When we were planning our trip out West, Arches National Park was at the top of our list! 😍 But we have to say that our planning wasn’t exactly the best. It’s actually pretty hard to pin point where it all stared to go wrong. lol
We spent the previous day driving to Moab, Utah and didn’t check into our colorful little bungalow until around 11pm. Obviously office hours were closed and we had no one to contact to locate where we were staying. We had to use GPS, we googled photos to see if we could recognize the area from the internet, and plain luck. Luckily, it all worked out but we were pretty tired from traveling. It was a long day!
Our initial plans to visit Arches National Park was to wake up early to catch the sunrise and go for a morning hike before heading out to our meet up with our off-roading tour guide at 2pm. Well, all that didn’t work out because we decided to hit the snooze button a bit longer than planned and missed sunrise by 3 hours. Instead, we decided to go check it out either way by car instead of going for a hike to make sure we made it in time for off-roading.
Things got confusing as soon as we got to the entrance to pay for admission.
Let us explain our situation
When we decided on our trip to the National Parks, Nikki found a great deal online to pay an upfront parking fee so that we would not only save money, but save time. Sadly, the pass was left home in Atlanta. 😅 So we were hoping that the emailed receipt would be good enough to gain access without having to re-pay for admission. Somehow we talked our way in but once we parked, we realized we didn’t have enough time to go explore the park, so we had to leave! All that for pretty much nothing since we had to turn right back around to go meet our tour guide. Which yes, we were late for but we had the time of our lives! You can watch our YouTube video here: https://youtu.be/xP4Y1sNXICw.
As soon as we finished up off-roading, we headed back to Arches in hopes that the same Park Ranger we spoke to about our pass situation would still be there. Luckily she was, but informed us that the park was closing within the hour. 🤦🏼♀️ At the time, we didn’t realize the park closed at 6pm and we got there at 5pm. 🙄 She let us in anyways, and we were so excited to go see the Delicate Arch! As we were driving up, we passed many other beautiful canyon formations. On our way to the Delicate Arch, a Park Ranger was turning people away from going any further because you aren’t allowed to go past a certain point as it gets close to closing time. It was only just after 5! #lame
So at the end of the day, we didn’t get to see the Delicate Arch that we were so excited for, but instead we got to spend some time admiring the Balanced Rock. Which was closer to the entrance of the park.
Moral of the story is, sometimes we just have to go with the flow. We aren’t the perfect travelers but we still made the most of our time! And even though we didn’t get to spend much time at Arches, we were happy we caught the amazing sunset there 🌅. Hopefully one day we will be back to finally see the Arches!