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Arches National Park – My favorite place on Earth

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, May 19th, 2008
Categories: LifeMiscellaneousTravel
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Arches National ParkForget golf for a moment!

Contrary to what people who frequent my many golf web sites may think, the golf course is not my favorite place to visit. That distinction belongs to Arches National Park.

Location

Arches is 239 miles southwest of my home, in South-Eastern Utah. Arches is two miles north of Moab, Utah. Moab is a small town whose primary industry is tourism. Tourists hit Moab for mountain biking on the famous “slickrock trail,” rafting down the Colorado River or visiting Arches NP, Canyonlands National Park or Dead Horse Point. Moab draws a very “green” and yuppie crowd. There are more granola bars and “organic” food items per square inch there than any place on Earth. Good luck finding a non organic Pop Tart in that town because I couldn’t.

About Arches

Arches is a spectacular area of land which contains the highest density of natural arches in the word. The high desert landscape of Arches has very little precipitation and extreme temperature variations. Red sandstone formations and fins have undergone millions of years of erosion, which result in visually stunning visuals and 2000 documented arches.

Attractions

Delicate Arch

Utah’s license plates have an arch from Arches on them. This is Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is probably the most famous natural arch in the world. Getting to Delicate Arch requires some good calorie burning hiking uphill, about 1.5 miles. The arch itself is at the edge of a huge sandstone cliff, with an amazing sandstone bowl above. You can go right up and sit under the arch (see pictures), and that drop off the cliff is less than 10 feet through the arch.

delicate arch arches national park

I’ve happily made this rigorous uphill 1.5 mile hike in 100+ degree desert heat dozens of times, including yesterday. No matter how tired and sweaty I am when I get there, I completely forget all of that the second I turn the corner and see what I believe to be one of the most amazing and breathtaking formations anywhere. I’m completely awestruck by the beauty of Delicate Arch.

Suggestion: Plan your photos for early morning or late evening when the lighting is the best. And also be sure to cut your toenails! The hike down from Delicate Arch can really cause you grief if your toenails are rubbing against the front of your shoes!

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