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Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Morning's Golden Light on Delicate Arch Moab UtahAlex, Theresa, and I started our hike to Delicate Arch at 4:10am and got to the Arch in 42 minutes with only head-lamps for light. There was only one other car in the parking lot when we arrived. We met the two guys that it belonged to on their way down.

The trail-head to Delicate Arch is right off the parking lot at Wolfe Ranch inside of Arches National Park. The elevation gain is about 500 ft up rough and steep terrain. Length of the hike is 3 miles round trip.  Most the trail you’re hiking on giant slabs of sandstone. The trail is marked by cairns, but some are widely spaced so, if not carefully looking for them you can miss one.Theresa and I missed one on our first hike up to Delicate Arch back in 2010  we ended up about quarter of mile off course and had to back-track to find the trail.

The last bit of the climb is along the side of sandstone fin. There are several steps and a path that was carved out of the stone that wind their way up to the Arch. This part of the path is fairly narrow and has no cable or guard rail- If you fall you could be toast.

Here’s an image Theresa took of us hiking down that part of the trail. That’s Alex, with me in the lead, and Theresa’s shadow on the sandstone wall. Thank you T for giving me a copy of this image! xx

Image by Theresa Johnson. Used with Permission

Image by © 2014 Theresa Johnson. Used with Permission

There was no one else up at the Arch when we got there, but it wasn’t too long before other hikers were coming up the trail, and by 6AM there was quite a crowd, and it was getting warm already. We stayed up through Golden Hour and when the light went flat we packed up and hiked down, starving and ready for breakfast then a nap.

More to come…

NIkon D700| AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8| Tripod

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3 Comments

  1. Beautiful image Deborah, it seems like a lot of hard work but the payoff is remarkable.

  2. That’s beautiful.

  3. Great photo. Respect to you, that you managed to get up so early, but looking at this photo, it was surely worth it. 🙂
    US national parks are also on our bucket list and we hope, that we will manage to make such photo someday.


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