Sunday, September 9, 2018

Moonshine Arch, Utah

Linda and I are visiting her sister, Pat, in Vernal, Utah.  This is wild country near Dinosaur National Monument, and we have explored it several times.  But until now we have never heard of Moonshine Arch.

Getting to the arch was half the fun, and at my age I wasn’t sure I could do it.  I drove about a mile on dirt roads before hiking another mile or so, including about a half mile up a fairly steep, rough ridge, and back down again.  It wouldn’t be a big deal for a younger person, but I was glad to find I could still do it.

The arch is remarkable.  It parallels a huge rock alcove.  Obviously, thousands of years of flash floods have roared downhill, scoured out the alcove in a huge curve, and worn through a wall of rock to form Moonshine Arch.  The arch is about 85 feet long and 40 feet high.

I made the hike in the morning to avoid the afternoon heat, and the light was on the back of the arch, visible from the alcove.  The outside of the arch was in shadow.

If you plan to go, take plenty of water, park outside the fence, and hike the rest of the way.  An ATV or jeep might make it part way, but the ruts and rocks are a real challenge.

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