Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Arches: Sand Dune Arch & Delicate Arch

More from Arches National Park on September 24...

Sandstone Fins

This narrow, uphill path leads between two sandstone fins on the way to Sand Dune Arch.

Sand Dune Arch (and me)

It's always hot at Arches National Park. On this day, it was relatively cool...about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. But the sun is very intense, and there's almost no shade. When we got to the parking lot for Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch, Doug and I split up. I went to Sand Dune Arch because it was closer. He followed the longer trail toward Broken Arch.
Because Sand Dune Arch is in a narrow space between two tall sandstone fins, it's like being in a cave...shady and much cooler. And the sand makes it seem like a beach. A young family was picnicking in there, letting their small children play in the sand. They were the only ones there when I entered. The young mother, seeing that I was alone, offered to take my picture.
At Sand Dune Arch, looking back toward the entrance, where Doug was approaching.

I'd been lugging my camera and a spare lens around all day. But, I decided to leave my wide-angle lens in the car and carried only my telephoto lens when I went to Sand Dune Arch. Well, since Sand Dune Arch is in a narrow place between sandstone fins, I couldn't get back far enough to get a decent shot, and I really didn't want to walk back to the car to get the other lens.
Fortunately, Doug was able to get this shot with the camcorder.

Broken Arch is not really broken. Its name comes from the fact that there is a large crack in the middle of its formation.

Broken Arch
Photo taken by Doug with the camcorder.

Skyline Arch

A view from the trail to the Delicate Arch overlook

Delicate Arch from Overlook

Delicate Arch from Overlook
This beautiful arch is much larger than you might think, as can be seen by how tiny the people look on the ridge and near the base of the arch.

Delicate Arch can be seen from below and photographed nicely if a long lens is available. There is a trail that leads to the base of the arch, but it's long and hot and can be slippery. It does provide great photo opportunities, though, with the LaSal Mountains visible through the arch. 
We took a shorter trail to an overlook that brought us closer to the arch but not to the base of it. Even that trail was difficult. It was an uphill climb on a hot day. I'm not sure I'd do that again. I think I could be satisfied with whatever shots I could get from below. A tripod and a long lens would surely be easier.

This wraps up my posts from Arches National Park. Next time, I'll share some photos from the Needles district of Canyonlands National Park.


  1. You certainly came away with some gorgeous photos of a beautiful place - thank you for sharing them with us!

  2. There's something about Sand Dune Arch (in the third image with you) that reminds me of the delicate neck of a duck while grazing. These are all such beautiful scenes and I love that Doug was able to get some images with his camcorder, saving you a trip back to the car for another lens.

  3. You can really feel the scope of this landscape in the photo with you. Those land formations are huge. I love their bright orange color. The Sand Dune Arch is also very interesting. Did some of the camcorder footage survive for web this time? :)

  4. Wow, each one of those arches has such a different look. The photos are very good, and the one of you and others really lend perspective to how awesomely huge they are. Love that a family picnicked there.
    I've enjoyed this series of photos and look forward to the Needles. Thank you. Linda.

  5. oh, i just noticed your header shot. that is just heavenly. i love a good snowy shot.

    really love the shot of you - that hat is perfect for keeping off the sun. amazing formations. ( :

  6. Hard to believe the area was a swamp a couple million years ago.

  7. have really enjoyed this area from your photos. they look so precarious, yet so HUGE in reality! :)

  8. Very nice, amazing size for these beauties

  9. Oh My… I know about hiking in HOT weather… It's rough! We do need to go back to the Arches in the off-season and spend more time there. Beautiful photos.

    I'm a little shaken. We had a near-miss-head-on car accident Yesterday afternoon when a car was coming straight toward us in OUR lane. We swerved and went into the ditch. Luckily, we are fine and no damage to the car --other than being dirty. BUT--we were just lucky that the ditch wasn't steep…. SCARY!


  10. You sound like me with the lenses - I never have the right one when I need it. Lately, I've been using my iphone for wide angle shots and it does a really good job. Anyway, beautiful shots of the rock formations. I love your photo and outfit while posing by Sand Dune Arch. Thank you for sharing your wonderful hiking adventures and travels. I enjoy it so much.

  11. More great pics. As always, thanks for sharing.

  12. Beautiful shots. I would love see these places,but the heat would likely be too much for me.I don't do heat well.

  13. I remember the sand around Sand Dune Arch very well. We also passed up the chance to hike to the base of Delicate Arch, but I wouldn't mind doing it if we got there during 'cooler' weather. You need to get a camera vest like we have so you can have your lenses with you.

  14. Oh My...I would never be able to walk the paths you are showing us so I appreciate your photo's even the more. Beautiful!

  15. Linda, such a lovely series of photos here....perfect and ready for framing!

  16. Beautiful pics Linda! Each one could be a wall mural! Love the beautiful colors of God's amazing creation!


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