We never made it to Moab, we headed straight into Arches National Park. We bought our annual National Park pass for $80, spent 2 minutes at the visitor’s center, and realized we needed to get going as we had a few precious hours we could attempt to do a big hike before the sun went down. We headed directly to the Delicate Arch hike. The map said it was a 3 mile total round trip hike for most abilities. Okay, totally doable. There was snow on the pathway immediately, which was a little bit concerning, but how bad could it be this hike was basically rated for most people. Well, we soon approached a very enormous red rock sandstone slab that was basically a mountain and it was mostly dry or glistening from melting snow and conditions were still okay, but I knew we only had about a 2 hour window to get out of there before the sun would go down. We hiked as quickly as a family of 5 with kids 11, 9, and 7 could go up the rock. It was all pretty awesome and there was a lot of beauty to appreciate, but it wasn’t warm and the sun was shining on us, but I knew better than to think that would be the case on our return trek. Most of the time, we were walking on dry sandstone, but when we turned the last bend, we discovered it was snow packed and people were falling and there was a 50 foot or so drop off if you fell off the path. We had come a long way and we were not equipped with proper gear which would have included crampons, but we continued anyway cause we knew we had almost reached our goal. When we got there, it was glorious DELICATE ARCH. It was amazing how close we were to it. This photo is when we were enjoying the trek on the huge rock.
The below photo was the reality of the return part on the descent back. I took a spill. Not only did I not have crampons, but I had very poor tread on my shoes. It was very scary. In fact, I was actually quite mad that the entire hike I didn’t see one park ranger and NO caution sign on the trail and amateur tourists everywhere. We made it back to the car and I was very happy to be safe and sound and I went hunting for any sign of caution by the park employees. I found this sign as big as a regular piece of paper. We made it out of there with very little daylight to go and completely in the shade for the return so we were successful. One hour later, we got a very late 7:00 p.m. lunch in Green River before crashing at the local Holiday Inn.