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Day 48: so. many. arches.

Saturday, July 22, 2023
Dead Horse State Park, UT  Dead Horse State Park, UT
0 km && 0 m elevation [0 mi && 0 ft elevation]

🇧🇷 Song for today: Veraneio Vascaína — Capital Inicial 🇧🇷

Arches National Park

Due to high demand in the summer, Arches National Park is using a reservation system to control the number of tourists on any given day. These bookings ran out many months in advance, so we weren't able to get a proper reservation. Not that that could stop us, of course.

Driving in

Reservations aren't required for entry before 7am or after 4pm for Arches, so we left rather early today (about 5:30am) to beat the cutoff. It was quite interesting driving around the park in the early morning with somewhat of a sunrise glow still in the sky. Some car photos of our drive in! (feat. Kat's blocking my photo attempt)

Delicate Arch

Probably the most iconic sight in Arches, we hiked about 5 km (3 mi) to go see the Delicate Arch in the morning, before it got too hot.

Not yet satisfied with the views, we climbed up some more rocks to get an overlook of the canyon surrounding the arch as well!

Park Avenue

This 1.5 km (0.9 mi) trail connects two points of the park highway through a valley-like path surrounded by massive vertical rock formations on both sides. Bathroom acoustics are nothing next to the echoes down here.

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch is the longest arch in North America: about 93 m (~300 ft), basically a football field in length! Still, it is less than 2 m (~6 ft) in width at its narrowest point! There used to be a trail that went right under it, but a massive rockfall in the 1990s made the structure's integrity too precarious for safe up-close exploration.

Moab: Barbie and big-town tacos!

Since the temperature hit the mid 100s before noon, we decided to end our morning hiking session and go visit Moab again for food, 5G data, and entertainment. For lunch, we had a trip to a local Mexican place for burritos, quesadillas, and taco salads (yes, it's actually a salad in a massive taco shell). We then moved to a McDonald's (ha ha, get it, more arches 🤡) for a couple hours for the AC and the free soda refills.

Since Oppenheimer and Barbie both came out yesterday, we were hoping to do a Barbheimer session in the early afternoon. However, the Moab theater was only showing Barbie, so we had to settle for a single movie instead — unfortunately for Audrey, her nap time was only two hours!

International Dark Sky Parks

Both Arches and Dead Horse are rated as "international dark sky parks" due to their exceptional starry nights – thanks to the lack of the light pollution. We can see the Milky Way without any specialized gear (yeah, that smudge's actually there)! Sorry about the photo quality; these were taken with my iPhone and typically shaky hands. Still decently cool though, I hope :)


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