Arches National Park (Utah) has many nice areas for hiking and photography. In this picture essay, we explore Double Arch. Nature carved many arches in the sandstone in this park, but this is one of the more interesting and fun ones to experience.

Late morning, on a clear day in May, gave great lighting for the colors in the rock to show up nicely in the photos.

 

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From the trailhead, we see the outer arch occulting or obscuring the rear arch in this view.

 

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A view of a nearby window in the rocks.  A clear blue sky helps to accentuate the colors in the rock.

 

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On the trail, with other park visitors from various countries barely visible at the bottom of the pic.

 

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Lucy catching some shade and some breath before starting the final assault on this rock formation.  Note: the elevation of this park is between 4 and 5 thousand feet above sea level – thus the sun can be intense and the air is rather thin.  (Use sun screen and carry drinking water on any moderate to long hikes.)

 

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Light and shadow help to make this an interesting shot.

 

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Looking straight up, one can see sky and rocks.

 

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Another angle of these rocks that tower over us.

 

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Looking at the window that the rear arch forms in the stone.

 

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Benefitting from the shade of one of the arches, another hiker takes our picture.  Note the texture of the rock behind us.

 

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Another view of the arch.

 

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Looking back towards the trailhead, we see this nearby rock monolith.

 

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Lucy sitting below the window.

 

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Another view.  The rock is more steep than it appears.

 

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Encouraged by others who scrambled up to the top to be in the window so to speak, she makes her attempt.

 

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The slick rock is just too steep for folks our age, and the attempt is abandoned. There is a nice interplay of light and shadow in this photo.

 

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From another point in the area, we see this view while looking up.

 

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As close as we got to the top, we look up once again.

 

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A short rest before beginning our descent to the parking area and the next excursion in the park.

 

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One older and heavier gentleman uttered an expletive when he had a problem with his footing near the top of this climb.  As well, I told my wife in more than one instance on this holiday that “I am getting too old for this sxxx.” (One of my knees is really a problem for me.)  But, it was fun, the weather was perfect, and the rock formations were and are beautiful.

A few words on the geology in the park.  We are told that different layers of sandstone were laid down at different times in the geologic past.  These are sedimentary rocks and this whole area was at the bottom of a shallow sea hundreds of millions of years ago.  The arches are formed from processes that have to do with the underlying salt being unstable or weak, and that over long periods of time the rock breaks down to form arches and sandstone fins throughout the park.  The difference between a natural bridge and an arch is that a bridge is formed by the effects of streams or rivers whereas the arches are not formed by running water.  There is more on the park’s geology at the Visitor Center (in the park) and online.

If we get some likes, we will post more images from our recent trip.

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