Arches became a national park in 1971, and although it is not on the list of the top-ten most popular parks in the US, it draws hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. It is known for sandstone arches, balanced rocks and other interesting geological formations.
Visitors are rewarded with a stunning view after passing through the entry gate, and driving up the steep hill.
Our first stop after entering was Park Avenue Viewpoint.
We stopped for a hike near Broken Arch, not far from Devil’s Garden Campground.
Also in the area is Sand Dune Arch and some interesting, narrow canyons to explore.
We visited on a Monday a few weeks ago. We arrived early in the morning and there were already two lines of cars waiting to get to the visitor’s gate, each a half a mile long. When the park reaches capacity, the entry gate is closed and visitors must wait for up to three hours to enter. Many of the areas we had hoped to visit were overly crowded with no parking available. To avoid the massive crowds, I suggest visiting in the late fall or early spring. The park is always going to be crowded, but maybe not quite as crowded as when we were there.
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There’s something appealing about the desert that I can’t quite describe. The arid expanse, the stark, rugged beauty, the feeling of being far from civilization, the strange buzzing of unfamiliar insects; these are sensations most of us do not experience very often, perhaps that’s the attraction. Whatever it is, it has me hooked, and I can’t wait to visit again someday.
Stay safe and healthy,