Road Trip America – Hiking and Exploring in Arches National Park in Utah

We awoke in Moab to a dreary day that promised a lack of good climbs, and plenty of rain. Refusing to waste an entire day because of the weather, our road trip crew decided to check out the nearby Arches National Park for some wet hiking.

We passed through the park gates, thanks to my wonderful National Parks Pass (thanks Dad!), and drove up winding roads past the throngs of cheesy tourists in rented RVs and tour buses. Our ultimate destination was Devil’s Garden. The beginning of the hike saw heavy spurts of rain, and I almost ran back to the car to tuck my camera away – thankfully I decided to keep it, because the rain quickly ended and left us with a day of sunshine.

The day’s explorations taught me a lesson in exertion. The hiking wasn’t anything too grueling, but my knee pains flared up with a vengeance and left me hobbling all over the rocks while the boys pranced around like children. There were multiple times I had to lag behind while the crew scampered up skinny slabs and clamored all over towering boulders. Not to mention my resurfacing fear of heights.

I can’t believe I had never visited this National Park before. It easily ranks as one of my favorite park visits, and I can’t wait to return with the rest of the Boue clan. There were easy trails with solid paths, slightly more challenging areas that required mild rock scrambles, and then the “primitive trails” with difficult hiking. Naturally, the boys insisted that we veer of the nice path in favor of the sand, sloped trails. My knee was screaming in agony, but the photos I snagged of the arches were worth the pain.

The arches were surprisingly difficult to photograph. They’re simply too large, too impressive to capture in a single snapshot. I really had to get creative to get good angles, and often times the desert landscape blocked my views. I was ultimately pretty pleased with the final shots, and will leave you with a cute photo of a lizard who wore beautiful Moab-style patterns on his skin.

Arches National Park is a fantastic destination if you’re in the Moab, Utah area. We spent the entire day exploring Devil’s Garden, and that was only the tip of the park’s iceberg. I’d love to return one day to discover everything else that Arches has to offer. My only complaint is the tourists, but after spending time in Yosemite, I’ve learned that tourists are simply a part of life in National Parks. You’ve just got to learn how to tune them out.

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Categories: Photography, Road Trip 2011, Travel & Adventure

Author:Katie Boué

Katie Boué is the voice of - a travel lifestyle blog focusing on climbing, Airbnb life, and the outdoors.

5 Comments on “Road Trip America – Hiking and Exploring in Arches National Park in Utah”

  1. Dad
    May 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm #

    I knew the Park’s Pass would be well used, and the great photos are thanks enough. I hear ya about the tourists, but consider that they help fund National Parks, and many become preservation advocates. AND…you’re a tourist too!
    How ’bout some more food blogs?

    • May 27, 2011 at 1:57 am #

      Plenty food blogs shall be up soon enough, including my delicious burrito from Tres Amigos! And I totally agree with the necessity for tourism in National Parks – Niko was complaining about how the valley in Yosemite was all developed and used by tourists, and I challenged that without all those tourists spending money on shot glasses and overpriced food, there wouldn’t be any money to protect the area.

  2. April 25, 2012 at 3:54 pm #

    OMG those pictures are amazing!!!
    And hold on you are afraid of heights?
    AND you climb?
    Okay girl you must explain this.

    • April 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

      Haha, I know, it’s an interesting situation. To be honest, I never even realized I had a fear of heights until I started climbing – and it’s climbing that has helped me over come my fears!


  1. Five reasons to visit a National Park this weekend | THE MORNING FRESH - January 13, 2012

    […] Whale (V5) near the Ahwahnee Lodge. – Discover the vibrant desert hues I photographed during my hike through Arches National Park. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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