Monday, May 23, 2011

Back to Arches: Delicate Arch

You don't have to be in Utah long to see this image. Delicate Arch is on "Welcome" signs as you cross the state line and on license plates throughout the state. It's even on a commemorative postage stamp celebrating Utah's centennial. A hike to this stately icon is a "must do" for visitors to Arches National Park. So, we put it on today's agenda.

At the trailhead of this three-mile trek sits the remains of Wolfe Ranch. John Wesley Wolfe built the cozy little place in 1888, and it was abandoned in 1910.

Mr. Wolfe picked a mighty scenic spot to homestead. Sandy and I were eager to head up the trail and see more.

This steep slickrock hill separated the hikers from the photographers. (Wait a minute. A hiker took this photo!) As a native flatlander, I like to take my time climbing steep rocks.

The last hiker in our group did a 180 and snapped this view back down the hill. The parking lot is far, far away.

Yeah, yeah. I'm coming. Time to stop taking photos and start hiking!

But, with so many scenic views I had to stop again....

...and again. These stops were for artistic purposes only, of course. I had absolutely no need to catch my breath as we made the 500-foot climb!

Are we there yet? Nope. This little arch is known as Frame Arch. It is frequently used by much more daring photographers than I to "frame" photos of Delicate Arch. The shot requires scrambling up some pretty steep slickrock. None of the four of us was up for it today.

Besides, we had panoramic views like this to keep us distracted while we stepped ever so carefully along a 200-yard ledge just before reaching our "must see" destination.

Ah! There it is. At 52-feet tall, Delicate Arch is stunning.

It's the perfect backdrop for a photo...

...or two.

Looks just the welcome signs, doesn't it? This is one "must-do" hike that we are certainly glad we did. Thanks, John and Sandy, for another great hike!


Sue and Doug said...

great photos of your 'breath taking stops'!

Jim and Sandie said...

Once again, thank you for taking the hike for us. Love those pictures and I'm sure glad you stopped to take them for us.