My Itchy Travel Feet | The Baby Boomer's Guide To Travel

Photo Essay: Nature’s Windows At Arches National Park

2011/03/16by Donna Hull

Updated 04.01.2014

Over 2,000 natural sandstone arches fill Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. Active baby boomers will discover them while hiking, biking or car touring in this easy-to-explore national park. And boomer photographers will click that shutter repeatedly to capture the beauty of the arches and surrounding landscape.

arches-national-park-delicate-arch

Arches National Park Delicate Arch

To photograph the most famous arch in the park as sunset lights up the stone formation, boomers will want to allow plenty of time to get there. Delicate Arch is a three-mile-round-trip hike on sloping slick-rock. Be sure to bring a flashlight for the return trip. If you’ve stayed for a sunset shot, the trip back to the car is in the dark.

arches-national-park-skyline-arch-back

Skyline Arch from the back

A 10 to 20-minute walk on a well-defined trail leads to the back side of Skyline Arch. We visited in early October when a few yellow wildflowers added interest to the high desert scene.

moab-utah-skyline-arch-front

Skyline Arch front view

The front side of Skyline Arch is approached from the Devil’s Garden Campground. If you arrive early enough in the morning, the smell of bacon frying will be a tempting distraction.

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Turret Arch

No, this isn’t a touched up photo. You’ll capture the orange glow of sunrise by arriving before the sun at Turret Arch in the Windows section of Arches National Park.

north-window-arches-sunrise-moab-utah

North Window

At North Window, the sun casts its glow on rock formations. You’ll be joined by other photographers intent on catching the same scene. The only sound will be the click, click, click of camera shutters. When you’re finished photographing, active baby boomers will want to take the one-mile loop that winds between North Window, Turret Arch and South Window.

arches-national-park-landscape-arch

Landscape Arch

From the Devil’s Garden trailhead, it’s a 2-mile round trip walk on a paved trail to Landscape Arch. At 306 ft., it’s the park’s longest arch and the second longest sandstone arch in the world. Hardy hikers will want to continue on the 7-mile primitive loop trail to see Private Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, Wall Arch and Double O Arch.

Alan and I visited Arches National Park for the first time while participating in an explosure36 photo tour with Jim Altengarten. One of the benefits of taking a photo workshop is learning where to be and when to arrive to capture the best shot. At Arches, it’s just like peeking through nature’s window.

Of course Arches National Park is more than just stone formations that bridge from one cliff to the next. Rangers lead hikes through Firey Furnace, a maze of sandstone columns. And for the more adventurous, 4-wheel-drive roads traverse the less developed areas of the park.

Have you been to Arches National Park. Post a comment to share your experience. Alan and I will definitely be repeating this trip.


A boomer travel and lifestyle authority who is exploring the world one activity at a time. Besides writing and publishing My Itchy Travel Feet, she also writes about boomer travel for My Well-Being Powered by Humana, Make It Missoula and is the author of My Itchy Travel Feet: Breathtaking Adventure Vacation Ideas.

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Leigh McAdam
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 3:08 am

One of my favourite parts of the world. Alan’s shots are superb.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 3:17 am

Thanks, Leigh. We have so many more adventures to experience in Arches
National Park.

Reply

Peter Heck March 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm

Those formations sure make for great photographs and Alan sure didn’t disappoint. I agree that it looks like you arrived at just the right time!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 3:25 pm

Arches is an awesome national park. I found Alan’s photos on a
portable hard drive. I’m going to have to nag him to start his photo
portfolio site. All those beautiful shots sitting unseen – not good.

Reply

Laura Martone March 18, 2011 at 1:50 am

I agree with everyone else. Your hubby’s pictures are wonderful – they make me want to head to Arches right now! – and he should definitely start his own portfolio site.

Debbie Beardsley
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 5:52 pm

This area is a magical, beautiful place to explore. The pictures have captured the essence of Arches!

I really enjoy all of our National Parks!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Thanks, Debbie. It is a beautiful national park that doesn’t get as
much acclaim as it should

Reply

Alicia March 17, 2011 at 6:54 pm

I got to see this wonderful place, myself. Lovely photos.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 7:05 pm

Alicia, what was your favorite part of the visit? Did you take any
hikes?

Reply

BeersAndBeans March 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Really enjoyed this photo essay. A lot of good tips in here; I’m going to bookmark this one for later. Hopefully, we’ll be able to hit Arches later this year. -Randy

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 17, 2011 at 10:09 pm

Randy, let me know when you write about your trip to Arches. I’d love
to read about it.

Reply

Mark H March 17, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Superb photos. Well deserved too as it sounds like there is quite an effort in getting some of these – walking in the dark etc..

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 12:18 am

Mark, the hardest arch to photograph is Delicate Arch. Alan took that
hike without me. Since I have a fear of heights, I was afraid it might
impact the experience. However, Alan said it wasn’t that bad. Next
time, I’ll do it. As for the walks/hikes to the other arches – a piece
of cake.

Reply

veramarie
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 3:34 am

How I love southern Utah! The colors in the photographs are real, folks. No need for PhotoShop–Nature has already done the enhancement!

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 3:52 am

I’m with you, Vera. I see many more southern Utah trips in my future.
The term “hidden gem” is overused but not so when it’s applied to
southern Utah.

Reply

Paul March 18, 2011 at 6:21 am

It’s a great part of the country and for those of us living up north, the weather is fantastic in spring and fall. It’s one national park after another and as an added attraction the Big Rock Candy Mountain is nearby on U.S. Highway 89…for those of you who remember the song.

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 12:51 pm

Paul, I’m going to have to check out the Big Rock Candy Mountain.
Thanks for the tip. You are right, so many national and state parks
located near there. Now I’m wising that I had a trip planned in the
area for this spring. Maybe next year.

Reply

Anonymous
Twitter:
April 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Just looking at these photos makes me want to bathe in that warm sunset glow – inspiring photography

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
April 18, 2011 at 2:20 am

Thanks, Heather. Arches is an inspiring national park.

Reply

Michael April 12, 2014 at 8:16 pm

Wonderful photos. We have seen a fair part of the USA, but missed this area of Utah. We are back in Colorado later this year, so maybe this time!
Michael recently posted..Exploring the Cayman IslandsMy Profile

Reply

Lyndsay April 13, 2014 at 7:23 pm

This is beautiful! Reminds me of Petra in Jordan, but what I really want to say is you are inspiring baby boomers to travel. My mom wants to travel and yet, always thinking she can’t do what I’,m doing like extensive trekking and activities. That doesn’t stop you to travel but you know your limits. I have to send this to mom so she will be inspired like how you travel.
Lyndsay recently posted..How to Get Around Kuala Lumpur – Getting Around The CityMy Profile

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jen
Twitter:
April 26, 2014 at 8:58 am

Wow – amazing pictures. It’s a place that I’ve always wanted to go and now you help me realize I need to add it to my short list. Thanks for sharing!
jen recently posted..Whitewater Rafting in Banos, EcuadorMy Profile

Reply

Donna Hull
Twitter:
March 18, 2011 at 2:03 am

Thanks, Laura. I hope he reads your comment.

Reply

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