Our final hurrah at Arches National Park was a pre-sunset hike up to Delicate Arch.
And I do mean UP. See those tiny spots of color on that slickrock? Those are hikers ahead of us.
Cairns like this one are trail markers on the slickrock.
You’d like to think that once at the top of the rock, you would be there — at Delicate Arch. But you’re not. This is the view, looking back toward the trailhead.
We still have farther to go to reach our destination.
Every time we round a bend, there is hope that we are finally there…
We saw these guys up in a window.
SuperDad scrambled up to see what a great viewpoint they had staked out, and they were kind enough to share their spot for a few minutes.
on top of the hill
bravely standing on cliff’s edge
a Delicate Arch
SuperDad scrambled back down from the window and took my photo just before we rounded the final bend of the trail.
And then we were THERE. SnakeMaster and H-J had hiked more quickly and were sitting in the shade, playing a game of Ten Rock. I regret not getting a photo of them at that moment, but my mind was on this other photo op…
Here are my guys standing under Delicate Arch.
Had we wished to stay for another hour or so, we could have watched the sun set and the moon rise. It was to be a full-moon night and I’m sure it would be an incredibly beautiful sight. However, we had not been able to secure a camping spot in the park (there are a limited number of these) and since our nearest options were rather far away, we still had a long drive ahead of us. Plus, understandably, there are no restroom facilities at Delicate Arch (the pit toilets are at the trailhead parking lot). I imagine that could be a problem for anyone staying several hours in the cold, at least for me, but I suppose that depends on the person and individual situation.
Another view from the Delicate Arch viewpoint.
Bonus shot (as seen on our hike back down):
Somehow we missed this message while hiking up, probably because we were so focused on what we had come to see.