One of my favorite things to do when I have friends come from out of town is to take them to places that make Utah amazing. I always start off by taking them to visit one of Utah’s 5 National Parks all within around 4 hours from Salt Lake. I love taking people to Arches because there is something magical about an arch especially Delicate Arch. The arch skyrockets over 80 feet in the air out of the ground. This hike is easy and almost anyone can and should do it.
The last time I visited Arches National Park I wanted to do something a bit different; we planned to hike to delicate arch by full moonlight so we could watch the sunrise. We decided it would be best to stay at Lazy Lizard Hostel instead of camp due to the cold fall weather. We woke up at 4:30 AM and drove to the trail head. We turned off the car and looked up. Within a few moments our eyes adjusted; the moon beamed bright leading us on our way.
The hike is only about 1.5 miles each way so we reached the arch with plenty of time to spare. We found a spot to sit down and looked up. Despite the full moon we could see an infinite number of stars. We sat quietly in amazement waiting for the sunrise. We didn’t really take into account where exactly the arch was in relation to how the sun would come up. We soon realized that the sun would not pass through the arch which made us a bit sad; however, the sunrise was still amazing as we could see for miles and miles as the sun poked through the light clouds.
Was it worth getting up at 4:30 AM? Absolutely! Having done the trail countless times in the day doing it at night provided a completely different take on something I had done over and over.
About Arches National Park:
In the middle of Utah is one of the most famous National Parks in the United States. Arches National Park brings hoards of visitors each year to witness magnificent arches. Delicate Arch may be the most famous arch in the world. The arch comes towers over 80 feet tall and provides spectacular views of the surrounding area.
The hike is considered easy and is about 1.5 miles each way. The first part of the trail is on a wide and well defined trail until you reach the base of a steep sandstone hill, from there make sure you follow the cairns (small pile of rocks) to help guide you on your way. Right before you get to Delicate Arch you pass Frame Arch on the right.
As you turn the corner on your final approach you will be able to see the arch. Take time to enjoy a snack or lunch and take a picture under the arch. Just make sure to be respectful of others and be quick so others can take pictures too.
Directions to Arches:
Arches National Park is about 5 miles outside of Moab (About 3.5 hours from Salt Lake City). Enter the park and then follow the signs about11.7 miles on the main road and make a right turn for about 1.2 miles to the trailhead parking lot. Just make sure to come early enough because during peak times the parking lot will be full and your hike will become a lot longer!
You can stay either inside the park at the campgrounds or find a motel in the city of Moab.