Press "Enter" to skip to content

Christmas in Arches 2020

Christmas Day | Friday, December 25, 2020

Since Christmas Day fell on a Friday this year, I had booked a hotel room in Moab so we could spend the entire weekend in the area. Of course, this was before COVID struck and changed everything. We had considered cancelling these reservations and figuring something else to do this weekend, but in the end we decided to carry on with our plans. Early on Friday morning Diane and I left home and headed straight for Arches National Park, like we do every year. We drove all the way through the park and made it to the Devils Garden Trailhead shortly after sunrise so we could hike to Landscape Arch to make sure that it is still standing after another year. It’s our Christmas tradition!

I always seem to take a photo of this prominent fin when we arrive at the Devils Garden Trailhead, so I might as well keep up the tradition.

Devils Garden Fin

There was no snow or ice on the trail this year as we started our hike down the Devils Garden Trail .

Devils Garden Trail

Well, it looks like Landscape Arch is still standing after another long year!

Landscape Arch, Christmas 2020

Devils Garden Fins

Devils Garden Fins

Tall Pointy Fin

After leaving Devils Garden we headed out into the backcountry in search of another petroglyph panel. I swear, just when I start to think that I know where all the rock art in Arches is, I always seem to find something new to look for.

We spent a lot of time looking in the wrong location at first, but once I figured out the error we found the petroglyphs pretty quickly.

Upper Left Petroglyphs

There were some really unusual and interesting petroglyphs found here, but they were pretty hard to see and photograph.

Designer Sheep

Prints Petroglyphs

Crack Designs

I usually use a polarizer when taking photos of petroglyphs in direct sunlight to remove glare and make them easier to see in photos, but I think these might actually be easier to see without the use of the polarizer. What do you think?

Unpolarized Petroglyphs

After having lunch in the Jeep we headed out across a sea of slickrock to visit Dictionary Arch.

Dictionary Arch

Since Dictionary Arch is located near the rim of Courthouse Wash we hiked along the rim of the canyon for a little while.

Courthouse Wash

A view of the La Sal Mountains from the rim of Courthouse Wash.

Courthouse Rim View

After walking along the rim for a while we headed over to this dark narrow wall that reminded me of the Chocolate Drops in The Maze.

Chocolate Bars

I walked all the way around the formation for a good look at all sides.

Tower Sunstar

When we returned to my Jeep we drove over to the Garden of Eden viewpoint and waited for sunset. The moon was coming up over the sandstone fins when we arrived and was just above the opening of Serpentine Arch.

Garden of Eden Moon

It doesn’t appear that there is much snow on Mount Mellenthin which towers over Turret Arch shortly before sunset.

Turret Arch

We made one last stop at Panorama Point for a view of the Fiery Furnace before we started to leave the park and head into town for the night.

Fiery Furnace

Sandstone Spires at Sunset

Sandstone Spires Sunset

Balanced Rock seemed to be on fire as we drove by, so I had to stop for one more quick photo.

Balanced Rock at Sunset

>> Christmas in Arches 2020 Photo Gallery

One Comment

  1. kyotesue
    kyotesue December 31, 2020

    Amazing color, amazing day. Beautiful way to spend Christmas, for sure. Red and blue instead of red and green. As always, I enjoy slipping into red rock country remotely via your photos.

Leave a Reply