Back to Arches National Park

November 1, 2016

After our first encounter with Arches and our later return trip, we still hadn't had enough of Arches National Park . So on Tuesday morning, we drove back into the park.

As we drove into Arches we saw this extraordinary set of rays, making the La Sal Mountains look very mysterious.

The open desert landscape enhanced the beauty of the setting.

In the distance we saw a balance rock and were trying to decide whether it was the same balanced rock we saw yesterday.

We decided that it was not the same balanced rock because it was so widely separated from the other rock formations, and we remembered lots of formations close to the other one.

In the center of these formations is one of the most famous formations, known as "TheThree Gossips". The car and road at the bottom of the picture gives you a sense of the size of these gossips.

I liked being in open country where you could see the road stretching out before you.

Beautiful views before and aft.

Continuing on the open road.

Another view of the red and white banded formations that we saw yesterday.

The well-designed road gave us plenty of view opportunities.

Open desert, open sky.

Another pass by Balanced Rock, which was impressive even though side-lit at this time of the morning.

Brenda with red sandstone columns.

Brenda got an impressive shot of these formations with her phone.

An arch with a wide span that is close to the road.

The entrance trail to Sanddune Arch took us through narrow passages in the high red sandstone rocks. The whole area was covered with deep sand, so that it was like walking on a beach.

We had to work our way between the rocks inside the high rock walls.

I wanted to get a shot of Brenda with the distant formations outside that area, but the bright sun was rough on her eyes.

This is Sanddune Arch, which is totally hidden from outside view. You have to walk in through the narrow passageways. Brenda is talking to a guy who is taking photos. He said it was covered with snow the last time he photographed it.

The exit trail from Sanddune Arch gave us more views of the distant formations.

We are back on the road with a view of Skyline Arch ahead of us.

The views of the open desert and sky were a continuous delight.

Brenda with a closer view of Skyline Arch. There was an information display that told us that in 1940, a large boulder suddenly dropped out of this arch, roughly doubling the size of the opening. They included a before and after picture.

Brenda at the opening of the Skyline Arch trail. Behind her is open country with an inviting dirt road. In this northern part of the park there are trails and roads for offroad vehicles.

With these exhilirating views of the open desert, it was tempting to just sit for a while and enjoy the scenery.

But the long road stretched out before us and we were soon on the way again. We had been to the north end of the park road and were headed back south now.

The north part of the park road had some reasonably long stretches through the open desert. From a high ridge, it was fascinating to see the cars in the distance traveling across that desert region. This telephoto shot comes closer to giving the perspective that we were getting when we stood and watched the cars move.

The wide range of our view from this high ridge included the Salt Valley and the red formations on the far side of it that we had seen yesterday.

Brenda got a nice wide angle view of Salt Valley.

Windows Section, Arches National Park

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