Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Double Arch Trail

The Double Arches Trail is a 0.5 mile route in the Windows Section of Arches National Park in southeast Utah leading to one of the more spectacular Arches in the park.

Besides the large Double Arch there are several minor arches to keep an eye out for. There are more than 2000 arches within the park. From the start of the trail, the formations to the left are the Parade of Elephants. Two minor arches are visible. The larger one could be imagined as an eye for one of the elephants.
Looking back to the left, I thought this view, toward the Parade of Elephants, looked like a skull with two flaming eyes. The eye to the left is an arch but to the right is just a notch. There is another minor arch to the left of the left eye but it is hard to see from this point as there is rock behind it. A little further forward and blue sky is visible through it.

Looking to the right, it looks like there is a large arch, Christmas Tree Arch, there. There is also a Sphinx like formation. The Park is very militant about staying on the trail in the highly visited areas, and there is no trail from the Double Arch going over there to look closer.

Closer to the Double Arch and looking up to the left there is a minor arch. The park brochure says that the opening has to be about 3 feet to qualify for the official catalog.

Close up to the massive Double Arch. The major span has a horizontal gap that also appears to be a minor arch, though this angle doesn't show it.

It is possible to continue under the Double Arch and climb up on the rocks behind. The view through the smaller of the Double Arches is toward the approaching road and overlooks the Cove of Caves area. There is an arch in the Cove of Caves but it is hard to pick out from the viewpoint.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Garden of Eden and Serpentine Arch

The Garden of Eden is an overlook area in the vicinity of Balanced Rock and is on the road to the Windows Section of Arches National Park in southeast Utah. There is no official trail here but there is room to wander in the garden and hunt for some of the 2000 arches.

From the parking area the view to the east is a jumble of the carved formations that are among the highlights of this sandstone area.

Moving a little east and north into the garden, one fairly large arch comes into view. This is Serpentine Arch, the name in keeping with the Garden of Eden theme. Pick your own route over the exposed sandstone. There doesn't seem to be any of the slow growing dark biotic soil in this area that they worry about.

A few steps further and looking all around, there is another small opening. It doesn't look like much but probably meets the three foot opening size to qualify as an arch.

A little further and I saw these two small eyes, glancing at me. These might be too small. I only went about a quarter mile along the north side of the Garden and found several minor arches. I can see how there can be thousands, but it would take a lot of wandering around to find them.