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Christmas In Arches 2018

Christmas Day | Tuesday, December 25, 2018

On Christmas morning Diane and I woke up early and drove over to Arches National Park so we could continue our annual tradition of hiking to Landscape Arch and making sure that it is still standing for another year! If you are interested in checking out our previous Christmas trips, you can find those here: [2017] [2016] [2015] [2014]. We arrived at the park just as the sun was coming up for the day so I stopped a few times to take photos as we drove to the trailhead in the Devils Garden.

Early morning sun rays peeking out from behind the La Sal Mountains as we entered the park.

Morning Sun Rays

The clouds were pretty nice this morning as we drove through the Courthouse Towers.

Morning Sky

It feels like I was just taking photos of the Three Gossips and Sheep Rock at sunrise recently…

Three Gossips & Sheep Rock

Just a quick stop at The Organ.

Driving Past The Organ

Beautiful light on the fins of the Fiery Furnace.

Christmas Morning Light

Skyline Arch was looking nice when we drove by, so I stopped for a quick photo.

Skyline Arch

We did eventually reach the Devils Garden Trailhead and started hiking to Landscape Arch.

Devils Garden Fin

There was not much snow on the trail to Landscape Arch this year, but there were a few slippery sections in the shadows we had to watch out for.

Landscape Arch Trail

Landscape Arch, Christmas 2018

Landscape Arch, Christmas 2018

Since there wasn’t much snow and ice on the ground this year, we decided to climb up to Partition Arch.

Partition Arch View

The other side of Partition Arch.

Partition Arch

Off in the distance it looked like there was fog or haze in Castle Valley. I like how you can just barely make out Castle Rock if you look really close.

Castle Valley Haze

After returning to the trailhead we started driving back to the Wolfe Ranch, but we made a stop to check out Swept Arch on the way.

Swept Arch

Then we explored these fins when we stopped to check out Roadside Arch.

Exploring Fins

Since we were hiking right by them, we visited the Ute petroglyphs near the old Wolfe Ranch.

Wolfe Ranch Petroglyphs

Lone Petroglyph

Next up we found Cobblestone Bridge which was more interesting than I was expecting. Although this bridge is not very tall, it’s very unique and was definitely worth checking out.

Cobblestone Bridge

Here’s a look at Cobblestone Bridge from above so you can get a better sense of its size and shape.

Above Cobblestone Bridge

After leaving the Delicate Arch Trailhead we made our way over to The Windows Section and hiked behind Double Arch into the Cove of Caves.

Double Arch

We climbed up to Cove arch for this nice view that frames Double Arch in the distance.

Cove Arch

Hiking back through the Cove of Caves to the trailhead.

Cove of Caves

A view of Elephant Arch from the trail to Double Arch.

Elephant Arch

At this point we decided to head into Moab and have our Christmas dinner at Denny’s before it started to get busy since it’s just about the only place in town that is open. We had considered returning to Arches for sunset, but the weather forecast wasn’t looking favorable so we decided to head home right after dinner instead.

There was a little nice light in the canyon as we drove alongside the Colorado River.

Colorado River Canyon

Driving back home along the Colorado River to end our Christmas trip to Arches National Park.

Headed Home

>> Christmas In Arches 2018 Photo Gallery

2 Comments

  1. Tom McCoppin
    Tom McCoppin December 31, 2018

    Randy….Thank you for posting these beautiful pictures! I hope you and yours enjoy a healthy and prosperous 2019. I look forward to your posts in the upcoming year! Tom McCoppin, McQueeney, Texas

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