We are about an hour and a half outside of Moab, Utah … home of Arches National Park. We drove until lunchtime and scheduled our stop at place called Hanging Lake. There is a fair amount of construction and the canyon is fairly narrow. The exit we wanted was closed. After speaking with a park ranger at the first rest stop we came to (can you believe they have a ranger just sitting at a rest stop waiting for people like us to ask him questions”!), we decided to head back the way we came to hike up to Hanging Lake like we originally planned. I must admit that I voted to each lunch at the rest stop and hike the river from there. It didn’t take us long to get back to where we needed to be and after lunch, sunscreen and donning hiking boots we were ready to hike. The ranger had said the hike was rated “difficult”. But he said it wasn’t unsafe and kids could do it. His concern for us was the potential thunderstorms. Our planned two hour stop ended up taking closer to four. The lake was roughly a mile and a half up the trail, and then a mile and a half back down. No problem right”! First let me say all is well with everyone. And we all agreed it was truly spectacular and well worth the time. The hike was very rocky in most places. Stunningly beautiful the entire way. And I am learning to deal with (not conquer!) my fear of heights. At a point which turned out to be very close to our destination, I asked a father coming down with a crying child if it was worth it. Mind you I was clutching the side of the mountain, sitting down and trying not to look out at the canyon or think about where my children were. Fortunately, he said it was … and that we should hike higher than the lake itself as it just got better! And it did. We’ve stopped for dinner now … I’ll add the pictures soon. – Maureen
Here’s a great shot of the narrow freeway we were on. The tunnels cut through the mountains. The start of the climb … notice how rocky it is. Early into the climb. The trail ran along a beautiful creek. The water was beautiful, but cold. Hanging Lake. We climbed to the back of the waterfall. The view was well worth the hike! Spouting rock … a further climb up from Hanging Lake. Ellen kept track of Sarah and Sarah on the way down. The two Sarah’s were “like mountain goats” basically running the trail and scaring the two mothers half to death! A view from the spot where I scooted down on my butt while clutching the rail and the cliff simultaneously. Ellie and I took up the rear coming down. She was nice to stay with me! After the hike. A view from the canyon bottom.
posted Saturday June 2007