New Mexico
Balanced Rock
Delicate Arch
Park Avenue
Sheep Rock Petroglyphs
Windows Area
Bryce Canyon
Page Logo
Trips : Utah : Arches National Park : Park Avenue

Park Avenue, Utah style!

If you have just a few hours to kill in the park, this is a great little hike. You can start from the top end and work your way down to the end, or start at the bottom and hike up to the top. It's not a big elevation gain, but it might be noticeable. The trail is essentially a water runoff area, so if it's wet it may not be as easy. But remember, this is the desert. It won't be wet for long.

You can hike this trail any time of day. The light is not good for photography during the later hours of the evening since the western edge of the canyon is quite high. In the morning, however, the views can be quite spectacular.

"Golden Morning"
Arches National Park, Utah
Big Picture

Some of my favorite shots from this park were taken down near the lower end of this trail. This particular shot was taken right from the road. There is a small pullout area to park, and then I set up my tripod right on the side of the road to take this picture. Who says you have to hike for miles to get a dramatic shot...

If you are interested, there is an animation of the sun coming up on this image in the Techniques area.

"Courthouse Towers"
Arches National Park, Utah
Big Picture

If you start your hike down the trail early in the morning, you may notice that the left side of the canyon (facing east) really picks up the early morning sun. The formation shown here is called Courthouse Towers. This picture was taken from down on the Park Avenue trail about 15-20 minutes after sunrise.

The first picture was taken standing right along the side of the road. For this picture we started hiking up the path towards the upper end of the Park Avenue Trail.

"Park Avenue - Utah Style"
Arches National Park, Utah
Big Picture

As a contrast, this picture was taken later in the morning from the higher end of the trail looking back down. The stone is the same, the camera and film are the same, yet the results are distinctly different. Why?

Early morning sunlight has a different physical quality that makes the stone seem to glow. If you want to read more about the physics of photography and light, check out the article on Morning Glow here on this website.

And to finish things off, a panoramic view that starts just to the right of the Courthouse Towers, passes by the Three Gossips, and finishes off with Sheep Rock. The big shadow just below the Three Gossips is being cast by the stone formation shown in the first picture on this page.

Sheep Rock is the last stone formation visible in this picture. At one time there was an arch spanning from the "face" of sheep rock over to the stone wall. Arches are formed and destroyed constantly in the park. Geologically speaking we can't see any activity... most of the time, anyway. But we can see the results.

"Courthouse Towers - Gossips - Sheep Rock Panorama"
Arches National Park, Utah

Back to Top

Park Link
Arches National Park
National Park Service Web Site

Site Map 

Further Reading
Click to buy Exploring Canyonlands and Arches National Parks from
"Exploring Canyonlands and Arches National Parks"
Buy from

Moments of Light
© Moments of Light Logo Privacy Policy / Legal Information Need more information? Please contact us.