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Rattlesnake Canyon Arches

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

It’s been awhile since I’ve hiked to the arches in Rattlesnake Canyon and I have wanted to return again so that I could try and get some better photos of them. I figured that sunset would probably be the best time to go, and that I should have plenty of time to reach them after work before the sun went down. Last week I had originally planned on hiking to them after work on two separate occasions, but as I left work on those days the sky was completely overcast which wouldn’t have made for any good photos, so I cancelled the hike. Finally on Tuesday the conditions were looking good, so I grabbed a quick dinner and drove to the upper trailhead after work. I actually arrived in about an hour, which was quicker than I thought it would take. I got on my pack and started hiking into the canyon. There was no one else around and I would not see anyone else all evening…I had the place to myself. It’s great to be able to get to places like this not far from home to enjoy some solitude in the middle of the week.

Start of the trail.

Ratlesnake Arches Trailhead by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

View from the trailhead over the Grand Valley in the distance.

Above the Valley by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I made it to the end of the trail rather quickly which left me with plenty of time before sunset to take some photos. I went right to Rainbow Arch, also known as Cedar Tree Arch, at the end of the trail since I knew the light on that arch would be better earlier in the afternoon. Unfortunately, I was too late to catch it at the right time. I might have to return to this arch in the fall or winter for better light.

Cedar Tree Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Since I was at the end of the trail I turned around and hiked back past the other arches and took a few photos along the way, but I spent most of my time at Hole in the Bride and East Rim arches as the sun dipped low into the western sky.

Looking up though the small Overhang Arch.

Overhang Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

It sure would have been nice to have a few clouds in the sky, but the low-angle light on the arches was still pretty nice.

The unique double arch known as Hole in the Bridge, or just Bridge Arch.

Hole-in-the-Bridge by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

East Rim Arch is the largest along the trail…maybe that’s why it’s known by three separate names including Akiti Arch and Centennial Arch.

Akiti Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

East Rim Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Once the sun had dipped down below the horizon I started my hike back to the Jeep. I managed to reach the trailhead just before it was dark enough for me to get out my headlamp. I finished the drive out in the dark and was home around 10pm. It was a nice way to spend an evening after work.

The last light of the day strikes the top of the canyon as I hiked back out to my Jeep.

Last Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Rattlesnake Canyon Arches Photo Gallery

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