Arches, Canyons, and Windows: A Day Crossing Utah

Over the last three days we’ve seen sun, rain, snow, and hail. We’ve driven through mountains, fields, cities, and deserts. On day three we went from Salt Lake City, Utah to Cortez, Colorado. As we drove the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City gave way to red rock canyons and soon we were on our way towards Arches National Park.

On our way to Arches we stopped in Helper, Utah for some gas and to visit an antiques store. My mom found what she wanted, a license plate from Utah, and the man who was at the cash register gave me a old coke bottle that said Salt Lake City on the bottom. After the quick pit stop we were back on our way.

About an hour later the scenery had morphed into beautiful red cliffs and soon we were approaching Arches National Park. Driving up to the massive red wall is intimidating. We were driving narrow roads, climbing and climbing, watching the red ground go on for miles. At the top of the mountain you can pull off and go for hikes though the park. Unfortunately  we didn’t have time for this but we did stop at Park Avenue to walk down the stairs for a look inside a canyon. The tall rocks towered over us. The name fit well. It was the same feeling as in New York. The tall buildings, or rocks, seeming to touch the sky.

After heading up the stairs we made a few other stops at Balanced Rock and on to North and South Window. The loop at North and South Window is worth the drive. You drive by formations that seem to take different shapes each time you look at them. George walked down the path to North and South Window while I stayed and looked around the other side. The park was closing and it was getting dark pretty quickly so we headed back out of the park and on to Moab.

In Moab we grabbed dinner and continued our drive. With the threat of night looming we wanted to get into Colorado before it was too dark. Driving into Colorado was a stark change from the hilly red rocks. It was green, lush, and flat. As we drove the sun set behind us creating spectacular visuals. We headed into our hotel ready to go to bed and prepare to see Four Corners and Glen Canyon Dam.



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