Trip to Arches and Canyonlands National Park

Travel wears out the body, but the soul is always replenished with the new sights and sound. Before the temperatures dropped further down, a quick decision was made for a trip to Utah – Arches National Park and its neighboring Canyonlands National Park.

I was looking forward to the meal as the place is famed for Navajo fry bread and Native Indian cuisine. While planning the route we completely forgot to take into account that time zone difference between Arizona and Utah. As a result the place in Kayenta for closed by the time we arrived for dinner.

Point to remember on future trips is to take into account the time zone differences.

The husband had done a bit of homework and zeroed on an Airbnb in La Sal. The farm served as a animal sanctuary for horses, cats and dogs. Growing up in a city has its perks but nothing prepares you for the sight of open roads, golden hued grass, pale blue skies and a silhouette of mountain in the horizon. The first sight left us absolutely bewildered. I lost count how many times I shook my head and expressed incredulity at how magnificent the whole scene looked.

La Sal

La Sal

La Sal to Moab

Arches National Park is renowned for the arches carved on sandstone structures over million of years by air and water. After a cursory stop at the visitor center we quickly made our way to its most famous spot, the Delicate Arch. Although the trail was marked as a moderate hike, it was fairly easy for amateur hikers like us.

Arches National Park

Delicate Arch

But we did take about 1.5 hours to reach the end of the trail. We got blown away. Literally.

The powerful wind had all of us crouching down on our hands and knees as standing up without a proper footing was just dangerous. I took off my cap as it kept threatening to fly off. Turns out I wasn’t the only one petrified by the force, there were a few toddlers and a couple of babies who were bawling their hearts out terrorized by strong cold air. It was heartwarming to see that the parents smiling and patiently dealing with the meltdown.

The hike down was relatively easy but the sights of this hike would stay with us for a long time.

Arches National Park

As per the plan, we made our way to the Canyonlands National Park for the second half of the day. This national park is divided into four districts and has two entry points – the Needles and the Isle of the Sky. The former entry point is closer the Arches National Park and is located about 20-40 minutes away.

Mesa Arch, Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park

The following day we set out for home driving on UT-46 via US-191. On the way after crossing the Colorado river, the iconic view of Monument Valley greeted us. The sight of mammoth rocks standing upright making a silhouette against the afternoon sun was something out of an old Hollywood western.

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