Friday, May 27, 2011


Delicate Arch is truly iconic.  It appears on most of Utah license plates and, because it stands isolated from other rock formations, is terrific to view from almost any angle.  There are two basic ways to view the arch.   You can take a fairly rigorous hike to walk right up to the arch, or you can drive to a more remote viewing area and, following a brief hike, view it from a greater distance.  We did both.

The hike to Delicate Arch is about three miles roundtrip and includes an elevation gain of about 500 feet.  The last section of the hike involves walking along a somewhat exposed ledge for about 200 yards before turning a corner and coming on the arch from a distance of about 100 yards.  One's first view of the arch is breathtaking, especially after the long hike to get there. The snow-capped mountains in the background added to the majesty of the view. I must have take about 40 shots of the arch in all.

Although the main viewing area for Delicate Arch is about 100 yards from the arch, it is quite easy to walk from there right to the arch, and when we first got to the viewing area there were a number of people standing or sitting under or next to the arch.  They provided some perspective on the size of the arch, which is 45-50 feet high.

It was nice to be in a shot with the arch, but in some ways that created a misleading impression regarding the size of the arch.

Eventually, we went over to the arch and took some shots from a different perspective.

Ultimately, we were able to get some shots of the arch that had no people in them.  [This was after we were treated to a group of lacrosse players who, while standing next to the arch, chose to moon their photographer (photo not shown).]  One of the places to view Delicate Arch was actually another arch situated in the main viewing area.  We scrambled up to that arch and I got a nice shot of Bei relaxing while viewing Delicate Arch.

Following our hike back, all four of us visited the remote viewing area to get a different perspective on the arch.  Except for being much farther away, this provided some equally interesting views.

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