First time at Arches NP

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby planet54 » Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:57 am

If you have time for a side trip I would recommend Sego Canyon. Exit I-70 at Thompson,go thru what is left of the town,cross the railroad tracks and follow the signs. This is one of the best rock-art sites that you can drive to. Allow about an hour.
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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby 2giqs » Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:46 am

I'd second the side trip to Sego. Little walking/hiking involved and the rock art is impressive.

If you do take a spin up/out to Dead Horse Pt, a worthwhile side trip/short hike would be to Gemini Bridges. If your vehicle has reasonable clearance, you could make a loop by returning via Long Canyon Rd and then doing the mile or so hike to Corona Arch on your way back to Moab/Arches.

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby Aardvark » Thu Jan 17, 2013 11:06 am

mike offerman wrote:Consider taking a ranger tour through the Fiery Furnace. In my opinion, it is one of the best places in the park

+1 This tour is definitely worth the price and you'll learn a lot in addition to seeing really nice formations.

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby Bill Cummings » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:06 pm

+1 more on the Fiery Furnace tour. Be sure to sign up soon after you get to the visitor center, since there is often a bit of a waiting list.

Our favorite hike in Arches is the hike to Tower Arch. It's a little bit of a drive over to the Klondike Bluffs area, but not too long & well worth it. You will leave the crowds--and the civilized world--behind; you get a real feeling of being "out there," though not really that far away. The Klondike Bluffs/Marching Men scenery is other-worldly, and Tower Arch is a beauty. Definitely one of Arches' less-visited treasures.
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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby Vermont Mike » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:17 pm

+1 for Bowtie and Corona Arches from Potash Road. It's a short hike that rivals anything in Arches and when I was there this past spring I saw only one other person along the trail. Also, there are plenty of petroglyphs right along Potash Road. Another nice one for the family may be to hike up Negro Bill Canyon. This may be crowded but there's a nice perennial creek to splash/wade in throughout, and a couple miles up canyon is the impressive Morning Glory Bridge. The point is, if you find you have extra time after exploring Arches N.P. there's plenty in the nearby Moab vicinity to check out. IMO any unit of Canyonlands requires more time to check out than you'll probably have left over.

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby Brian C » Thu Jan 17, 2013 12:26 pm

mike offerman wrote:Consider taking a ranger tour through the Fiery Furnace. In my opinion, it is one of the best places in the park.

Yes! It really is an amazing place.
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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby Kitten » Thu Jan 17, 2013 1:11 pm

Yeah, one of my favorite parks as well. Visit the Double Arch too, I believe is where they filmed one of the Indiana Jones movies!
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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby Mountainspirit » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:05 pm

Holy cow - you all are fantastic!!! Thanks for so much detailed information. =D>

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby jdawud » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:49 pm

I'll second corona arch and the petroglyphs on potash road.

If you are into slick rock backcountry camping, talk to the ranger about courthouse wash. We did a night there a few years ago that was a couple miles west following the wash, then a short, super duper easy scramble north up to a huge piece of slick rock in an amphitheater. It was amazing and quiet. The rock is so flat that a simple camping pad and a sleeping bag will be all you need. Sleeping under those stars and playing (trust me on this) glow in the dark frisbee at night on that flat rock will be something your kids will remember forever. Beats the hell out of a crowded campground anywhere in the area.

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby DurangoJenn » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:46 am

Bill Cummings wrote:+1 more on the Fiery Furnace tour. Be sure to sign up soon after you get to the visitor center, since there is often a bit of a waiting list.

Fiery Furnace is awesome. If you go, I recommend booking online.

Devils Garden/primitive loop is awesome and I don't think too difficult. I camped at Devils Garden with my teenager (13 then) last May and we did that hike and he had no problem with it. He's not the most active kid and a reluctant hiker, although he does book when I can actually get him on a trail.

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby coloradokevin » Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:20 am

Scott P wrote:In 3 days, you can hike all the trails and all are worth doing and must do's.

There are off-trail routes in the park, but maybe stick to the trails on the first trip.

Primitive Loop/Devils Garden is the best hike, but Delicate Arch, Skyline Arch/Broken Arch/Sand Dune Arch Loop, Windows, etc. are all good.

April is the most crowded month of the year. Do not go during Easter Weekend as that is the Jeep Safari. Traffic will be worse than the rush hour in Los Angeles.

Pretty much everything Scott said...

Devil's Garden Primitive Loop is something of a must-see for a first trip to Arches. Also, I've been there the week of the JeeP Safari, and the whole area around Moab becomes a nightmare that week. A friend actually had her car broken into during that week (while camping) just to steal a 6-pack of beer.

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Re: First time at Arches NP

Postby ClimbStewart » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:18 pm

Do several hikes to see the must-see stuff at Arches, including, as others have mentioned, the Devil's Garden Primitive Loop and Delicate Arch Trail. Try to do Delicate Arch in the early morning to avoid crowds. Also check out the Windows Section. A good climb at Windows is up Elephant Butte, the Arches high point. It does require doing two rappels and lots of scrambling. Another worthwhile "tourist" hike is down Park Avenue in the Courthouse Tower sector. Do it either out and back or have an extra car pick you up at the north trailhead below The Organ.

After those hikes you will want to get away from all the other visitors. There are lots of great backcountry hikes that give solitude and great hiking.

You can walk either up or down Courthouse Wash from its junction with the park road. To hike up Courthouse, follow the dry sandy wash. Lots of interesting side canyons to explore, some with arches. To hike down Courthouse, follow the canyon east. It quickly descends into a sharp Navajo Sandstone canyon and in April will be wet in places. As you descend you will have to wade sections; best to have sandals or watershoes. Lower Courthouse Wash has some deep beaver ponds and lots of bushwhacking, but it's scenic hiking. You'll need a car to pick you up at US 191 just west of Moab and the river.

Other good backcountry hikes include the hike out to Tower Arch in Klondike Bluffs, the remote northwest part of the park, and at Herdina Park, which is west of the Windows Section off the old Arches access road. Herdina is a large slickrock area with no defined trails, lots of rock canyons, and some great scenery.

If you have specific questions about any other Moab area hikes or canyoneering and climbing adventures, send me a note. I have written both hiking and climbing guides to Moab and have spent a lot of time there... You'll have a great trip!


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