Delicate Arch, April 2012 - 48 photos

On April 9th of 2012 we did a hike to Delicate Arch in Arches National Monument. I met some new friends this time, Thomas and MaryAlice Dunbar, who recently moved here from Virginia. They were into hiking, and visited my website, then sent me an email. Thomas mentioned that they were going to Arches and do a short hike up to Delicate Arch. They only planned a one day trip down to Moab, so had to keep the hiking time short. Thomas asked me if I wanted to go along with them, and I jumped at the chance. I realized after the last trip down there that I didn't get pictures from angles and views that I wished I had, so this could be a chance to make up for that. I asked Thomas if I could bring someone along, he said yes, so took my daughter Cheryl with me.

I have been down there a number of times, so knew what we were in for. The drive from North Ogden was about 5 hours including the time stopping to pick everyone up. We didn't get to Moab until noon, and after stopping to get something to eat, we finally started our hike at 1:45. At least the forecast said it would be a really nice day, and it was.

The hike only took 2 ˝ hours, so it's kind of funny that we drove for over 10 hours just for that short hike, and yes, it was worth it. The hike distance is about 3 ˝ miles round trip, climbing about 500 feet up. I don't believe we could have found a better day for it, the temperature being in the low 70's with a clear blue sky.

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Delicate Arch from the south side, as as seen from the viewing area - telephoto

From what I have read about this arch, and the hike up to it, it is the most popular hike in the State of Utah. It starts out from an old ranch settled by John Wesley Wolfe and his son in the late 1800's. From there it crosses a bridge over a salt wash climbing up and over a small ridge then up the sandstone slickrock for about half a mile. The trail then winds through a dry wash and up some stairs carved out of the sandstone, then along a ledge across the north side of a rock wall hiding the arch. This ledge eventually reaches a height of about 90 feet above the wash below. Some people may be bothered by the exposed vertical drop along the left side. If you have children, you may want to hang on to them. At the end of the ledge the arch comes into view, and is really something to see. Seeing it in person is awesome, nothing like what you expect from the little pictures everyone sees. The arch is on the far side of a large sandstone bowl, about 70 feet deep. To get over to the arch you have to walk along the upper slope of the bowl. Behind the arch, the ground drops off about 300 feet into a deep canyon.

This is a hike that should be done in the spring or fall. In the summer it gets very hot on that exposed sandstone, so if you do go in the summer plan on doing it in the early morning or late afternoon. Take a hat, sunscreen, and plenty of water on this hike, you will need it.

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Delicate Arch up close, from the north side, first view at end of the hike

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I used a small Canon Powershot, SX210, 14 Megapixel Camera which has Image Stabilazation and optical lens from wide angle to 14x zoom.

These photos are set to lower resolution and compressed 10:1 for faster loading. You are welcome to look at or download any of the photos. If you use them on any other webpage, please give credit and refer back to me.

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