Wednesday, September 13th, 2017
I park the bike at the end of the road in Arches, next to the closed campground. Signs say the park will close at 7pm for roadwork and "you need to leave here at 6pm to get out of the park by 7". It's 4pm, gives me a couple of hours to hike around.
The trail is full of people until Landscape Arch, then there are just a few, after Double O Arch there are none.
I wander through the tortured landscape of slickrock, hoodoos, washes of brown sand. I have to pay attention to the little rock beacons in order to follow the trail, even then I get off track a number of times by following footsteps of people who have already made a mistake or who were perhaps just exploring a passageway or a cliff to get a better view.
The wind picks up, squalls are on their way. At times the swirling gusts fill my eyes with brown dust. I quicken the pace when rain drops join the fray.
Back at the parking lot there is a ranger telling people they don't have much time left to hike. It's 6pm, they won't likely get everyone out of the park by 7. Judging from the view to the west I'm in for a wet ride back to the campground.
Stats for hike (Strava data):
Miles hiked: 5.6mi
Elevation gain: 818 feet
Moving time: 1:50:56