This weekend, I had the opportunity to visit a national park that has been on my radar for about a decade: Arches National Park in Moab, Utah! And it was spectacular, to say the least. While I was a little concerned about the weather before departure (December can real cold, and snow is always a possibility), our off-season visit to Arches went off without a hitch. Blue skies, temperatures in the high thirties, and few crowds reminded me of why I love traveling during the winter.
I’ve heard horror stories about travelers attempting to visit Arches during the summer, particularly on July 4th and Labor Day Weekend. Hours spent driving haplessly around the park, waiting for a parking spot to open up. Hordes of tourists crowding every viewpoint, making a photo or moment to appreciate the natural beauty next to impossible. Such experiences often lead summertime travelers to conclude Arches is overrated, a claim I’ve read countless times in my web research and on Instagram.
We encountered no such problems. We never struggled to find a parking space, we didn’t get stuck behind an endless parade of tour buses and campers on the park’s main thoroughfare, and we had the opportunity to appreciate many of the park’s spectacular natural features in solitude. We essentially had the north and south windows to ourselves!
Kevin and I agreed we couldn’t find any advantage to visiting Arches during the summertime (aside from the fact families with school-age children have three free months to fill with activities, not to mention summer months contain more daylight hours). Even though the sun set just before five p.m. on Saturday, December 3, we were still able to enjoy a thorough overview of the park in a single early winter day. The photo I decided to photo this week is of one of the “Windows,” which I selected because while it’s not one of the more popular landmarks of the park, it was one of my favorites.
We returned to our Denver home late Sunday night, and in less than a week, we’ll be on our way to the East Coast! Our first stop? Our old home base, Washington D.C.