© 2015 MChandler Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-48

A Weekend in Moab

This past weekend I took a trip to a place I’ve never been, despite living in Utah nearly all my life: Moab.  After spending two days there, I am kicking myself for not going earlier.

Moab Night Skies Michael Chandler Photography-8I spent the weekend sleeping in a yurt in Dead Horse Point State Park, the state park that is the closest to the town.  I drove down with my girlfriend, her friend and her two friends.  We arrived after sunset, and the night sky was unreal.  It looked like someone put a dark tent up over the whole park and poked holes in it.  You could almost reach up and touch the stars.  I set up my tripod in the freezing night air and captured some images of the surreal sky.

Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-9 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-12 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-14The next day we grabbed breakfast burritos at Wake and Bake and made our way to Arches National Park.  Our first hike was The Devil’s Garden, which is home to seven arches.  We made our way to the Pine Tree, Tunnel and Landscape arches, but the combination of the cold weather and my inappropriate footwear and lack of conditioning stopped me short of seeing Double O arch up close.  The cold weather had also made some of the easier parts of the trail difficult, covering them in snow and ice and thick mud.  Everyone in our party ended up falling at some point on this hike.  We hopped in the car and made our way towards a place that you can only hike with a guide.

Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-25 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-26

The Fiery Furnace gets its name from the warm red-orange glow it has in the late afternoon.  It’s quite serene and cool in the sandstone walls and spires of the Furnace, but the numerous canyons make it extremely difficult to navigate.  The only way to get down and hike in it is too book a guided hike and get a permit, but you don’t have to do all of that to see its immense beauty.  We made our way to the most famous arch in the state after our stop at The Fiery Furnace.

Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-29 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-30 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-31The hike to Delicate Arch isn’t too long, it’s only about a mile and a half.  Almost at the beginning of the trail are some petroglyphs.  They were carved between 1650 and 1850, and are important to many of the local Native American tribes because they were carved by their ancestors.  After seeing the petroglyphs we made our way on one of the more difficult hikes in the park.  A large portion of the hike is slick rock, and due to the cold weather there was ice on some parts of the trail.  I wanted to quit, but my girlfriend pushed me on.

Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-37 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-40 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-43 Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-44I’m glad she did.  It was beautiful up there.  She says every photographer in the state should make this hike, and I agree with her.  It’s one of the most recognizable sites in the state, it’s on our license plates, and even if you make it up there you don’t have to take photos of Delicate Arch.  The surrounding formations and landscape are beautiful and worth the hike.

Arches National Park January 2015 Michael Chandler Photography-48

Moab has two national parks and one state park, and in my weekend I only saw a fraction of what one national park had to offer.  I plan on making more trips to see more of the parks and the town, but this weekend was a good introduction to what eastern Utah has to offer.

Want to see more?  Help me out and buy a print or two from this, and other trips, on my SmugMug page

 

 

 

 

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

*
*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: