Friday, June 28, 2013

Park Avenue Trail

Back in September of 2012 my wife and I had the opportunity to take a three-week tour of the southwest. After spending a few days in Rocky Mountain National Park, Kathy and I paid a visit to Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. It was Kathy’s first venture into the park, and my second.

One of the first stops along the main road in the park is the Park Avenue Trail. Although the overlook at this stop may appear to be a little touristy, you really shouldn’t pass up this hike, even if you’re only spending a couple of hours in the park. The trail travels one mile through an incredibly beautiful red rock canyon, and can be done as a one-way hike if you have another car parked at the Courthouse Towers parking area.

From the Park Avenue overlook the trail drops roughly 320 feet onto the canyon floor, and continues down a dry wash bed towards the Courthouse Towers. Along the way you’ll have commanding views of massive fins (vertical slabs of rock), balanced rocks and lofty monoliths, including the Three Gossips, The Tower of Babel, and the Courthouse Towers.

As you might expect, the inspiration for the trail’s name comes from the towering spires, which to early visitors reminded them of Manhattan's famous skyscrapers:

If you wish to go home with some great photos, the park recommends hiking this trail in the morning or late in the afternoon.

Trail: Park Avenue
Roundtrip Distance: 2 Miles
Total Elevation Gain: 320 feet
Max Elevation: 5000 Feet
TH Location: Park Avenue Trailhead
Map: Arches NP Trails Illustrated Map

Best Easy Day Hikes Canyonlands and Arches National Parks: this fully updated and revised edition includes trail descriptions and maps of the best short hikes that venture into some of the most scenic sections of Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.

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