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.

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