Doing a leisurely scenic drive in a National Park upon arrival is a good way to become familiar with the surroundings. Sensory overload will likely occur during the initial tour, especially in places like Arches National Park, because the environment is so different than back home. Uncontrollable urges will occur to stop, stare and snap photos in this strange new world. Endlessly perusing the park brochure for names of landmarks while navigating till the glossy paper is torn to shreds is guaranteed to be part of the moment too. The first time visit at Arches National Park certainly is an overwhelming experience for most folks, so it is best to just set everything aside and take a slow ride till the adrenaline levels return to normal!
Arches can be overcrowded during the warm weather seasons, especially on holiday weekends. On such occasions, finding an empty parking spot anywhere in the park will be an impossible dream. Patience is a virtue in such cases, while hopping on a shuttle bus may eliminate the parking frustrations altogether. On the flip-side, it is a lot easier to tour this National Park during cold weather seasons when it is less crowded, but the temperatures can be icy cold. Winter snow rarely is deep in this region and views of the snow draped Arches landscape are what dreams are made of.
Oddly enough, there are some bright sunny warm days during the late fall and winter seasons. Since most of the snowbird tourists have already headed south, plenty of elbow room can be found and the parking lots will actually have empty spaces, which is a real rarity. When this kind of opportunity knocks, it is best to make the best of the situation and tour as many scenic overlooks as possible before calling it a day.
The photos in the Flickr album were shot on a sunny warm day in the off season and it was one of those rare occasions when there were very few other visitors on site. Parking was even easy to find at Delicate Arch, which is the most popular spot in the park. It was easy to experience every scenic overlook in the park that day, which is something that I have attempted a few times through the years. All it takes is a little bit of intuition and keeping an eye on the weather forecasts to make it happen, so be sure to keep Arches National Park in mind when the off season rolls around!
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