Arches and Canyonlands

Feb. 18 -- 21, 2005

[Arches Gallery] [Canyonlands Gallery] [Back to Photo Page]

The Colorado Plateau in the southwest (Utah, Arizona), home of more than 20 national parks and monuments, is a beautiful sculptured wilderness with brilliant colors. Each national park lies on the Plateau is unique and precious. Arches National Parks, in the northeastern quarter of the Plateau, encompasses a unique concentration of spectacular landforms. More than 2000 arches spanned in the park, ranging from small windows to one of the longest in the world, Landscape Arch, which measures 306 feet. Canyonlands National Park preserves a wilderness of rock at the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Water and gravity have been the prime architects of this land, cutting layers of rocks into hundreds of canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. Surrounding the Green and Colorado rivers are vast and three very different regions: Island in the Sky (north), the Maze (west), and the Needles (east).

Getting there ...

This is my first real "photographic" trip in years. My families are still in Taiwan for Chinese New Year, and my friends Fred and Wendy asked me if I'd like to come along to this wonderland to take pictures. Without family duties, it was a very different experience for me this time (no portraits!). We had an early flight (6:20AM) to Salt Lake City, and Fred came to pick me up at 4:30AM! It's about 4-hour drive from SLC to Arches, and it was before 3PM when we got to Moab, where we were going to stay for 3 nights. Moab is a very well developed town for tourists: numerous hotels and restaurants ranging from fine cuisine to all kinds of fast food.





The Second Day (Arches) ...






Broken Arch Landscape Arch Sand Dune Arch Devils Garden

Sand Dune Arch is accessible via a short walk just from the roadside. The trail leads through deep sand to a secluded arch among sandstone fins. The sun has peeked through cloud quietly and the arch was bathed in warming red light bounced from the canyon.




The Third Day (Canyonlands) ...





Green River Overlook Buck Canyon Overlook







The Last Day,





From the park newspapers, they have compiled a feature list for photographers to decide where to go at the right time.

Early morning Late afternoon
Moab Fault Park Ave
The Three Gossips Courthouse Towers
Sheep Rock Petrified Dunes
The Great Wall Balanced Rock
Turret Arch The Garden of Eden
The Spectacles North and South Windows
Double Arch Delicate Arch
Cache Valley Fiery Furnace
Wolfe Ranch Skyline Arch
Landscape Arch Fins in Devils Garden
Double O Arch Tower Arch


Going Home ...

After lunch at the picnic area around the Balanced Rock, we began our 4-hour drive back to Salt Lake City. We rented a SUV this time, but we did not actually use it to explore any back roads. I know I will come back to these national parks again with my family in a few years since I don't think they want to miss these wonderful places. When we come again, we will try to visit some more remote areas with 4-wheel-drive access.


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