After touring the area by car yesterday, we were ready for a hike! We got up before sunrise and drove out of Moab to the Devils Garden Trailhead in Arches National Park. This is the longest of the maintained trails in the park, and gets you close to quite a few natural arches (some say the highest concentration of significant natural arches in the world!).
We set out around 6 am (to avoid the afternoon summer heat) with lots of water and cameras (some attached to my head). The trail is pretty rugged, although still considered maintained. There's plenty of cairns (little piles of rocks) to guide you as you go over some pretty awesome terrain. If you're afraid of heights, like my wife, this trail probably isn't for you (except I tricked my wife to go on it…once anyway:)
The main trail has many side trails, spurs as they're called, to other arches not too far away - we checked out Private, Partition, and Dark Angel arches.
Double O Arch is kind of the big finale on this trail - once you find it you'll be looping back around and heading back (unless you decide to check out Dark Angel a bit farther).
The picture below illustrates why they call this trail difficult and why I mentioned the wifey-afraid-of-heights situation earlier...
Doesn't really look like a trail, does it? Just lean towards the wall and take your time!
You'll know you're getting close to the beginning of the trail again when you start to see large groups of people taking pictures. Some crazies even started the big loop that we just finished mid-day with minimal water…yikes. The most popular thing to do here is park and hike the shorter route to check out Landscape Arch (picture below). With temps over 100 we think we'll head back to the pool!
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