Delicate and Beautiful

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/14, 1/160 sec, ISO320)

Delicate Arch, finally! We have been here before but this is the first time that we hike to the delicate arch.

Despite what the guide book or even more so the local information says this is not a difficult or dangerous hike by any standard. Or is it? In the USA most people are spoiled. This is a country where you don’t need tossup out of your car if you want to send a letter or withdraw money. People are used to have the parking lot in close proximity to the attraction. “If it’s more than 5 monies walk away from the car it isn’t photogenic.”

In Europe we are used to hike. There is a parking lot which is if you are lucky close to the entry point of the hike. Then you walk for hours to finally stand on top of a mountain and enjoy the view. Here it’s different so take all advice with a grain of salt.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (29.2mm, f/5.6, 1/220 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (17mm, f/11, 1/60 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (24.2mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO200)

One thing you have to take serious though. It’s the warning regarding heat and dehydration. You walk in the desert in high elevation. During the day it is hot, really hot. Over 40 degrees Celsius hot to give you an idea. There are no trees or other structure of any kind that would give you some shadow and usually the sun beats down from a cloudless sky.

Today was cloudy with even a chance of rain but they predicted extreme heat in the afternoon. So set our alarm clock and started from our hotel before sunrise. But of course the sun had started to rise when we entered the hike which gave me the opportunity to take some pictures along the way in beautiful morning light.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/8, 1/125 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (28.3mm, f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO400)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/8, 1/250 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/9, 1/200 sec, ISO200)

The hike to the Delicate Arch is just beautiful and in good weather it is anything but dangerous. Those rocks in Utah have a lot of grip. Unless you walk up in high heels you should be fine. In poor weather or when it’s getting dark it could be a different story.

Some people however have real problems with the last couple of meters before you reach the viewpoint. There the path is a little narrow and it falls off on one side. I was already taking pictures of the Delicate Arch when I heard a woman screeching. When I turned around I saw an approximately 50 year old woman with her friend walking the last couple of meters with her hands on the rock and afraid to look down the drop. She was clearly in extreme stress and hardly able to handle the situation.

But beside that lady it was very quiet and peaceful up there.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/14, 1/160 sec, ISO320)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (20.6mm, f/14, 1/160 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (41.4mm, f/8, 1/160 sec, ISO320)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (200mm, f/4.8, 1/500 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16.6mm, f/16, 1/60 sec, ISO200)

Of course slowly it got more crowded as hiker after hiker made it to the viewpoint. Despite the weather forecast it didn’t rain while we were at the viewpoint.

We just sat there and enjoyed the view. This is really a special place and a must see when you visit the park. The last time we skipped Delicate Arch because of the extreme heat and made another hike which was also very beautiful and much quieter but there is a reason why this to most popular one.

We started to walk back when another big group of hikers arrived. If you walk this hike make sure that you start very early. It’s so much better without all the people. On our way down we met hundreds of tourists on their way up. Some already exhausted after the first couple of meters. We even had a couple of raindrops but nothing serious.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (10mm, f/9, 1/400 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/11, 1/170 sec, ISO200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/11, 1/150 sec, ISO200)

On the way back we met two guys from Los Angeles. Both were surgeons and originally from Myanmar but they came to the USA more than 30 years ago. It was a nice chat. One wanted to sell his house LA. I mentioned that we have a house in Austria and that we could make a trade. But his house had no pool so: no pool – no deal!

When we arrived at the parking we discovered that we parked next to each other. Their Lexus SUV next to our gigantic Infinti SUV that only tourist would choose as a mode of transport. We had a laugh, wished us a good trip and moved on.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (13.8mm, f/8, 1/320 sec, ISO200)