Grand Circle Road Trip: Day 5
Waking up early to go to Arches is essential. The park will get to capacity and close until enough people leave for the day. We wanted to make sure we didn't miss our opportunity and left as the sun was coming up. Arches is a 24 hour dark sky park and we were ready to explore! We skipped the visitors center and went straight into the park.
After a long drive up the mountain our first stop was Park Avenue.
The Courthouse Wash area of Arches is just massive. I didn't know what to expect from this park but at this point, I already knew I was going to like it.
After making our way around Balance Rock (the central rock of the park) we headed over to the windows section. We opted not to hike because it was so early and cold. We were so high up in the air and basically driving through a cloud at this point.
Such a short hike away, but these Floridians were not ready for all this wind and cold, and it was still early in the day. I'm so thankful that the windows could be seen from the car because they really are spectacular.
If I did one hike at this park I wanted it to be to the famous Delicate Arch. It's an icon used to represent Utah and would be amazing to see in person, but the cold... We drove by the trailhead and it was packed, no parking anywhere to be found. For now we settled on the viewpoint at a distance.
Heading further into the park we stopped at Fiery Furnace to climb on the rocks. At this point the kids were begging to climb and I don't blame them. These rocks looked like huge red flames rising up from the ground and it was a perfect stop to stretch our legs.
While driving through the Salt Valley and up to the Skyline Arch to the very end of the park the rock formations got more interesting and the sky got very dark.
Then it hit us, snow! The was the kids first time seeing snowfall and the flakes were huge. We walked around the viewpoint and enjoyed the fresh flakes before running back to the warm van.
It was still early in the day so we decided to head back to the entrance and explore the visitors center that was now open. One more stamp in the passport!
We headed back into the park as the weather started clearing. Blue skies and slightly warmer temperature made it easier to see the Delicate Arch. It was actually surprising how well you could see it from a distance.
I even took my mask off to snap a selfie with it, and I was only wearing a mask to keep warm at this point. We were sad that we couldn't hike to it, but there was no way we could. The trail is very open and there's absolutely no relief from the cold and wind. It's kind of crazy that this arch was just in the backyard of someone's ranch before Arches was created.
We stopped back in Moab to explore the town and spend some time at our tiny house. This was the halfway point of our trip and the only time we stayed in the same place for two nights.
This second time around the park I took a lot more video. Stay tuned for day 8 where you can watch the full recap video!
Up Next: Day 6