When Kurt suggested that we hike the Delicate Arch Trail, I truly didn’t realize the significance of this sandstone structure. However, as we entered the practically full parking lot, and gazed upon numerous visitors embarking on the 1.5 mile uphill trek, the anticipation of observing something pretty incredible took hold!
Since it was mid afternoon, and the sun was shining brightly in the desert sky, we donned our sunglasses and took an extra bottle of water. It was a good thing too, since stationed at the trail head was a park ranger, her main objective to insure that every hiker had water. I’ve been in numerous national parks, and that is the first and only time that has ever happened. That attention to safety is definitely appreciated!
It was an uphill climb, but the trail is plenty wide for breaks along the way. The wind began to pick up, spraying stinging grains of sand in our faces, but, as with most treks, the discomfort was soon forgotten as the Delicate Arch came into view!
Perched on a sandstone bowl, the Delicate Arch stands 60 feet tall and 45 feet wide, the largest freestanding arch in the park. One of the symbols of Utah, it is highlighted on the state’s license plate and on a postage stamp. Additionally, the Olympic Torch Relay passed through it in 2002 when the Winter Olympics were located in Salt Lake City!
I sat on the opposite side of the bowl, sharing a few kinds words and the scenery with some of my fellow hikers. Kurt traipsed near and around the structure, attempting to capture its magnificence.
I think he nailed it!