Alone at Delicate Arch

On our last trip to Arches National Park, technically our second time there. Last time it was dark, we couldn’t see anything and we weren’t able to stay as we were passing through. This time it was our destination! We were excited and wanted to see as much as we could. Delicate Arch is probably the most well known sight in the park and at the top of our list!

Initially we were discouraged as the park website listed the road out to the trailhead as closed. Completely bummed would be an understatement. But on our second day we found out that the road was only closed to vehicle traffic, not foot traffic. So we parked up the road a ways out and set off. If you look really hard and have binoculars or a long zoom, you can actually see the arch from the main road. The photo below was taken with a 250mm zoom on a crop sensor DSLR, so 400mm equivalent on full frame and handheld, sorry for the shake. img_8450

At first it looks like a downside to have to add more than a mile each way of walking on the road to our hike, but it actually turned out to be about the best thing that could’ve happened. The park was otherwise pretty full since it was October and the weather was pretty reasonable. Since parking was limited and there was extra distance, there were far fewer people on the trail. We passed maybe six to eight people on our way out and there were only four others at the arch when we arrived! It was incredible! Everyone out there was actively trying to stay out of everyone else’s photos and it was unbelievably quiet. I’m not sure how long we were actually there, but it was awesome. Such a humbling experience to be able to stand next to the arch and not feel rushed or in the way.

I look forward to returning and having a more fully charged battery in my camera when I do. Luckily, they did last until we were well on our way back, so I didn’t miss much. One thing I’ve done in some settings is moving around while looking through my camera, this is one of those places where that could end badly. Even when it’s dry, the surface is pretty smooth and losing your footing is a real possibility in good conditions. Heights don’t bother me, but it certainly did give me pause when walking out to get the main shot of this post. You have to wonder, how steep of slope can I safely stand on before I start slipping? I have no doubt that my wife was nervous watching me near the edge, but I was having fun…

If I could only get this hobby to help pay the bills… Perhaps in time.

Until next time, thanks for reading! Please comment and share.



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