Within 2 miles of the entrance to Arches National Park lies the first major pull-off of the park, and some of the more massive red sandstone formations, entitled Park Avenue, for it’s resemblance to the skyscrapers of a city street. 

2010-09-11 - UT, Arches National Park - Park Avenue Hike -1018Short Walk to the Viewpoint

Most visitors to the park will stop, walk out to the Viewpoint, take some pictures, and return to their drive through the park without considering a hike down this amazing trail between enormous towering walls of red sandstone. We decided to hike the 1 mile canyon.

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The hike is labeled moderately strenuous, primarily for the 320 foot descent which is almost entirely at the trailhead, as rough steps have been built into the descent.

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As in all of Arches, the landscape is almost overwhelming in size.

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Perhaps the two most fascinating formations to us were those labeled Queen Nefertiti and Sheep Rock.  Queen Nefertiti looks as if a small earthquake could just slide the top off.

2010-09-11 - UT, Arches National Park - Park Avenue Hike -1021- Queen Nefertiti    2010-09-11 - UT, Arches National Park - Park Avenue Hike -1015

Sheep Rock is amazing in how much it actually resembles a lamb or sheep, right down to the eye, ears and nose.

2010-09-11 - UT, Arches National Park - Park Avenue Hike -1076 - Sheep Rock 2010-09-11 - UT, Arches National Park - Park Avenue Hike -1086 

Most of the formations we saw are visible from the road and easily accessible viewpoints, but there is a large difference in seeing them there, or actually from the hike.

Word of advice, though, to any considering the hike.  There is a parking area at the end of the trail for vehicles to park if picking up hikers only wanting to hike one way on the trail.  It would make a much easier hike to park there, walk  up the canyon and back, without having to descend or ascend the many stairs at the trailhead.  Naturally, we thought of this only after descending the stairs.  J

For more photos from the hike, click anywhere on the map below:

Park Avenue

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