Sunday, June 5, 2011

Arches National Park, Part I

Memorial Day weekend the whole family went to Utah for our first visit to Arches National Park. The weather Saturday morning was overcast and cool, which unfortunately doesn't lend itself to great pictures. But you can always make do with dead wood. :)

Taryn saw this little guy wedged between some rocks. He didn't seem too interested in moving, but later in the day once the sun came out and temperatures rose the lizards were running around like crazy.

Skyline Arch was the first feature we checked out. Even with the flat lighting, we were still awed by the landscape.

Next we stopped at Sand Dune Arch. All the park literature said it was prohibited to walk on "named" features, but there was no enforcement so there was comparably low compliance.

Fiery Furnace Viewpoint was the first place I set up my tripod, and I could definitely see the improvement in overall image crispness using it and a remote shutter release.

There wasn't a ton of vegetation, but what little there was -- like this blooming cactus -- added to the total color more now than probably any other time of year.

As luck would have it, the sun finally came out right when we started our hike to Delicate Arch -- three miles roundtrip with about 500 feet of elevation gain. Not exactly climbing a 14er, but when you're completely exposed the entire time the sun can take a bit of a toll.

Red rocks, green bushes and blue skies -- now a palette was starting to emerge.

The textures of the rock formations, dead trees and wispy clouds combined in interesting ways.

Zak took this shot at the culmination of our hike to Delicate Arch. I'm not sure anything this massive can actually be considered "delicate," but it certainly was striking.

Click here for Part II.
Click here for Part III.

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