiful drive. There are 50 campsites in Arches, and March – October they are available by reservation only. The campground is at the very end of the park so you would not want to drive all the way through anyway to find out it was full. There are no restaurants or stores with groceries in Arches so be sure to have all the food and water you need when you enter the park. There are a few areas in the park where you can fill water bottles but they’re not common and everything is fairly spread out. The town of Moab is about an hour from the campground so be sure to get all you need while you’re in Moab.
We only took one hike in Arches and it was to Landscape Arch. We had planned to spend a lot more time in Arches but after completing the Landscape Arch hike at 10am we knew there was no way we were spending anymore time hiking in the heat. The trail provides almost no shade and the heat is hot! It’s actually dangerous to be out hiking in the middle of the day when it’s that hot. There are two side trails as well. We did the side trails as we went which made the walk to Landscape Arch seem really long. It was hot and the kids were over it. Particularly in the summer, I would recommend walking to Landscape first and hitting the side trails on the way back if you still are up for it. We did have some fun. Several times along the trail we encountered really soft sand and the kids had fun playing in it. Little Miss was making baby footprints in the sand with her hands. We found rabbit footprints. This lizard was eating ants right out of the hole. It was really fun to watch.
I’m bummed that we did not get to spend more time in Arches. I really wanted to hike to Delicate Arch so we’ll have to come back one day.
SUMMER ROAD TRIP 2015
This post is one of several from our summer road trip. Visit these other links to read about the rest of our travels.
Our day in Moab: 24 hours, 15,000 steps, & 100+ temps
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