Skip to content

Moab with Conor and Will, Spring 2011, Day 4, Delicate Arch

May 30, 2011


On day four of our trip to Moab, Utah I walked out of the motel room (early in the morning to go find an americano to drink : ) and into a much different, and better, weather situation than the cloudy/rainy day before.  This was good.  I figured we had a six to seven hour trip to get us back to Fort Collins at a decent hour.  If we used our time wisely, we could fit in one more hike prior to hitting the highway back to FC.

Before I go any further in the trip’s description, here is my standard comment. Please check my photo galleries here for all the larger and higher quality photos for this trip. The photos in the gallery are a quantum leap in size and quality compared to the little teaser photos I put in this site’s trip narrative (and there are more of them). In addition, I have two other links that will help locate the area if you are interested in making the hike yourself. A Google Earth map can be found here. You will need to use the scale bar on the left side of the Google map to help zoom in or out to help locate the area based on where you live. (If you want to see all my trips, this link will direct you to a Google map that shows ALL my trips.) In order to help you with the actual area itself, you can use this link to view a road and trail map (care of the official Arches Nat Park website) where you can see the Delicate Arch trail. Please note that all links open a new browser window.


In addition to the Google map link above, please see a Microsoft Live map below. The red tack shows the general location of the trail from my home in Fort Collins, CO. You can click on the map to bring it up in a “live” mode and zoom in or out (and move the map around) to get more detail. Just make sure you don’t close the Microsoft "My Places" editor that pops up with map. If you close the editor (it is small and you can use/scroll/zoom the map without the editor getting too much in the way) without first saving the new location, the location button will disappear. If that happens, just close the map and click on it again on my web page.


Map picture


I got Conor and Will up in time to walk over to the Love Muffin cafe (where I had found my first cup of coffee for the day) for breakfast.  Great place.  Go there. 

Once done with breakfast we packed up and headed to the Arches National Park for what looked like a nice short hike.  Delicate Arch.  It was only a three mile (round trip) hike, so sounded perfect.

When we arrived I saw that this was NOT going to be a wilderness experience.  The very large parking area at the old Wolfe Ranch (trailhead for the hike to Delicate Arch) was already close to full and we could see lots of people on the trail.  I believe that this was approximately 10 am.  No matter, the day was pretty and the area was spectacular.

Conor checking out one of the old Wolfe Ranch "buildings".


Will was going to set the pace for this hike.  It was a moderately fast pace : )


When I said we could see people on the trail, I meant that literally.  As, the majority of the trail is all viewable from the beginning.  It heads straight up and over that rim of rock in the distance that the trail section below is pointed at.



Zoom.  Its hard to see in this photo (probably viewable on the larger photos found on my smugmug website), but there is a line of people going up that expanse of rock in the distance.


As we got closer it was easier to see the "trail".  There were lots of families, young children, old folks, thin people, thick people, etc.  It is probably one of the most, if not the most, popular hikes in the park.  Similar to the Bear Lake area in RMNP Colorado as far as popularity.


Conor in the distance.


Once the trail tops out, it takes you through some nicely different zones of the environment.  Conor walking through a section of sand in the distance.


Including views of the areas that look interesting, but where the trail does not go.  Hmmm. Maybe have to check that out some time.  A small arch (NOT Delicate Arch : ) can be seen in the far distance to the right in the photo below.


Zoom in on that small arch in the background.  More on that later.


The last part of the trail follows a nice ledge around the backside of the, ummm, mountain.  At one point there is a mini-arch (or, maybe they just call this a "hole"?) where you can get the first view of Delicate Arch.

Conor making his way up to to the hole.  They were insistent that I climb up also.


It was, I will freely admit, more imposing than what I originally was expecting.


Zoom a little.


Full view.


Will standing near the edge (of course : )


The last bit of the hike was along a neat narrow ledge.


And then you break out into the open.



Will and Conor decide to head over for a closer look.  I decided I liked the view just fine here and found a place to sit.


An unusual shot with no people.


Conor and Will at the arch.




Inside the arch.


Of course, Conor got some views of the arch that I couldn’t.  Photos by Conor.


You can see the reason for the name “delicate”. 


Conor.  Up close and personal.


Looking back towards dad.  Photo by Conor.


Remember that distant hole in the rock?  Well, here is another view at a different angle.


Zooming in, it actually appears that there may be "two" holes.


Anyway, Fort Collins was beckoning, so we headed back.  Photo by Conor.


Going back down was much easier and faster.  The parking lot is back up against that grayish slope in the distance.


Zoom on my sons.


Near the end of the trail, we looked at some petrographs.  Photo by Conor.


These remaining photos are all by Conor on the drive out of Arches.  Using the technique "holding camera out the window while dad drives".

Fiery Furnace in the distance.




We had an uneventful drive back to Fort Collins.  If I remember correctly, we got back in time to celebrate at the Rio.

Good times.  Great memories.

– Geoff Weatherford

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 7, 2011 2:20 am

    And now our tour is over… Time goes so fast.

    This post was really nice to see as Delicate Arch was the one that we did – also noticed the crowd. There was a group of kids (two busses) just leaving and we had to hurry a bit to leave them behind.

    I got problems with blipfoto on the first days, so couldn’t upload there my Arch-photo, but instead Grand Junction / National monument photo from Sunday went to Monday. Also in the beginning the days got mixed a bit… But first images of our trip are here:
    (click on the right side of each photo to go to next day).

    The previous Arch hike posting was interesting to see as that place we didn’t visit. On our way to Moad we checked out that easy to reach place with a lot of arches – the place with ‘north & south window’.

    We stayed in Moab for one night in the Red Stone Inn, that was a bit south from Pizza Hut (our dinner :-))

    • June 18, 2011 2:41 pm


      Really wonderful photos. The one of Grand Canyon is particularly spectacular (I’ have to have that one printed up and hanging on a wall so I could look at it all the time : ) And Morro Bay brought back a lot of memories as I have spent quite a bit of time there with my children.

      I like the way your site was set up. Very nice format for a long trip.

      Anyway, looks like you covered quite a bit of country and saw a LOT. Appreciate your post and the link.


      Geoff Weatherford

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: