Delicate Arch Hike – Arches National Park

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On Tuesday, Marilyn, Marie, and I hiked to Delicate Arch and back. After that, we paid a visit to the Windows area.

The park roads are closed between 7 pm and 7 am this year. Ours was one of hundreds of cars which showed up on that day at the 7 am opening. It seemed that most of the traffic was headed towards Delicate Arch. I’ve never seen it busier. We got there early enough to easily get parking at the newly expanded lot for the Delicate Arch Trailhead. The Windows area was extremely busy – parking there was very difficult when we visited later in the day.

This is the corral at Wolfe Ranch:

This is a view from early in the hike:

The trail goes up a massive slickrock slab:

Delicate Arch:

This is the crowd near the arch. In the center of the photo, there is a queue of people lined up to stand under Delicate Arch for photos.

Marie sat on this ledge and did some sketching:

Marie, walking back along that slickrock ledge.

When we got to the Windows area, we hiked the “primitive” trail in an attempt to get away from the crowds. We were successful for perhaps five minutes. This is a view of the South Window and North Window from that trail.

This is a view of the South Window. Marie is below the arch, looking for ways to climb up into the Window. We started over towards the North Window, but she told me that she wanted to go back to make a more serious try at climbing into the Window. Her Dad spotted her, but also reminded her that whatever she climbed up, she also had to down-climb – and down-climbing is a lot harder. (Marie and the rest of her family got a chance to do some easy climbing on Wednesday.)

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