I made my way into Utah from Western Colorado. Upon arriving in Arches National Park it was 100 degrees, great, just great, this is going to be not so fun. I’m really not too fond of the uber-heat, and don’t give me that ‘it’s a dry heat’ bullshit, it is stupid hot anyway you look at it. I entered the park and went to the ranger station to get my back country camping permit.
I inquire about the permit and I can immediately tell from the ranger’s expression: this is not going to be fun. Despite her less than encouraging expression I ask where the best place to camp in the park is. As I am asking I realize how stupid my question is. I am seriously asking this person where the best place to camp in the desert is. Do you know what the answer was: somewhere with shade. No shit Sherlock.
I leave the ranger station with directions to hike up a ‘dry’ riverbed, camp in a canyon, and find this cool Archway that is not on any map. I hiked up the horsefly infested riverbed with 5 liters of water and all my gear. I wandered around for 2 hours looking for this elusive arch sweating my ass off and could not find it to save my life. I called it quits and set up camp in the canyon (which did have a lot of shade), however I couldn’t sleep due to the devil birds and stupid deer making noise around my tent all night. The wildlife was apparently fond of this slot canyon as well. I awoke at 5 am and got the hell out of that hell hole.
I spent the morning hiking a little over 9 miles of trails in the park to see some of the highlights of Arches National Park, which are absolutely amazing. It was still relatively cool in the morning so it actually wasn’t that bad. The archways and scenery in the park is just astounding. I was awed over and over again. I highly recommend checking the place out, just don’t do it in the middle of summertime. When I arrived at my car from the last trail it was 106 degrees and it was only noon. The place had turned into a damn furnace.
Needless to say I didn’t spend much more time roasting in that open air oven. I couldn’t have been happier to leave, especially since an entire legion of asshole Texans had just showed up and were being enormous d-bags. I scooted out of there and headed north to try and find some cooler temps to camp in. I found a nice little campsite off the beaten path and settled in for the night.
I awoke the next morning feeling a little stiff from hiking all day in a furnace and decided to get some R&R. I found a nearby mountain hot spring using my Roadtripper phone app and headed straight for it. Diamond Fork hot springs are natural sulfur springs at the end of a short little hike. They are awesome, with a waterfall and several sulfur springs bubbling up and mixing with the cold mountain water, you have your pick of temperature in the pools. If you get the chance check them out!
After relaxing in the pools for an hour and chatting up some locals I made my exit. The world cup soccer game was on the next day and I needed to make it to Portland by game time, so I was off like a prom dress with Utah in my rearview.