Balanced Rock & Garden of Eden, Arches National Park

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By the time I reached Balanced Rock, the rain was pouring.  I took some of these pictures from inside the car.  For others, I draped a jacket over my head and the camera.

 Balanced Rock, Arches National Park

If everyone stops at Park Avenue first, they stop at Balanced Rock second.  It’s popular, partially because it’s located just a few hundred feet from the main road.  Also, the loop trail is easy, level, and paved.

Arches receives on average only 10 inches of rain a year… and the park easily soaked up an inch or two during my visit in August, 2005.  Since rain is so rare here, few people probably know that the red rock turns silver when wet.

Windows District, Arches National Park

After Balanced Rock, the next right turn takes you on a side trip to the Windows section of the park.  Make your first stop the Garden of Eden, where you’ll find a great view of the odd-shaped rocks and windows, all lined up in an out-of-this-world display.

Windows, Arches National Park

The side road ends at a large parking area, that allows access to the North and South Window, Turret Arch, Double Arch, and the Cove of Caves.  Each attraction requires at least a short walk over an unpaved path.

As you can probably tell in the above photo, it was raining relentlessly as I took shelter under one of the arches.  There wasn’t much I could do in the rain–rock climbing was treacherous, and taking pictures would have ruined my camera.  So, I gave up, and drove back to Moab for lunch.

Note: This trip was first published in 2005.

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