Sunday, March 27, 2011

Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park

This past weekend while Erik was in San Diego for a track meet, I headed down to Moab to run the Canyonlands Half Marathon.  I met up with Mom, Papa, and Lyndee, who drove up from AZ to run the race as well.  The Friday before the race we hiked the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park.  The FF is a maze of deep canyons and fins of rock that you can easily get lost in.  Therefore, in order to enter the FF you must have a backcountry permit or sign up before hand to do a ranger guided hike.  We opted to go with a ranger and I am so glad we did.  We learned a lot about the rock formations and wildlife with the ranger and I would highly recommend going this route with a ranger.  Although the distance of the hike is only about 2 miles, there is a lot of scrambling and stemming through the narrows of the FF, making it  challenging adventure.

From the trailhead parking lot the FF appears to be an unimpressive field of rocks.  That stretches across the valley, but as we ventured further and further into the fins of rock we were impressed with the deep canyons and geological formations.

Of course, Monte was documenting every moment of the excitement.

We wandered through canyon after canyon in a maze like fashion.  The "ranger in training" who was in the back with us most of the time, kept asking me, "Do you think you could get out now?"  After a while the answer was "No", I can see why people get lost in there all the time.

I was really impressed by Mom and her youthful scrambling through the FF, my parents are pretty much the best.

"Crawl Through Arch" took some careful manuvering through.

Every once in a while we would climb high enough to where I could get my bearings a little bit, but that place is seriously crazy cool!

View looking back towards Leaning Rock and the Windows section of Arches

Amazing traverse through the Fiery Furnace took about 3 hours, but still left our legs fairly fresh to be able to run the race the next day no problem.  Great way to kick off the weekend.

No comments: