My Best Pics from Dazzling Arches National Park

North Window, Arches National Park

Arches National Park dazzled me with incredible scenes of eroded rock, standing in spite of thousands of years of wind and water pressure. I was deeply impacted by the incredible sites, in many cases they just made my jaw drop.

Two Tourists Walk through Turret Arch

Some weeks, when I go write my weekly newsletter the words flow from my fingers. I turn the weekly insights into blogs when they have a larger impact. This topic challenged me a bit.

Sunset at Balanced Rock

Whether it was the blue hour, golden hour, night, or day, the beautiful arches and rock formations left me feeling a great sense of awe. They —  like some of the other most impressive sights in nature — brought a sense of humility and spirit. They survived, for now. Eventually, they will all fall to the ground.

Landscape Arch (in infrared)

Of course, I had to make a journey out to the iconic Delicate Arch. I hired a guide and went out there about 10:30 to photograph the Milky Way rise. We definitely got some fantastic amazing shots… And of course, yeah, seeing the Milky Way with your naked eye is always, Always an amazing sight.

Delicate Arch Illuminated by a Headlamp

The Spiritual Impact of Arches

Milky Way Over Balanced Rock

The above photos each have a person in them, and they are barely visible, towered over by the majestic rock formations. The metaphorical symbolism struck me, providing a perspective about my time on this planet. I considered the little day-to-day tribulations of life like the zoom calls, the conscious battles to exercise and eat well, or any other daily small decision facing all of us in life.

March of the Elephants

Visiting Arches National Park restored my spirit after a long year of COVID and inspired me. Instead of worrying about the inconsequential, I came to value my relationships and the moments of impact I can choose to participate in. Time on this earth is short in the grand scheme of things.

Desert Flower at Arches National Park

The moments I have with others can be valuable. Good memories of impactful moments are so precious. They are our own windows in time, so very brief compared to a rock formation, and yet they remain with us wherever we go. It’s really a choice to be mindful and present, to give rather than to take.

The Island in the Sky (Canyonlands)

Mesa Arch (Canyonlands)

Just 40 miles away from Arches is Canyonlands National Park. I did not expect to enjoy the Island in the Sky at Canyonlands National Park. Most of the hype surrounding the Moab Area revolved around Arches National Park and the canyons, while massive, are still significantly smaller than the Grand Canyon…

Sunset at Orange Cliffs

On the contrary, Canyonlands was filled with so much beauty and incredible vistas. The whole experience made me want to visit the park in its entirety.

The Grand View

Though I visited Moab, Utah to see Arches National Park, how I could leave without at least visiting nearby Canyonlands? On my last day, I drove 40 miles to the Island in the Sky, which is the most visited part of the park.

Another Take on Orange Cliffs

They call it an island because the Colorado and Green Rivers cut canyons on both sides of the National Park, creating a “peninsula” that lies thousands of feet above the river valleys. My thinking was to go see the below Mesa Arch (which is known for incredible sunrises) and then catch the sunset. As you can see, though I only spent an hour in the park I was rewarded with some of my best photos from the trip.

Some Favorite National Parks

Double Arch

I have been to a few National Parks over the years, but Arches and Canyonlands immediately became one of my favorites to photograph ranking right up there with Yosemite and Olympic National Parks. The trip inspired me in more ways than one: I want to see more sites, create more awesome images, and truly immerse myself in the wonders of this world. 

Another Take on the Milky Way

While the photos I captured show some of the great beauty there, I felt like I only grazed the surface. I plan on visiting Arches and Canyonlands again in the near future. There is more to see, and I want to see some of the same sites at different times when the light may be even more incredible.