Arches at Sunrise

The alarm went off at 5:30 a.m. and my eyes drowsily opened and glanced out the window to darkness. There are very few reasons to get up that early, but watching the sun rise over Arches National Park is one of them.

Located in Moab, Utah, Arches is vast and grand, somewhat similar to the Grand Canyon. Each formation has its own unique features with specific times of day to visit.

The highlight of our trip was a formation entitled the North Window. Although the park’s website says this formation is best seen at sunset, it is just as breathtaking during sunrise.

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day” -Henry David Thoreau

The towering formation has an opening in the middle through which the sun illuminates as it rises. The glow reflects the red of the rock which contrasts with the blue hues in the sky.

North Window
North Window

The most well-known formation is called the Delicate Arch, which is featured on the Utah license plate. This formation is beautiful and best seen during sunset. It is about a three mile hike roundtrip for the best view, but it can be seen from two different viewpoints.

Several days are recommended to experience the whole park and take time at each location. To keep on schedule we only had an evening and a morning before we had to head to Colorado.

Although we were on a tight schedule we were still able to see most of the formations.

If you only have a day these are the must see formations.

  • Delicate Arch
  • North Window
  • Double Arch
  • Broken Arch
  • Sand Dune Arch
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