Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Let's Go ( our Adventures in Arches National Park part 1)

This past weekend we set off on a slightly longer adventure than our usual monthly getaways.  We headed to Arches National Park in Utah for 2 days of camping.
The drive was gorgeous with clouds and rich red mountains and boulders sprinkled with yellow wild flowers.
we even stopped the car to snap a few road side photos.
When I saw this wheat paste I told Husband to turn right back around, and he totally did! I'm not sure who this artist is but I'm in love with their work, which was all over the Navajo reservation.
This has been one of the first road trips with kids where I actually felt comfortable stopping, they weren't sleeping (which if you are a parent means not stopping, because as soon as you do they'll wake up screaming) and they didn't even care they didn't get to get out, they were really wonderful on this drive and I'm looking forward to many more adventures with them!
Once we got into Arches, we were greeted with Balanced Rock.
and promptly set up camp.
and set off exploring.
the sandstone boulders behind our site were perfect for sunsets.
and into the evening our fire was lively and full of warmth.  We were definitely exhausted from the drive, but looking forward to a full day for hiking.  And to keep this post reasonable in length I'll share the next two days in separate posts, so make sure to check back for those later this week.

As for the actual campsite, here's a quick review of the campsite {1 being worst, 10 being best}:
Location {and Distance}: 8
about 7.5 hours from Phoenix, Arizona, this is one of the further sites in my Let's Go series, however once in the park or if you're located nearby the park it's really not that rough of a drive and it's very beautiful in the fall when went there.  Because all the summer rains have revived the plants and everything looks lush and green.
Road: 10
The campsite if off a paved road so it's not difficult to get to at all. 
Secluded: 4
BI picked the end of the line of campsites, because I remember from Yellowstone being side by side with neighbors at our first site.  We prefer dispersed camping because you really can get away from it all and everyone else, while parks and forests tend to still cram you in at each site.
View: 7
From the boulders right behind our site we could practically see the whole park, there weren't any arches directly in view otherwise I would have bumped this to a 10, and since we could see the whole park, we could also see the parking lot which is less than impressive when trying to immerse ourselves in nature.
Bathrooms: 10
Flushing toilets and even a dish-washing sink.
Campsite Fixtures: 10
Loved the size of the site, it backed up to more open area for us to explore and included the classic fire pit, table and cleared space for a tent.
Trash, Water and Food: 10
Trash, water and food should always be stored in the trunk where bears and other wild animals can not see it or access it.  There was a dumpster on site for disposal of trash further into the park, not at the site which I like better because it doesn't attract wildlife to the stie.  Water facilities near bathroom.  and juniper "berries" all over the place, not so much food to eat but plenty of wild harvesting (if that was allowed) options nearby.
Animals: 6
From our observation deck we saw deer, lizards, crows, and ants.  The ants here were kind I don't think any of us got bit and they were all over the place, a much more docile variety than my back yard ants.
Pets: Yes
Pets were allowed on a leash at this site but NOT on the trails, so our housemates opted not to bring their usual sidekick.
Group Accommodation: 8
Groups of 8 were allowed in single sites but only two car per site.  my sister had to park her truck at the amphitheater nearby to avoid fees and fines.
Water {lakes, ponds, and oceans}: 1
This is the desert, no water features nearby, although we did spot some natural puddles in the canyon on our hike.
Well Drained: 10
Our campsite was flat but elevated in general and there were gutter and drains to wash the water off the site and nearby road.  It rained pretty good for a few minutes and all of our tents survived.
Firewood: 8
There was no nearby wood for collecting but there is firewood for purchase at the host site.
Management: National Parks Services
Campsites were well managed and very clean.
Reservations: 10
Make reservations at recreation.gov, must have a reservation between March 1 and October 31.
Cost and Permits: $25 a night for single site, discounts available for access pass holders.


No comments:

Post a Comment