Utah's National Parks
The earth around us glows red. Although these warm tones have surrounded us for some time now, the environment always looks different in every new place. Round lines, bizarre sculptures and split rocks pile up in front of sharp snow-capped mountains in the distance in front of us.
More than 2000 natural stone arches can be admired here in Arches National Park, more than in any other place in the canary world. Erosion and weathering cause the arches to collapse at some point, but new arches are constantly being created. For example, the "Wall Arch" collapsed in 2008 only shortly after my first visit to the park.
We marvel at the scarlet Park Avenue, which is building up in front of us, wave to the salmon-coloured triplets "Three Gossips" and stop at the "Balanced Rock" in terracotta tone. A massive spherical stone balances gracefully on a pedestal. We ask ourselves how much longer...
We take the road to the "Windows Section" and stretch our feet. The "Double Arch" offers a particularly beautiful photo motif with its twin arches and also the stony windows are beautiful to look at. Only with the "Turret Arch" we have a hard time. It looks somehow handicapped...
At night we dedicate ourselves to the "Delicate Arch", probably the most famous stone arch in the world. After the hike there was more exhausting than expected, we arrive at the top in a sweaty sunset. Hidden behind a sandstone wall, we only see him at the last minute as he respectfully stands in front of us. He has dressed up. With the snow-covered La Sal Mountains in the background, he makes a particularly good business card today. Of course we are not the only ones here. Although 99% of the other visitors behave surprisingly decently - that means not standing in front of the Arch during sunset so you can take pictures and be quiet - only one person is needed who has to dance out of line to mess up the contemplative moment. Another ass ... uh sorry ... Arch-Tourist thinks he's got to go through the whole scenery at the best moment to find a "better" photo spot. I could puke. Fortunately he manages to disappear before the sun is at the bottom
The next day we will visit the Teufelsgarten. On a 12km long circular walk we visit again some accessible arches and work our way from the fragile "Landscape Arch" to the hidden "Double-O-Arch" and finally we are at the end of our strength at the "Private Arch". Then we have to go back to our car via a varied but exhausting primitive trail, which involves a lot of climbing, bending and jumping. There we arrive completely exhausted after 3 hours. Next time we definitely have to take one of our muesli bars with us!
Arches is definitely one of the national parks that we like the most so far. So we spend a third day here and explore the Fiery Furnace area with a backcountry permit (6 USD p.P.). In this 1km2 large natural labyrinth there are countless crevices, paths and dead ends to explore. A circular route through the area is signposted by small brown arrows, which you can follow to find your way out safely. Otherwise you can get lost here for several hours. The hike over stick and stone is a lot of fun and there is a lot to discover.
Only around the corner of Arches National Park, there are the Canyonlands. We have already seen a part of them while driving the White Rim Road. Now we turn another round in the Island in the Sky-District and look at the landscape from above. But this may not inspire us much more and so we are relatively fast out again and after a week in Moab ready for the next trip.
CAPITOL REEF NATIONALPARK
Nationalpark Nr. 3 in Utah: Capitol Reef. The main attraction here is a gigantic fold in the earth's crust which extends over a length of 160km. Mmh, what can I say?! Either I have already seen too many stones, am no longer interested or this piece of earth is actually not worthy of a national park. The "Waterpocket Fold" may in itself be a sensation for geologists, die-hard stone researchers or rock lovers ... millions of years old and so on! For me it is just a normal stone elevation. After stone bridges, stone arches, flat, folded and balanced stones, what I see here doesn't hit me from the stool anymore. At least with the Burr-Trail we find a remote stretch through the hinterland, which we like better.
BRYCE CANYON NATIONALPARK
We are totally fascinated how fast the landscape here in Utah changes in a comparatively small space. As soon as we arrive at Bryce Canyon National Park, we find ourselves in a completely different environment. This time it is characterized by filigree pink to partly violet Hoodoos, which pile up like battlements around the amphitheatre, which thanks to the setting sun we now perceive in much more intense red tones.
On time for sunrise the next morning we stand with camera and tripod at "Sunrise Point" - how could it be any different - and watch the day awaken. As soon as the sun is up we go on an extended hike, the so-called "Figure-8-Hike", on which we let the bizarre turrets affect us again from close range. We enjoy the peace and seclusion of the hike and come back exhausted but happy after more than two hours.
AND WHAT IS WITH ZION?
Well, Zion National Park would have been the last of the five national parks in Utah we would have liked to visit. Unfortunately we have a bad timing for this. In a few days it's Thanksgiving and many Americans took a whole week off. The park is bursting at the seams. Already shortly after the entrance gate we are standing in a metal column. When we finally make it to the Visitor Center, all efforts to find a parking place are superfluous. When we finally see the queue for the shuttle (you can only get to the sights in the park this way), our decision to leave the park as soon as possible is definitely made. Too bad! If we have to come again another time 😊