Sunday, May 9, 2010

Needles, Arches and Negro Bill Canyon Hikes

Okay, I am updating the last three major hikes I've been on.  At the end of April, a friend (Louise Murch) brought down her friend Sally to hike in the Needles area.  I was off the same days they were here so I hiked with them as much as I could.  They'd been planning to hike up over Wooden Shoe and also to Druid Arch.  I'd been wanting to make it to Druid Arch for a long time so I was really excited when they said where they were going.  The hike was a killer, but we all made it.  I was sore the next day, but during the hike I kept stopping to smell the wildflowers and take pictures of them.  I also LOVE the colors and shapes of the rocks in the Needles, so I took too many pictures of rocks.

Below Wooden Shoe

Wooden Shoe Arch
The Needles District of Canyonlands National Park is about 60 miles south of Moab, visible from Dead Horse Point and the Island in the Sky.  Instead of being up on a mesa looking down, we were inside the rock formations looking up at them.  We could also see the high red cliffs of Wingate sandstone that make up the Island in the Sky.  The weather was stormy for most of the trip, but there were periods of blue sky when we could see the La Sal Mountains covered in snow.  It made a great contrast to the red rocks.

Inside a joint between rocks.

Louise Murch and me at Druid Arch

Isn't it amazing?  Druid Arch, way worth the hike.

The Fiery Furnace is in Arches National Park.  The name comes from the fins of dark red sandstone, rising up to look like flames.  There are no trails in the Fiery Furnace but enough groups have been through and my friend had been there enough times we made it through pretty quickly.  There are hidden arches and great rock formations inside, along with a flower--biscuitroot (Lomatium latilobum) that is endemic to the area--it grows only between fins of entrada sandstone.

Inside the Fiery Furnace

Fun places to explore.

Finally, the last hike I did on my own.  I really needed to be outside but as I started late in the day, I only intended a short walk.  I ended up hiking five miles, up Negro Bill Canyon to Morning Glory Arch, which is really a natural bridge.  I loved the sound of the water and the birds singing, and the loads of wildflowers I passed.  I took pictures of some of them but mostly concentrated on the hike.  This is what I'd planned to do on my days off all spring, so finally getting out to do these hikes was a great start.  That's why I started the blog in the first place!  So here are some pictures to go along with the descriptions.

Blooming claret cup cactus in Negro Bill Canyon.

Hanging garden.

Morning Glory Bridge.

1 comment:

Gilbrides said...

Great pictures! That is great you still stay in contact with Ms. Murch (as I'll always remember her) :) Looks like you are having a great time! Hope you stay safe in all your adventures!