Parade of Elephants

Parade of Elephants

Less than two hours from Hanksville, UT is Arches National Park near Moab, UT.  A very interesting park, filled with natural arches and unusual rock formations, like the “Parade of Elephants” above.  I drove by this formation half a dozen times, even saw the sign for it, but never really “got it” until I was hiking up to see the Double Arch.  I said to myself, “Geez, that looks like one elephant behind the other”, took this picture and continued on my way to the Double Arch.  Then the light bulb went on.  On yeah, the sign: “Parade of Elephants”.   Duh.

Double Arch

Its hard to appreciate the scale of these rock formations so I always tried to have a person in the pictures I took.  Note the hikers in the lower right.  This shot was taken a half-mile from the formation.

Double Arch Closeup

This was one of my favorite arches so I returned early the next morning to get some dramatic shadows in the composition.  Mission accomplished, but there was no one around to include in the shot.  Believe me, its BIG.


Cycling is very popular in all of the National Parks I visited on this trip, but cyclists seemed to outnumber cars at Arches NP.  They’re everywhere, and just as many women as men.  I used the cyclists (far right) to provide the scale for this shot, showing typical landscape in the park.

North and South Window

The Windows may be the most visited arches in the Park, easily accessible from the parking lot.  I’m not wild about this shot, taken at midday with lousy light and boring sky.

North Window

The North Window gets much more attention than the South Window; the path leads right up to the face of the arch and the climb into the arch is easy.  Additionally, the land is fairly flat on both sides of the arch; so many of the arches have sheer drop-offs on one side or the other.

North Window – sunrise

I returned the following morning to this area too; the sunrise itself wasn’t that great, too many clouds, but the colors coming through the arch was worth it.

Turret Arch – sunrise

As you face the North and South Window, directly behind you is the Turret Arch.  When the sun first hits the top of the arch, the red rock has a golden glow.

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch is the largest arch in the Park, but a 1.1 mile hike from the parking lot deters some folks.  Plus, the setting of the this arch isn’t all that dramatic, and it’s a steep climb up to its face.  With my wide-angle lens, I found myself all alone near the face.  The arch is 434′ long and 87′ high.  At mid-span the rock is 15.5′ wide and 16′ thick.

I really like this park; I’d go back again in a heartbeat.

Thought for the Day:  Eat a live toad in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.    Anonymous

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