Mike admiring Landscape Arch

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Devils Garden Loop Arches

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May 24, 2018 1:04 am
As it was Memorial Day weekend we decided that on Friday, our first full day in Moab, we should go into Arches NP early in the morning to avoid the crowds and hike the Devils Garden area where  there are a lot of arches including Landscape Arch which is the largest Arch in the USA.

There were a fair number of people on the trail up to Landscape Arch as it is one of the iconic must dos. From that point there is a ‘primitive’ loop trail which we took in a clockwise direction (right choice I think). The trail ascended on some sandstone bluffs from Landscape Arch giving beautiful wide ranging panoramic views of the park to the East and North. We took a detour to visit Partition Arch, really beautiful as with some recent rain there was a small pool under the arch which reflected the arch and some trees beautifully. Navajo Arch was next, a great arch to stand in and look out over the Eastern section of the park spread out below us. Glad to have it to ourselves for a short while between other hikers arriving and leaving. People are generally very good at giving space to take photos.

Double O (bottom arch)

We then returned to the main trail and made our way to Double O Arch. Had our lunch in the shady lee of a rock, little knowing we were just round the corner from some shady trees where we could view the arches from! But it was a lovely spot all the same and we could see down on the trail we would take back. Very happy to get a perspective from where we could capture both arches making up the Double O without any other people.

From this point the trail descended down into the ‘canyon’s and river washes rather than following a ridgeline. We had another detour off to view Primitive Arch which I found really special as I could sit underneath it and look up to see the blue sky on either side of the narrow arch span. Also there was only one other person there, an older gentleman who was carrying a large camera. Offered to take a photo of him, to which he readily agreed, then unpacked a pristine red shirt to wear in the photo. Glad I was not taking the photo as he was using film, and the manual settings required ‘f’ stops. Things from our past which I have now totally forgotten.

Path from here became more convoluted and great fun to follow with a bit of scrambling involved. So happy we selected this hike and it really got us into the park and able to experience the magical nature of the rock formations. An added bonus were all the Spring flowers, especially flowering cactus of different shades, which lined the path. A very happy and special day. But glad to get back to our campground and wash all the red dust off!

Here is a video of our hike, as well as our first day in Arches when we visited Park Avenue. Below this is a compilation of photos we took.

Photo compilation, press play to view