18/60 – Arches National Park | 06.02.18

One of the things I struggle with the most about living in Utah is that everything is just so close that it’s almost TOO close, and I become complacent about it. This is particularly the case with national parks, so when a friend of mine asked me to take her and her husband canyoneering for a weekend celebration of their move to Seattle (because nothing says “let’s go play in the desert” like the idea of moving to one of the rainiest cities in the US), I jumped at the chance! We picked two canyons in Arches, U-Turn and Dragonfly, and what a day it was! (Brady took the dog to Ken’s Lake for the day, since dogs aren’t allowed in the park. So maybe counting this as a family trip is cheating, but we DID go into the park together… so I’m counting it. Fight me.)

I just have to say it- even though it seems like I don’t, I really do love Arches. I do! And wow, canyoneering is absolutely the way to experience it. The entire time we were in the “canyons” (only one of them could truly be considered a canyon) we never saw another human being, and we got to see parts of the park that most people never see. It was incredible. If you ever want a really unique experience in Arches, let me know, and we’ll do some canyoneering.


After the first two rappels, it opens up into a huge open area with expansive views of the Park Avenue area and the rest of the park. We had a blast gushing over how beautiful it was, and howling our joy through the echoing walls around us.


Can you see those tiny people walking strolling through Park Avenue? That’s about the closest we got to people until the very end of the canyon.


After our first canyon, we took a quick lunch break and headed into our second canyon for more thrills (this time with water, which was a welcome respite from the intense heat).


It looked gross, but it felt really good (it was also FREEZING- welcome respite from the intense heat).
Awesome friends helping stuff rope!


This is one of my favorite rappels in any canyon anywhere. After being in distinctive desert area, dropping into a lush riparian zone is stunning.
It’s not a true canyoneering trip without a nice solid butt shot.


In the middle of Courthouse Wash there were a bunch of ponds FULL of frogs! That surprised me, as the water levels in the potholes higher up in the canyon were significantly lower than the last time I did the canyon. But it was fun to see an area teeming with life in the middle of a sweltering desert.

Frog Close Up

After that, we met back up with Brady and the pup to take sign photos (must haves), break down camp, and head home. It was a fun-filled day for everyone, and I’m thrilled that I got to introduce some wonderful friends to a fun experience and a gorgeous area of solitude in a park typically busy with life. It really goes to show you that sometimes all it takes to experience new wonders is getting just a little bit off the beaten path, and that even is the busiest of places, you can still find peace, and silence (and really awesome echoes).

IMG_2485Arches June 2018 2


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Arches looks amazing!! It’s on our must-visit list for later on this year. It might be November by the time we get there – do you think that would be an OK time to visit?


    1. Jen Groves says:

      ABSOLUTELY!!! November is an excellent time to visit- it’s still pleasant during the daytime, the crowds have significantly dwindled, and the snowcapped La Sal Mountains as a backdrop simply cannot be beaten. I love Arches at all times of the year, but winter is extra special. And seriously, if you have any interest in trying canyoneering and getting a really unique view of the park, don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d love to come show you the ropes (ha… pun intended). We don’t have to get wet in November though. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh that’s fantastic to hear, yay for snowcapped mountains too! And WOW, that would actually be amazing! And very, very kind of you. 🙂 I will let you know when we have a rough date, for sure!!


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