Another day, another early start. Today we woke up early to see the Delicate Arch (in Arches National Park). It takes about 30 minutes to get to the hiking area from our campground, and another 45 minutes to hike to the arch, so a Clif Bar and coffee/tea after waking and we were on our way. The view was spectacular.
Brunch in Moab followed by a quick touristy stroll we headed back to our tent for a nap before heading back to Arches for our reserved Fiery Furnace walk at 5pm. The Fiery Furnace is a well known area of the park, covered in ‘fins’, rock formations that are tall and narrow, spires and arches. The park only allows 50 people a day into this area, in two groups of 25 (one group at 9am and the other at 5pm) who must be accompanied by a park ranger. The morning tours sell out online months in advance but the afternoon tours can be booked in person at the visitor centre. Knowing this from my research in advance we headed directly to the Visitor Centre our first day at Arches and were lucky to nab the only time slot left during our time here in Moab for the 5pm tour on our last day. Score!
And we’re so glad we did. The Fiery Furnace was everything we had heard. A labyrinth of fins, small cracks to climb over or through, steep climbs up and down and a few narrow passages, it would be hard to navigate this area without a guide. The three hour tour was not only informative with the ranger teaching us about the geology of the area and how the unusual rock landscapes are formed, the wildlife and plantlife in the area, but it also had amazing views and breathtaking scenery with lots of time to soak it in and take pictures.
We were also lucky to have done the tour in the evening, seeing the rays of the setting sun hit the sandstone creating a glowing red effect that lends itself to the name of the area: Fiery Furnace. And with a full moon in the sky even before the sun completely set, we were treated to a wonderful drive out of the park and back into town for our final (and fantastic) dinner in Moab.