Thursday, 1 November 2012

#5 Delicate Arch, Arches

#5 Delicate Arch, Arches

Distance - 3.2 Miles
Ascent - 146m

Delicate Arch is probably the most famous arch in the park.  It's used on the Utah number plates and is a must do hike apparently.  I say apparently as this was the second hike in the day and the sun was feeling very hot on my head.  A half hour break to refuel and to restock my water and we was off up the hill.  The walk is pretty basic, walk up that hill and you are there!.

The view down.
There was a short sharp couple of switchbacks before the big climb.  For once there was no switch backs, just a straight run up the slickrock face.  The route is pretty much all south facing, so again no shade on offer.  Take a hat and water is my expert advice!

At the top of the long slickrock section the path gets a bit more rustic through a plateau area of sand and scrub.  Despite the crowds this section was remarkably quiet and peaceful. 

The path then hits a man made ledge which skirts a big rock.  The drop isn't massive but it's enough not to want to get too close to the edge!  Walking round the rock and the area opens up to a natural amphitheatre to view the delicate arch.  It's here that the crowds return.

Delicate Arch

The Arch stands proudly and is photographed widely, though be careful about standing underneath as you will soon be shouted at by the photographing masses!  Plan your pose, then get in and out quick!

The crowds and the ledge.

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