I was planning to go from Salt Lake City straight to Denver, but a couple of days before I left, I reconsidered. “I can go anywhere I want,” I thought. Why not take advantage of my current location and go somewhere new? I mean, I was in Utah! A state filled with endless natural marvels. I immediately thought of Arches National Park.
I logged onto Couchsurfing to see if I could find a place to stay last minute. The next morning, a woman messaged me to say I was welcome to stay with her for two nights. So I went to Moab.
I left Salt Lake City alone on a Saturday morning. The drive to Moab was quick and easy. I arrived at my host’s home, a straw-bale house in a pedestrian-only neighborhood. Moab is a quiet little town in the winter. It’s filled with endless outdoor activities, but I really only had one thing on my mind: Arches.
Arches National Park, along with the rest of Southern Utah, had become a beacon of bliss. I blame Edward Abbey–his writing sold me on the beauty of the desolate landscapes of red rocks and deserts.
I spent an entire day at Arches National Park. I woke up early in the morning and couldn’t wait to go. I stopped at every landmark on the map, and I got out of the car as often as possible. It was foggy and gray that morning, so everything was subdued, but it was still magical.
I made my way to the Devil’s Garden by car, and stopped there for my first hike. The air was chilly and there weren’t many people around yet. I spent some time walking the trail and admiring the natural arches. After leaving the Devil’s Garden, I did a few smaller trails around the park.
By afternoon, the clouds had dispersed and the sun was shining brightly. Crowds of people started to arrive, filling up the shorter trails and overlook areas. I made my way back to the front of the park, towards the entrance. I’m glad I arrived early and was able to spend a couple of hours in the park mostly alone.
Arches National Park was such a cool place to explore. I’m dying to return to see more of the arches and do some more hiking. In my dreams, I’ll head out on a roadtrip around all of Utah, seeing the “Mighty 5” and everything else there is to see in that incredible state.
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