Fiery Furnace

Fiery Furnace

Arches National Park

It was our last full day in Arches National Park, and we wanted to go out with a bang. We decided to do the only day hike in the park that requires a permit. Fiery Furnace is mazelike due to its many tall sandstone fins. It’s a set route but not quite a trail. GPS doesn’t work well within the narrow canyons, and maps are useless here, too. It’s located deep inside the park, near the Devils Garden area. The…

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Delicate Arch Trail

Delicate Arch Trail

Arches National Park

When I think of Arches National Park, the iconic Delicate Arch immediately comes to mind. It’s the largest freestanding arch in the park. Images of it are everywhere – on tourism literature, Utah license plates, and more. And it was finally time for us to visit it. Frank Beckwith, the leader of a scientific expedition in the area between 1933–1934 is credited with naming the arch. And it is delicate. Some day Delicate Arch, formed by erosion of a sandstone…

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Windows Loop and Double Arch Trails

Windows Loop and Double Arch Trails

Arches National Park

It was going to be a busy day in Arches National Park. We decided to hike two trails, including Delicate Arch. But we started with the less strenuous Windows Section. The area boasts numerous arches, and a fairly short trail leads to North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. Double Arch is also nearby – it’s unique in that it has two arches that share a central pillar. We decided to explore them all. The trails to the Windows and…

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Devils Garden and Primitive Loop Trail

Devils Garden and Primitive Loop Trail

Arches National Park

This is the big one – the longest maintained trail in Arches National Park. The one with the most arches. And the second-most crowded (beat only by Delicate Arch Trail). Devils Garden Trail is a full-day hike, and worth every minute. The featured arch on the hike is Landscape Arch, the longest in North America. There are also six other main arches, a large obelisk called Dark Angel, and a few other formations that aren’t as well advertised. The trail…

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Sand Dune, Broken, and Tapestry Arches Loop Trail

Sand Dune, Broken, and Tapestry Arches Loop Trail

Arches National Park

One of the main reasons we wanted to stay in Devils Garden Campground in Arches National Park was its proximity to hiking trails. One hike, called Broken Arch Trail, goes directly through the campground. We decided to hike a 2.8 mile loop to see Broken Arch, Sand Dune Arch, and Tapestry Arch. Aside from the Sand Dune Arch portion (which has a side trail leading to the main road), this route isn’t too crowded. Broken Arch Trail By early afternoon,…

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Tower Arch Trail

Tower Arch Trail

Arches National Park

After getting set up at Devils Garden Campground and checking out the visitor center, we went on our first hike in Arches National Park. We chose Tower Arch Trail, in Klondike Bluffs, the northwest section of the park. The 2.5 mile trail is named after the titular Tower Arch at the end. Along the way is a well known rock formation called the Marching Men, which looks exactly like it sounds. Compared with most hikes in the park, this one…

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Devils Garden Campground

Devils Garden Campground

Arches National Park

Once again it was spring break, and time to explore our national parks. This time, we were headed to Utah. Most of our time would be spent in Arches National Park, with a couple days in Canyonlands. Based on flight cost and arrival time, we decided to fly into Grand Junction, Colorado and drive almost two hours to Moab, Utah. We planned to spend our first two nights at Devils Garden Campground, the only developed campground in Arches National Park….

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Backpacking White Rocks via Nicholson Hollow

Backpacking White Rocks via Nicholson Hollow

Shenandoah National Park

We don’t go backpacking too often in the middle of summer (travels aside). But we had a free weekend, and we wanted to test out some new gear and get in shape for an upcoming trip to Glacier NP. So it was back to Shenandoah National Park for a quick one-nighter. Initially we wanted to hike Jeremy’s Run, one of our favorite backpacking routes in the park. In reading some trip reports, it seemed like the trail could be laden…

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Riprap and Wildcat Ridge Loop Trail

Riprap and Wildcat Ridge Loop Trail

Shenandoah National Park

Surprisingly, this was our first hike in the southern section of Shenandoah National Park. Before this, the furthest south we had travelled in the park was Bearfence Mountain. Most of the well known hikes are in the central and northern districts. And while we consider Shenandoah our “home park,” driving there from Northern Virginia can take a while. We spent a weekend at Big Meadows Lodge, and planned to hike Riprap and Wildcat Ridge Loop Trail, one of the most…

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Rapidan Camp Loop Trail

Rapidan Camp Loop Trail

Shenandoah National Park

Spring is a great time to go for a hike and see wildflowers in Shenandoah National Park. This time, we decided on a hike to Rapidan Camp in the Central District. The camp was a summer getaway for President Herbert Hoover between 1929 and 1933. It is also important as it helped initiate the construction of Skyline Drive. In 1933, the Hoovers donated the land to Shenandoah National Park. It was later used as both a boy scout camp and…

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