Arches National Park in Utah

Located just outside of Moab in Utah is the stunningly beautiful Arches National Park. The geology of the park is quite amazing with many different multicolored bluffs, free standing rock formations, and of course natural arches. The name of Arches National Park is certainly well deserved as there are over 2,000 stone arches located within the park, but the other formations are equally impressive. Although it is possible to simply drive through the park and stop at the many pull-offs and parking areas to see some of the amazing sights, but if you get a chance to hike some of the many trails, it will give you an even better sense of the park.

Landscape Arch was One of Our Favorites
Almost Looks Like a Group of People
The Famous Delicate Arch
Rugged Scenery

The temperatures in the park can be quite extreme due to the very dry desert air. During our trip, the temperatures started out very moderate in the early mornings, but quickly soared to 100 degrees Fahrenheit as mid-day approached. Because of that, it is important to make sure that you have plenty of water with you when you decide to go hiking and it is also wise to have something with electrolytes to help replenish what your body loses during the day. There are several trails within the park, some of them easy, but many of them are considered moderate to hard, so be sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes if you plan on hiking. We found even the moderate trails to be strenuous at times with plenty of exposure to the sun and terrain that varied from the faces of boulders to deep sand.

Skyline Arch
Balance Rock
Getting a Sense of the Size at Windows
Amazing Rock Formations

Needless to say, the geology of Arches National Park steals the show. It varies throughout the park and each different location within the park offers unique and fascinating views. Seeing how nature has carved out the stone from the forces of wind and water into something so beautiful is an amazing experience. It is also important to understand that those forces continue today, although the changes occur slowly, over time the park will be different in the future than it is right now.

Another Balancing Rock
Looking Through Pine Tree Arch
Various Rock Formations
Broken Arch, Which Isn’t Actually Broken

Many of the more spectacular arches have been given names such as Delicate Arch (the one depicted on the Utah license plate), Broken Arch, Landscape Arch, Skyline Arch, Double Arch, and many more. Each of them are unique and spectacular in their own ways, so just because you’ve seen one arch doesn’t mean that you’ve seen them all. Many people prefer to visit the park at sunrise, but even more at sunset as the scenery can be even more amazing. We chose to get into the park early in the day and try to be done with our hiking by early afternoon when the temperatures started to get unbearable.

Sand Dune Arch
Towering Overhead
Yet Another Balancing Rock
Natural Beauty Throughout the Park

It is possible to see the park in a single day, but we took two days as we really wanted to make sure that we saw everything that Arches National Park had to offer. Utah has several wonderful parks that feature amazing scenery, such as Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands, but Arches National Park is certainly one of the most impressive. The type of beauty that is found in the park is something so special that photographs can never truly capture it completely, so we would highly recommend that you visit Arches National Park.

So Many Interesting Pinnacle Rocks
Weathered Rocks
Smooth Cliff Faces
Various States of Erosion


Red Rock Canyon Open Space

The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend so we took advantage of it to go on a short hike. This was our first time hiking the Red Rock Canyon Open Space, which is located between Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The scenery is very much like that of Garden of the Gods park and there are plenty of interesting rock formations to see as you stroll along the trails.

Walking One of the Trails
Beautiful Rock Formations
Diversity along the Trail
Not Just Red Rocks
Jutting Rocks

The trails are not particularly difficult and there are plenty of families and people with dogs, but the park is spread out enough that despite large crowds it is still a tranquil experience. As we walked along the trails, we came across a group of volunteers who were spending their Sunday repairing the trails and adding steps along a portion of one of the trails. We stopped to take their picture for them and took one of them ourselves and thanked them for their volunteerism and hard work.

Volunteers on the Trail
Rocky Trail
Beautiful Day
Rugged Scenery

It is hard to believe that we have lived in Colorado Springs for over twenty years and yet had not gone hiking on these trails before. We will definitely return on future occasions to explore more of the open land space and enjoy all of the natural beauty. We live in such a beautiful place and are lucky to be able to go hiking in just a few minutes and be surrounded by such natural wonders.

Start of the Trail
Pikes Peak in the Distance
It was a Wonderful Hike
Clear Blue Skies
Garden of the Gods in the Distance


Frozen Gullfoss Waterfall

In the past few weeks, we have met several friends who were about to head to Iceland or had just returned. This is a wonderful time of year to visit since it is before the majority of the crowds arrive, the ground is starting to thaw, and there is still a good opportunity to see the Northern Lights. We went during February of 2016 and it was definitely cold, so much so that the famous Gullfoss Waterfall was still mostly frozen and yet strangely beautiful. It is one of the major attractions on the Golden Circle, a route that takes you to many of the natural wonders the island nation has to offer. Although we weren’t fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights, we did enjoy every minute of our brief trip to Iceland. For this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, Winter – Water, we couldn’t help but think of standing before the falls, ice-cold water spray freezing on our faces, and looking in awe at the beauty of nature. We are sure it is spectacular during the summer months as well, but we will always treasure seeing it in the harshest of seasons, winter.

Making a Path Through the Ice
Grand View
Freezing as it Falls
Impressive Waterfall
Don’t Fall In
Fascinating to Watch
We Were Frozen Too