Last January, we were in Grand Junction, CO and we took the opportunity to visit Arches National Park. Henry was little, and I had a sprained ankle, so we took turns staying in the vehicle and mostly drove through the park. It also snowed in the afternoon, putting an end to any exploring.
Last week we had a meeting in Moab, UT so we visited Arches again. The day we arrived it hit 110 degrees, but a stormed moved through that night and cooled everything off nicely. Since we had some cloud cover and only 85 degrees the next day, we decided to attempt the Delicate Arch hike. It is 3 miles round trip, and marked as “difficult.” It is the only hike that lists a recommended amount of water per person. We added up our water bottles, and came up short…but we thought we would be okay since it wasn’t blazing hot. (Later we discovered we were missing a water bottle, but we still came out okay!)
There is no shade (or very, very, little) on the hike up. The trail is a switchback gravel path that leads into slickrock. I carried Henry in an Ergo. The hike up was strenuous, but the view was worth it! We had an apple snack at the top. Libs set hers down, and it rolled to the bottom of the canyon!
I was proud of my kids – we got a lot of comments from other hikers at the top, who didn’t think we would make it with the kids. We saw a few kids in backpacks, but no other three year old hikers! I was also proud of them for standing under the arch, even though it was a little scary. The teenagers in front of us were crying and shaking because their parents took them under the arch!
After the hike, the kids noticed that many Utah license plates have the Delicate Arch on them. They started counting, even though we told them that most license plates they would see would be Delicate Arch plates! They stopped somewhere around 62!