Arches National Park

After getting our fill of waterfalls along the Washington-Oregon coast, it was time to get serious and head to the desert Southwest. First stop – Arches National Park!

As I mentioned in last week’s article, Oregon Waterfalls Revisited, my photographer friend Jeremy and I were way overdue for a trip to the Southwest, so this two and a half week trip had been carefully planned for some time, and now it was time to execute!

We showed up at the entrance to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, presented my National Parks pass, and headed into the park to find a campsite. Arches has but one campground, Devils Garden Campground, located as far back in the park as possible along the main road. We set up camp and, of course, started scouting the area for shooting locations.

View from the Campground, Arches National Park, Utah

The view from Devils Garden Campground, Arches National Park, Utah.

After doing a bit of shooting in the immediate area, which was definitely picturesque as far as campgrounds go, we headed to our pre-planned sunset location, Delicate Arch. This required a bit of hiking, but nothing too severe, and we reached the arch in plenty of time to jostle for position with selfie-addicts and other photographers before the gorgeous sunset…that never happened. Dark gray clouds covered most of the sky and obscured the sun on the horizon, so we got only adequate images of this stately arch. As I’ve mentioned before, the local photographers have an edge in that they can return to these places often under different lighting and weather conditions. Travelers like us have to take what we can get and move on – there’s simply too much to see to get stuck in one spot too long.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Delicate Arch stands proud, high above the valley in Arches National Park, Utah.

The next morning we headed to The Windows Section, a part of the park known for structures that are in the process of becoming arches, but aren’t there yet. Substantially more rock surrounds windows than does arches, as it is yet to be eroded away.

Weather conditions were about the same as the previous evening, with dark but not particularly interesting clouds dominating the sky. But again, we did what we could with what we had.

Turret Arch through North Window, Arches National Park, Utah

Turret Arch is viewed through the North Window, in Arches National Park, Utah.

The North Window is positioned so that if you scramble through it and up the rocks on the other side, the Turret Arch is lined up nicely through the viewport. Now all you need to do is set up your tripod and wait for the tourists to get out of the shot!

So that’s enough for now. We’re not quite done with this park, and we’re certainly not done with arches. There’s lots more going on around here that we can explore in next week’s article!

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