Arch Shadows

Delicate Arch Upper Viewpoint, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

A trip to Moab would not be complete without images of the most famous arch in Utah, Delicate Arch. Even those who have never set foot in it's home of Arches National Park have probably seen it. The arch is pictured on Utah license plates. Seeing the arch in person can be a little more challenging, especially if one wants to get a close-up view.

To stand next to it requires a 3-mile round-trip hike that takes the hiker over a trail of slickrock (not recommended in wet weather for obvious reasons) that rises almost 500 feet over 1.5 miles. It is not an overly difficult hike if you are used to high elevation (the arch is 4,800 feet above sea level). I hiked this trail with my son in 2005 in 40 miles-an-hour wind. Probably wasn't the brightest thing I have ever done, as it was blowing so hard when we got there that we couldn't even stand up.

For an easier view of the arch, there is a shorter trail that takes you pretty near to the arch, but doesn't reach the arch due to a wide canyon. Many hikers take the trail to the viewing platform that says "End of Trail",  but there are actually two ridges that are closer to it.  A few of us ended up at the first ridge, and this is where this image was taken from. The sunset light was great (the only thing better would have been some nice clouds), and it really helped cast a long shadow of the arch on the sandstone.