I've never been fond of the desert. I just never thought it was very pretty and the dry heat didn’t appeal to me. But I believe I am now a convert.
The landscape is otherworldly, and not just the National Parks. Everywhere it seems there are mesas and arches and beautiful huge rock walls in people’s backyards and along freeways. You can’t avoid it.
The first place I visit is Arches National Park and from the very start when you pass through the entrance gates the colors and shapes of the rocks are amazing.
But at the end of the paved road and down a dirt path I converge with other tourists flocking to a conglomeration of arches and formations called Devil‘s Garden. Here I find Landscape Arch (a personal favorite because of the thin and delicate swoop it creates) as well as many others.
One of the great things about hiking out here is that the trail climbs onto huge pieces of exposed rock and at many times the path is only marked by stacks of stone. Walking on the rock makes it seem less traveled than a hard-packed dirt trail would (if only all the other hikers would leave).
The park is small, and many of the arches are viewable from the roadside or down a short path. In many ways that makes it difficult to find a place to enjoy the wilderness of the desert. But, this park is more about the wonder of the arch formations, and it's nice that everyone can enjoy that.