Cold snowy mountains and warm desert rocks


After making the very family-friendly hike to Landscape Arch in Arches National Park, my son expressed his desire to continue down the trail toward Double O Arch. From what my wife and I could see of the trail, we knew it would be a challenge. But we decided to go for it, and the other family we were with offered to let our two youngest kids hang out with them.

Off we went, hiking up a steep, redrock trail past a broken Wall Arch (which had collapsed back in August 2008). That first uphill was indicative of what we encountered on the rest of the trail. We perfected the ButtScoot and safely made it to Double O Arch. The scenery on the way there was amazing, but I didn’t want to slow us down by snapping photos of the landscape. To help keep me from focusing on being present and paying attention to hiking with my family, I left my tripod in the car. But I didn’t want to let this opportunity pass by – I just had to be quick.

On the way back from Double O Arch, I saw an opportunity to switch from my wide angle to my 18-135mm lens and zoomed in on the La Sal Mountains, keeping the tops of the redrock fins and green trees in the shot. I held as still as possible (and used Auto Focus for times sake) and snapped a few photos.

photo La Sal Mountains Arches National Park

I really like the contrast of the snow-covered mountains and the warm redrocks of the Utah desert. I love the fact that Utah has all of these seasons nearly year round, making this state a photographer’s dream.

From Double O Arch we could have continued toward the Dark Angel formation and headed back through the fins along a more primitive trail, but time was short and we didn’t have the luxury of adding one mile to our return trip. Maybe next time.

~ signed, Carltonaut

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