A Window into Arches National Park

North Window Arch-Arches National Park

My recent trip to Arches National Park was my first visit ever to this park and I really had no idea what to expect.  Of course I had seen many pictures from Arches and had a copy of the map of the park, but that doesn’t really tell you much.

We came into the park early and shot straight to Devil’s Garden Campground to try to grab a spot at the last minute, so we drove through almost the entire park without stopping for anything.  It was kinda crazy to drive through seeing these cool features in the distance and knowing there were things we wanted to go see but we had to wait.  It was like that feeling of having presents under the Christmas tree but not being able to open them…yet!

After securing our spot at camp we had about an hour or so before having to bail on our original camp outside the park.  So we had to decide what we wanted to see first, like picking out the first present.  I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid this was always the worst possible life altering decision, which present do I open first…this would set the tone for the entire experience.  My brother would inevitably open socks first, no matter how hard he tried not to.  I didn’t want my first stop at Arches to be “socks”.

Pressed for time, and a little concerned for my still-shaky mobility (dealing with a knee injury most of this year) we decided to stop at the Windows Section to explore a little bit.  For a first-impression stop in Arches National Park, the Windows area is a great choice.  Some of the most impressive and massive features in the park at the Windows.  Double Arch is in this area (insanely impressive) and North and South Window Arches are bigger than you expect when you see them in the distance.

Approaching North Window Arch the trail is worn, maintained and easy with a gentle slope and railroad tie steps where needed.  The arch looms ahead of you as you get closer and once you are there it is incredibly more massive than it appeared.  If you’re lucky enough to get the arch to yourself, you can stand in the void and look out to the east over the valley toward the La Sals.  There is a trail that continues through North Window and delivers you to South Window.  We opted not to take the trail but instead continued on to the south for a look at the nearby Turret Arch.

The Windows area was a great introduction to Arches National Park and I’m glad we made that our first stop.

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