My Montana

My Montana
My Montana

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Devil's Garden Hike in Arches National Park

I had a great time in Arches National Park, starting at dawn.  Want to share more of that wonderful experience, but that requires more time, energy and technological know-how than I have tonight. (Just back from a long weekend at Caddo Lake State Park where I enjoyed paddling and partying with several friends before following Natalie home to Galveston, Texas.)

The second thing I did while in Arches was to hike some of the Devil's Garden Trail. The last time I was in Arches, I got there about 4:00 P. M. on a summer evening and bought a twenty-five cent map of Devil's Garden.  I determined I would hike to Landscape Arch.  Then I hiked to several other places on the way to the back of the park, where Devil's Garden is located.  When I finally started my hike, it was after sunset.  I rushed to climb to Landscape Arch, scrambling up steps that were at the end of the trail leading to the arch.  I got there just in time to see the last of the light through the arch. Then I had to carefully work my way down those stairs - they did have a handrail  - in the dark.  But I was rewarded with stars forming a complete bowl over and around me - and since I was the only fool still out, I felt like I owned the place.

Big changes have occurred since then. In September 1, 1991, hikers near the arch thought they had heard thunder, then small rocks started tumbling down the hill. Then a 60 foot slab of rock fell out from the top of the arch, leaving a very thin arch. The park has closed the trail so you can not even get close to the arch.

At the trailhead

Formations near the start of the trail 

Flowers on a shrub - can't remember its name

Landscape Arch

More formations

Halloween figure?

Partition Arch

Closer view of Partition Arch
I didn't walk far - just a little over a mile, before I got to a huge slickrock hill.  I was afraid to come back down it and didn't want to walk over 7 miles to complete the trail. So I saved the back of the garden for another visit.

End of the trail for this hiker
I enjoyed the Visitor Center, then went back to enjoy the end of the day in the park. I hadn't had time to come here the last time I was in Utah, although I did get to visit Bryce NP (and this blog also), Zion NP,  and The Petrified Forest. The best advice I can give you about visiting Utah is to try and have a lot of time  to spend there, because it is SOO hard to leave. I think the state has the most numerous scenic places of any of the lower fifty. I will have to spend an entire summer there one day.