Hiking Delicate Arch, Arches National Park
Delicate Arch, one of the most iconic images of the southwest. You may recognize it from the Utah license plates. We only had time (ok, energy) for one hike in the park, so we went with the most popular.
The trail’s popularity was immediately evident - though we arrived shortly before 8am to start our hike, the trailhead and trail itself was already far too crowded for my taste. Most of the trail is fairly easy, but about half a mile in you'll find yourself going up a rock face that definitely takes some endurance. Take your time, bring plenty of water, and know your limits - I more or less went straight up on the ascent, but with my tricky knee I took a lot longer and ad-libbed some switchbacks on the way back down. You should also note that there is barely any shade, so stopping for rests can be a challenge. This was also the only hike of our six day trip that left me sunburned - thanks to little shade and bright desert sun reflecting off the rock and sand trail.
One other thing to be aware of - don’t skimp on the two historic landmarks near the trailhead (or in the case of the petroglyphs, just a short loop off the trail). The Wolfe Cabin and the Ute Petroglyphs are gorgeous and historically enlightening additions to the hike.
Though Wolfe originally built his cabin in 1888 for himself and his son, he rebuilt the cabin and added a root cellar in 1906 when his daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren moved out and didn't quite find the original cabin to be up to snuff. His daughter demanded wood floors, which sounds pretty uppity - but considering they were a family of six living in a cabin approximately the size of my Ford Escape in the middle of the dang desert, it probably wasn’t that unfair 😉