Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Our foray into Arches came at the tail end of our trip – because that’s when I could get two nights in Devil’s Garden Campground, campsite # 52.
Why site 52, you may ask? Because Sunset Magazine was right – this was a beautiful location with a level of privacy not found in many other sites. To be honest, pretty much any site along the east (or left as you come down through the campground) that is not near a restroom would be spectacular. The restrooms are extremely well lit all night long which means if you like to stargaze -take my advice - and pick a site not next door to the facilities.

I planned the whole trip around the dates for this campground – they are not easy to obtain. It was the first couple days of October and the weather can be a bit unpredictable. I’m not just talking about some showers, no – I’m talking major electrical storms with gusty winds. That sky was rumbling - not the smartest time to take a short hike...

Anyway. Arches…
Any vision you might have from Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire will have to be left behind when visiting this national park during the regular tourist season . This is one busy park. Busloads of tourists block off most of the parking lots and if you are not at the trailhead to Delicate Arch by 8:30 - 9 am, there will be no parking to be had. It is not really all that relaxing to hike with hundreds of your best friends along the various trails.

Still, it is a beautiful landscape filled with movement and color. A once in a lifetime visit
because, honestly, this whole region is filled with incredible landscapes that have also lain bare the bones of red and white sandstone - without the crowds. While I applaud Utah’s tourist bureau for creating an amazing destination for the world – the park becomes a place in need of policing and regulation just to manage the human impact on the sites. Ah well, the park service does what it can to offer this region up to the wonder of us all.

Or, in the words of Edward Abby:

“No more cars in national parks. Let the people walk. Or ride horses, bicycles, mules, wild pigs--anything--but keep the automobiles and the motorcycles and all their motorized relatives out. We have agreed not to drive our automobiles into cathedrals, concert halls, art museums, legislative assemblies, private bedrooms and the other sanctums of our culture; we should treat our national parks with the same deference, for they, too, are holy places. An increasingly pagan and hedonistic people (thank God!), we are learning finally that the forests and mountains and desert canyons are holier than our churches. Therefore let us behave accordingly.”
Desert Solitaire

No comments:

Post a Comment