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First Day in Arches National Park

We went to Moab to explore the area and do some photography exploration over a week-long period. We arrived late on Sunday and left early on Friday which gave us 4 full days of hiking in this beautiful area. The weather cooperated most mornings and a few evenings for golden hour photography, but we got a variety of lighting from overcast, snowing, foggy, and full sun. In total, we hiked a little over 30 miles and over a mile in elevation on this trip. We came to the same conclusion that our favorite type of hiking is the type where we're alone or hiking with very few people so that we can enjoy nature to the fullest extent, as well as get a perfect photo with no one in it.

We arrive in Moab around 2PM after a 6 hour drive from our home. It was a long drive, but we were excited to get there and the drive went by pretty quickly. When we got to Moab, we went into Arches National Park to just wander around a little bit with nowhere in particular that we wanted to really go.

We first stopped at Balance rock, right off the road and pretty easy to walk around. The lighting was a little harsh but since you can walk around the entire thing, there's always a side that's lit up. We then ventured on to the North and South Windows as well at Turret Arch. This one was barely considered a hike since it was less than a mile and paved almost the entire way. There was always someone up close to or in the South window, which made it pretty hard to get a good photo. There were a few spots where I could get low enough to cover most of the people up with brush or the trail went off to the side that I could get almost no one in the photo, but for the most part, this area was packed. The South Window had fewer people on it. Maybe because you don't quite walk right up to it, so it was nice that we could at least get photos of one of the windows. Turret Arch was shooting directly into the sun and not very photogenic. Maybe we'll come back to this spot a little later in our trip to get Turret Arch in the early or mid morning.

Our final destination for an evening was Tower Arch. We have several hikes planned out in the early morning or late afternoon to try and get some good golden hour lighting. The first thing we had to do to get to this hike was to drive on a dirt road, which made us feel pretty secluded which was nice after coming from the packed Windows area. When we got to the parking lot, there were only 2 other cars there, and one group was on their way out. When we got to Tower Arch, there was a couple with their children running around screaming, but they left shortly after we got there and had the arch all to ourselves for the entire evening. The sunset wasn't all that great because there were too many clouds in the way, although I'm not sure that sunset was the right time to be there anyway because of the location of some prominent features directly to the West of Tower Arch that cast a shadow. Even though we weren't there at just the perfect time for the lighting, we still enjoyed being there alone in the quiet vastness that is Arches National Park.

Trailhead Location
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4.22 mi 2.4 hrs 5,270 ft 948 ft
View Graphs
Balance Rock
North Window
In the Window
South Window
North And South Windows
Sandy Hike
Tower Arch
Storm on the Horizon
From Behind the Arch
Marching Men
Klondike Bluffs
Klondike Bluffs and the Marching Men