Utah – Arches National Park
Aptly named, Arches National Park has an array of surprising and stunning natural formations to view. As you leave Delicate Arch after sunrise, head to the other incredible Arches in Arches National Park when the crowds are focused on heading straight for Delicate Arch. We were unable to see all of the other Arches, which leaves an opportunity for discovery during our next visit! Below is a list of my personal favorite arches in order (besides Delicate Arch, which is likely my number one!) and other formations in Arches National Park.
Located near the Windows and Turret Arches, Double Arch is ENORMOUS! When we visited, it was also very uncrowded, which always makes me view an experience favorably. The size of these arches are truly a marvel and make me feel tiny in comparison. I love feeling tiny! Plus with two arches, you get double the bang for your buck.
Near the entrance, you will see Park Avenue from two different angles as you come and go. With giant thin walls on either side, you can stroll the entire length inside Park Avenue. The tall walls give the same sense as being surrounded by skyscrapers, but also in the middle of nowhere. It felt like somewhere that Road Runner would run in order to get away from Wiley Coyote. Cue the giant anvil falling from the sky.
SAND DUNE ARCH
Quite a bit trickier to photograph, Sand Dune Arch is located inside giant rock formation. To reach the arch, you will have to squeeze through a narrow, single-file area that opens up to a sandy interior. After a bit more walking, you will see the arch above a sand pile. I loved this arch because of the formations you have to walk through as well as the sandbox-like fun to be had under the arch.
Due to construction, we were unable to go to the proper viewpoint turnoff. Instead, we found a safe spot to pull over a little down the road. It was just about sunset and the Fiery Furnace was illuminated by a vibrant red color, just as its name hints toward. We were also unable to go on the required tour with a Park Ranger to enter the Fiery Furnace, but even just seeing it at a distance was phenomenal.
I think the main fun of Balancing Rock is seeing it on the horizon as you are driving toward Delicate Arch before sunrise. It sticks out as a singular tower and bulbous rock at the top. With the winds we felt, it was a marvel how the rock does not come crashing down. Circle the balancing rock and find your center or maybe do some balancing of your own.
THE WINDOWS + TURRET ARCH
Near Double Arch, you can make a small loop to visit North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. All of them offer unique views into the areas surrounding these arches. I like these arches well enough as a little loop. These arches were fun to climb around and also quite huge. We were losing energy, the tour buses were beginning to park on the Windows loop, and the day was heating up by the time we reached these arches. The arches are great, but a bit busy for my taste.
Not pictured: Landscape Arch, Navajo Arch, Double-O, Skyline Arch, and others. Arch-fatigue is a real thing, so we picked which arches we were most excited about and decided to explore the other areas of Utah such as Monument Valley, Canyonlands, and little wine tasting. This site and this site can help you determine what you want to see. I desperately want to go back to explore the Devil’s Garden and Fiery Furnace (must go on tour with park ranger).
Have you been to Arches National Park? What was your favorite arch or area?