June 17th, 2011

Today we decided to give Arches a second try but earlier, when there are not massive hordes of toursists all over the park. We had an extraordinary time! We first visited the Windows were there were no people at all and had a pleasnat, but extremely fast paced hike as we took pictures of the window arches.

Afterwards we headed over to the Delicate Arch where we were faced with a decision. To simply use the overlook of the arch or do a hike up a sheer rock face to stand right next to the cliff. We almost chose incorrectly and were thinking about doing the overlook for time’s sake. However in the end the hiker’s spirit won and we decided to make the trek to the arch. It was a decision we will never regret.

The pictures do not really give the mountain we climbed credit. It was difficult, not impossible but very hard in the high altitude. It was a lot of fun though toughing it out and climbing this mountain. The hike was amazing with awesome views of the valley and geological structures all along the way.

The climb up the mountain, the views, the amazing pathway, all are small pieces that made this hike perfect. Ending of course with the famed Delicate Arch. The most photographed arch in the park, it is clear why so many make this trek out into the desert; it is so unique and awe-inspiring.

Can you spot me in this next picture?

The cherry on top for this hike was the petroglyphs at the very end.

We had a lot of fun on this hike because it was just so amazing. It is definitiely on the top five if not top two of my favorite hikes list. We were even able to spot what I believe was a pretty sexy looking mountain goat on the pathway.

After that amazing experience we headed to the Devil’s Garden to go see the Landscape arch, possibly the biggest arch in the nation. However after our amazing hike at the Delicate Arch this one was relatively disappointing.

There were some pretty views from the short hike out but nothing like on the Delicate Arch.

We had done three hikes and seen the entire park and were thouroughly tired. Howveer our day had just begun, we still had a long drive and two more parks to see. Next on the list was a small park called Natural Bridges National Park.

Comprised of three arches, this park is very small. Sadly we were so tired that we couldn’t spend a sufficent amout of time necessary to explore this park and as a result it was slightly disappointing. The arches in comparison to Delicat Arch were almost shameful.

To exit the park and head ot our next destination we had to use the Moki Dugway, a short stretch of highway with intense switchbacks, incredible heights overlooking the area near Monument Valley, and did I mention that it wasn’t paved? Yep, after our flat tire we were extremely tire sensitive and were pretty afraid to drive on it but we had no choice. It turned out to be really pretty and very cool.

We decided to make a stop at Goosenecks State Park before we crossed the border into Arizona to see Monument Valley. The Colorado River has carved out some amazing bends and canyons into the valleys here which resulted in the creation of these goosenecks.

Our last aprk of the day was Monument Valley. However the pictures were not very good because the valley was so hazy due to the fire down in southern Arizona.

After that we decided to stay the nigt in Page, Arizona where we will conitnue our journey tomorrow.

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