Arches National Park is the first national park I ever visited, and it holds a very special place in my heart. It was our first adventure during the desert road trip my friends and I took in 2012. The campground there, Devil’s Garden, is the most incredible campground of all time. I was so excited to see it again with Graham.
Before setting off from our motel in the Big Rock Candy Mountains (true story), we fueled up with a delicious brunch.
Once we set off, we very quickly became aware that we were chasing a giant rainstorm across the state of Utah. Flash flood alerts started popping up on my phone. We got a bit ahead of the rain and stopped for gas. We stepped out of the car and found ourselves enveloped in a crazy strong wind and sand storm. It made the drive more exciting than usual, and thankfully we got to the park safe and sound.
Once we arrived at the park we went straight to Devil’s Garden campground to set up. It’s the most amazing campground I’ve ever camped in, and we were delighted to find that it was just as cool as I remembered. Most of the sites are set between giant, beautiful red rocks. It feels like a movie set.
The rain held off while we set up camp, and then made its way across the sky. It moved quickly and resulted in some amazing photos during and after, once the sun came back out.
Here is the sky divided in half between rain and sunshine:
I had hoped to do the same hike I did in 2012 to Delicate Arch to watch the sunset, but the road to the trailhead had washed out in the storm. But we got to wander around the park and take photos of double rainbows and big clear puddles that reflected the beautiful sunset.
The next morning we woke up to the campground entirely encased in fog and mist. I made a big mug of coffee, climbed up the rock behind our tent, and enjoyed a peaceful morning reading.
After a few hours the sun came back out and burned off the fog. We found ourselves in the middle of a gorgeously sunny day, and went for a short hike to Landscape Arch.
Colorado was calling our names, so we had to leave Arches behind after the hike. It’s always a bit strange to go back to a place you’ve been and loved so much before. There’s always a danger of it not living up to your memories. The rain entirely changed our experience, but we still had an excellent time. Arches remains one of my favorite national parks, and I highly recommend a visit there. Or two or three.