Late last month we spent a weekend in Moab visiting Arches National Park. We thought if we went the weekend before Memorial Day we might miss some of the craziness, but we quickly realized that place is probably crazy busy every weekend from April through September. It’s like the world of Mad Max, everyone has little dirt buggy cars they drive on dirt trails and city streets alike. There’s outdoor recreation for people of all sports and the town of Moab has little adventure shops lining Main Street. We drove down on Friday and arrived mid-day. All the camping spots we planned on before leaving were full and embarrassingly enough the trip was pretty spontaneous so we didn’t make any reservations. It was almost a dire scene but we finally found what felt like the very last camping spot in all of Moab (in fact as we were paying for the spot another desperate couple drove up asking if there was anything left and they were told by the campsite owner we took the last tent lot). It was a patch of grass between somebody’s camper and another somebody’s truck. But at least it was the edge of the campground and we were up on a small bluff looking back towards Moab and the Arches entrance.
The park was beautiful and surprisingly accessible. It doesn’t take long to travel the length of the main road from north to south, and the scenery along the way is stunning. After setting up camp we loaded on the sun screen and headed to the northern end of Arches to Devils Garden. We hiked out to Landscape Arch, then headed back down to the Wolfe Ranch area and hiked up to the Delicate Arch. It was beautiful and cloudy so the sun wasn’t too hot. Of course the trail to the most popular sight in the park was full of visitors, but the view was totally worth it. No one ever mentions the view from the arch looking out, and the little stone cirque around the area creates a natural amphitheater for observing Delicate Arch. It’s all quite stunning. Sunset from our campsite wasn’t too bad either.