Winter can be a beautiful time to visit Arches National Park. Obviously it will not be blazing hot as can be the case during the summer months. When the sun is out, the days can be fairly comfortable. And there are far fewer visitors. Also in winter, the Devil’s Garden Campground, which is the only campground in the park, is relatively easy to get a site without needimg a reservation booked far in advance. Winter nights can be quite chilly, but with appropriate winter camping gear, the trade-offs are more than worthwhile and allow intimate exploration of this beautiful national park, and the Devil’s Garden area in particular.
Hiking along the trails in the Devil’s Garden is beautiful, with unusual features and views. Sandstone fins protrude upwards from the ground producing many unusual sights. The first light of the morning makes the sandstone surfaces reddish orange against deep blue skies.
The most prominent feature in the Devil’s Garden is the famous Landscape Arch. I’ve always thought Landscape and Delicate Arches should switch names. Landscape Arch is a thin ribbon of rock extending more than the length of a football field above the ground. Every time I see it, I can’t help thinking it might not be there the next time I visit. A large slab of sandstone fell from underneath the arch in 1991, producing the precariously thin existing structure.
There are quite a few more arches in the Devil’s Garden including Double O Arch, Navajo Arch, and more. Near the beginning of the trailhead is Pine Tree Arch, providing a scenic window opening through a sandstone fin to view the morning sky.