The “Red Rocks Wonderland” of Arches NP

After spending a few days in the vicinity of Monument Valley, we made our way towards Moab, UT.  It would be our home for the next 3-4 days, as we explored the “Red Rocks Wonderland” of Arches National Park.

On our way into Moab, we first got a chance to stop and photograph Wilson’s Arch … you know … to get our photography started.  🙂  Well, that and give Tom a chance to run around the arch landscape and provide us with some perspective as to the size of Wilson Arch, which is approximately 91 feet in width and 46 feet in height.

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Arches NP contains more than 2,000 natural stone arches, pinnacles, fins, and balanced rocks.  It’s also a landscape photographer’s dream … sunrise, early morning, early evening, and of course, late night … it really doesn’t matter, it’s always more than willing to please the viewer.  Upon arrival into the park boundaries, we immediately reached the iconic Balanced Rock landscape.

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It was amazing to see how it transformed as the evening prompted the disappearing light. Along with the loss of light, we were also met with a drop in temperature as well.

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Another area where we spent substantial time was at the Windows section … which provides views of the North Window and the South Window.

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Nearby the Windows, one can climb the sandstone stairs to nearby Turret Arch.  I found it to be quite beautiful in the daytime, but also beautiful in the evening.

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If you climbed up onto the North Window arch, and positioned yourself just right, you could frame Turret Arch through the North Window arch.  Pretty cool … thanks to Tom for testing out the waters of safety for us.  🙂

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On tap for photography in Arches, was the inclusion of some night photography, preferably with the Milky Way looming in the distant night skies.

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What we didn’t plan for was the rise of a substantial moon come around 1AM in the morning!  Once the moon made its appearance, the stars faded into the night’s sky.

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What fun we had photographing at night … between setting up the angle of the shots, coordinating everyone’s remotes and exposure needs, and executing the “props”, it was a blast!  I was even impressed that we didn’t get hurt running here and there in the darkness … LOL.

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Of course, there were opportunities for some wildlife shooting as well.  By this time, I was a bit “wildlife-deprived” and I believe that I was shooting just about everything that ran or flew by us.  Out came the long lens for some captures of this wonderful mountain bluebird … absolutely gorgeous.  There were also several ground squirrels running to and fro which were also fair game to my lens.

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Park Avenue was another area that I found quite interesting.  It seemed like a corridor of sandstone formations with an alley between them.  In this shot I like the way the hikers are included, which to me allows for perspective of the area.

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Double Arch is also quite the popular sight to photograph, though it was a bit of a challenge to shoot during the day.  It did make for some interesting composition for shooting the night’s sky, especially with the help of some props, thanks to Rodney!

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I have to admit that my internal time clock was a bit messed up.  It seemed that we were either coming in at 3 in the morning … or leaving to go out at 3 in the morning.  Most afternoons were spent trying to catch up on some much needed sleep … or at least rest.

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Moab is an outdoor adventurist’s playground … hiking galore and I believe that Tom was drooling being out there without his much adored mountain bike.  He made up for it though when he recently drove out to Oregon, by way of Moab, to make up for lost time and opportunity.  🙂

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Yes, we had a great time in Arches NP … yet, there was still much more to do.  We barely scratched the surface of the area.  Note to self … return with a few extra weeks to spend.  I have a feeling though … it never seems like enough time.

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Stay tuned for more from the Moab area … including the Potash Road drive.

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6 thoughts on “The “Red Rocks Wonderland” of Arches NP

  1. Looks like you had a great time! This brings back some great memories of my trip out there. I’m ready to go back now. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Loving your travel logs! What an inspiration to get out there and photograph, experience, photograph, experience….WOO HOO!!!

    • Thanks Jane! Been super busy and I just noticed your comment. You’re right too … there’s SO MUCH to see out there and even when you’ve been there once, it’s always different the next time. 🙂

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