Christmas in Arches


Jan 17, 2012
Christmas Day | Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

It's been a tradition of mine to head down to Arches National Park around Christmas time each year so I can visit the park in the winter. This year I had no holiday plans, so I decided to visit on Christmas Day. I was originally planning on going by myself, but a few weeks before the trip I found out that my friend Yvonne was going to be in Moab over the same time, so we made plans to meet up and do some hiking together.

I stayed up a little too late on Christmas Eve, so I got a late start in the morning and didn't make it to the park for sunrise this time. The sky was clear this morning so I don't think I missed much.

As I drove in the park I made a quick stop at the Park Avenue Overlook for a few quick photos in the morning light.

Park Avenue View
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I liked the light on the edges here.

Rim Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Park Ave Shadows
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Then I passed by the Three Gossips on my way to the Devils Garden trailhead where I planned to meet Yvonne.

Three Gossips
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After meeting up with Yvonne we took our first hike of the day to visit Landscape Arch.

Landscape Arch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

On our way back to the trailhead we took a short detour to Pine Tree Arch.

Pine Tree Arch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We found this little Christmas tree with nice reflected light on the sandstone behind it.

Christmas Tree
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Hiking back to the trailhead on the snow-packed trail.

Devils Garden Trail
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After finishing our first short hike we made our way over to the Sand Dune Arch parking area so we could hike the Broken Arch loop trail.

Yvonne on our way to Broken Arch.

Broken Arch Trail
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We climbed up through Broken Arch to complete the loop.

Broken Arch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Before returning to our vehicles we visited Sand Dune Arch since we were nearby. I'm glad we did because it had some of the nicest reflected light on it that I've seen here.

Sand Dune Arch
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Leaving Sand Dune Arch.

In the Shadows
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

At this point we were both getting hungry. We drove into town for an early dinner so we could return in time to photograph the sunset. We had dinner at just about the only place open on Christmas Day in Moab: Denny's.

On our way back into the park after dinner I made another quick stop at Park Avenue because I liked the shadows cast on the sandstone wall here.

Park Avenue Shadows
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Beautiful views as I drove through the park again.

Sandstone & Sky
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

La Sal View
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The light was getting nice and there were some clouds in the sky, so we stopped at Balanced Rock for a few quick photos.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Turret Arch in the distance under the La Sal Mountains.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Balanced Rock
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Over the Top
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We continued on to photograph the Garden of Eden area next.

Garden of Eden
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Yvonne getting her shot.

Photographing Eden
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Both of our vehicles in the Garden of Eden parking area.

Backcountry Vehicles
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

We were planning on photographing sunset at the Garden of Eden, but since the conditions were nice we wanted to visit The Windows section, too. We were planning on returning, but ended up sticking around The Windows until the sun was down.

On the trail to the North Window.

Trail to the Windows
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Yvonne found this cool tree that framed the arch.

Window Frame
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

North Window View
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Beautiful warm evening light on sandstone formations.

Evening Sandstone
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Our shadows next to the South Window.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

South Window Shadows
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

End of Light
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Pink wispy clouds above the South Window.

South Window Sunset
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Last light of the day on the La Sal Mountains.

La Sal Mountains
by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Even though we had left our tripods in our vehicles, we stuck around to photograph the 'glow' on the sandstone during twilight.

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

>> Christmas in Arches Photo Gallery

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I lava it!!!
Jan 19, 2012
I was an absolutely great day!! Loved the light all day long.
Enjoyed your company and the hikes we did. I'm definitely for a repetition sooner or later. :)
I still hate myself not to bring my long lens. Especially after seeing your great shot of Balanced Rock and the La Sals in the back.


Jan 17, 2012
Great stuff, I'd love to see some of that stuff in the snow. Happy New Year!
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