Arches National Park
Canyonlands National Park
Arches National Park
The highlight of Arches National Park is the short uphill hike to Delicate Arch
The longest hike in Arches NP is through Devil's Garden (8 miles). Not to be confused with Devil's Garden in Escalante or the nearby Devil's Kitchen.
The other extended hike in Arches is through the Fiery Furnace, which is by permit or tour only.
The roadside stop that caught my eye most was Balanced Rock
Canyonlands -- Needles District
A short backpacking trip or long dayhike can be done to Chesler Park. Permits need to be reserved in advance for a campground in this popular area
Utah Trails advice was spot on, "it would be a shame to visit without (1) spending a night in Chesler Park, (2) experiencing the Joint Trail, and (3) seeing Druid Arch."
A longer backpacking trip is required for the Salt Creek Canyon section of the park in the Needles District
The trail is a combination of overgrown sections and wide open meadows
Arriving at the first spring a few miles into the walk from the trailhead at Cathedral Butte
I did the upper Salt Creek canyon section which is forty miles return from Cathedral Butte to Angel Arch. It would be possible to do a one way hike of similar distance and exit to the north with a shuttle
The flowing streams and lush vegetation make this canyon a unique home for wildlife in the desert. The howling coyotes at night and multiple bear encounters made for a memorable trip. Hard sided bear canisters are required for this part of the park, although water is prevalent near each campsite so there is not too much weight to carry.
The area above SC4 is similar to Chesler Park
Angel Arch and Molar Rock
The nearest campground to the arch is SC4 which meant walking in the dark to see it at sunrise.. I gave myself 3 hours and got there in 2.5 hours. I had the help of a full moon, although this section of trail was difficult to follow at night
Kirk's cabin near the SC1 campsite
Late evening at the final campground in early October
Canyonlands -- Island in the Sky
My favorite walk in Canyonlands is the White Rim Trail. Although more commonly done with a jeep or mountain bike, the road can also be walked in 4-5 days
The slower pace allows for more time to explore and enjoy the scenery
Zone camping is allowed for walkers, no need to compete for the limited car/bike permits. They allow 60 walkers per day- after booking my reservation there were 59 spots remaining. Advanced reservations recommended though as water drops require the head rangers signature
Overview map of the walk
Elevation is level aside from the days where climbing up and down the canyon is required. A water cache was placed at the top of the mesa off the Murphy Point Trail. Weather is the main variable to how much distance can be covered per day. No drinkable water on the road
A possible side trip on the route to break up the road walk is the one mile walk to Mesa Arch
Sunrise near Airport Tower
Sunset near camp at Monument Basin
Beautiful sunrise at Monument Basin
Monument Basin Panorama
The clouds made the walking easier in the morning. I found myself hiking before sunrise and stopping in the early afternoon each day to get out of the sun
Sunset with Candlestick in the distance
The weather cooled from the storm which allowed the section around the Green River to be walked quickly. A 30 mile day followed by the climb out of the canyon in the morning
Road Canyon has several well preserved cliff dwellings, highlighted by Fallen Roof Ruin.
The neighbor down the street made his home out of sticks