Christmas Day | Wednesday, December 25, 2013
It’s been a tradition of mine to head down to Arches National Park around Christmas time each year so I can visit the park in the winter. This year I had no holiday plans, so I decided to visit on Christmas Day. I was originally planning on going by myself, but a few weeks before the trip I found out that my friend Yvonne was going to be in Moab over the same time, so we made plans to meet up and do some hiking together.
I stayed up a little too late on Christmas Eve, so I got a late start in the morning and didn’t make it to the park for sunrise this time. The sky was clear this morning so I don’t think I missed much.
As I drove in the park I made a quick stop at the Park Avenue Overlook for a few quick photos in the morning light.
I liked the light on the edges here.
Then I passed by the Three Gossips on my way to the Devils Garden trailhead where I planned to meet Yvonne.
After meeting up with Yvonne we took our first hike of the day to visit Landscape Arch.
On our way back to the trailhead we took a short detour to Pine Tree Arch.
We found this little Christmas tree with nice reflected light on the sandstone behind it.
Hiking back to the trailhead on the snow-packed trail.
After finishing our first short hike we made our way over to the Sand Dune Arch parking area so we could hike the Broken Arch loop trail.
Yvonne on our way to Broken Arch.
We climbed up through Broken Arch to complete the loop.
Before returning to our vehicles we visited Sand Dune Arch since we were nearby. I’m glad we did because it had some of the nicest reflected light on it that I’ve seen here.
Leaving Sand Dune Arch.
At this point we were both getting hungry. We drove into town for an early dinner so we could return in time to photograph the sunset. We had dinner at just about the only place open on Christmas Day in Moab: Denny’s.
On our way back into the park after dinner I made another quick stop at Park Avenue because I liked the shadows cast on the sandstone wall here.
Beautiful views as I drove through the park again.
The light was getting nice and there were some clouds in the sky, so we stopped at Balanced Rock for a few quick photos.
Turret Arch in the distance under the La Sal Mountains.
We continued on to photograph the Garden of Eden area next.
Yvonne getting her shot.
Both of our vehicles in the Garden of Eden parking area.
We were planning on photographing sunset at the Garden of Eden, but since the conditions were nice we wanted to visit The Windows section, too. We were planning on returning, but ended up sticking around The Windows until the sun was down.
On the trail to the North Window.
Yvonne found this cool tree that framed the arch.
Beautiful warm evening light on sandstone formations.
Our shadows next to the South Window.
Pink wispy clouds above the South Window.
Last light of the day on the La Sal Mountains.
Even though we had left our tripods in our vehicles, we stuck around to photograph the ‘glow’ on the sandstone during twilight.