Getting to Delicate Arch

So on our recent trip to Arches National Park, I definitely wanted to revisit Delicate Arch. Sure, it’s a “marquis” attraction, so you generally have to deal with crowds. Oh, and you’ve got to take a long, dry hike to get to the arch from the trailhead parking lot.

But it’d been 10 years since I’d seen it, and now that I have some decent camera gear I thought I ought to do it justice, photographically. Oh, and I’d heard it’s particularly photogenic at sunset — so after the obligatory 90 minute hike, I did get this nice shot:

Delicate Arch at sundown

When I previously hiked out to see Delicate Arch, we made the mistake of going in the middle of the day, and compounded our mistake by not taking water. This time I discovered the hike’s much more pleasant in the late afternoon, and having a quart or two of water per person is a great idea.

Here’s a shot of part of the trail, taken fairly early (i.e., near the trailhead) — if you look closely at the big slab of rock (on the left side of the image, about mid-way up), you’ll see some little dots that are hikers:

2010-09-04 2010.09.04 Delicate Arch 11

Of course, I wasn’t alone when I got to the arch — I had a few “neighbors:”

Delicate Arch: your new friends

So you need to be patient to get the shot you want — lots of folks want to pose for pictures standing under the arch. Even then, you might need to use a little Photoshop magic to remove stray people from the shot you like best. Oh, and since you’re taking sunset shots, you’ll want a flashlight or head lamp if you linger very long after the Sun’s gone.

But of course, you already knew that, right?