Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Park Avenue Trail to Baby Arch

The Park Avenue Trail is a 2.0 mile round trip trail near the entrance to Arches National Park. This is the first opportunity for a hike at Arches after entering the park.

The route is a moderate walk along a mostly primitive trail on the canyon floor, offering close up views of huge sandstone fins, balanced rocks and tall spires.

At the trail head, look to the right and up for Park Avenue Arch. It's hard to tell that this is a true arch but apparantly there is a one foot space between the arch shaped rock and the back wall.

The trail can be accessed from either end and you can have someone pick you up if you only want to go one way. The south trail head looks down the canyon.

The Park Avenue name comes from the tall sky scraper appearance of the sandstone rock fins. The sandstone layer here is mostly the Entrada layer.

At the north end of the trail there are rock formations that have local names. This is the "Three Gossips."

The parking area at the north trail head offers a view of the Courthouse Towers, or maybe this is the Tower of Babel.

At the lower end of the Park Avenue Trail there is a view point that includes Baby Arch. From the view point it is hard to spot Baby Arch due to the rock surface that appears behind it. If you move about 100 yards further north, some blue sky appears through the opening. I took about an hour to walk down the canyon and back up.

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