Delicate Arch is the most photographed of the 2,000 arches in Arches National Park, Utah. It seems to be a right of passage to hike the 1.5 mile trail that gains 500 feet in elevation to watch the sun’s last rays on the arch at the end of the day.
Ya, I didn’t do that though. I just didn’t have the energy that day, and there were so many people, so instead I went to the viewpoint just past Wolfe Ranch. From that point of view I photographed the arch with my telephoto lens and included the all the people who did hike the trail in the image.
I’m sure I’ll hike the trail next time I visit, but I couldn’t help but wonder if it really is better on the other side when you have to share the view with so many people.
I read an interesting fact about the arch on Wikipedia about a photographer who has a prominent gallery which I visited in Zion National Park. Apparently Michael Fatali started a fire under the arch while demonstrating night photography techniques to a group of students. The fire discoloured the arch and he was fined over $10,000 for cleanup. And this wasn’t the only incident! He set a couple of fires in Canyonlands National Park too. I enjoyed his gallery in Zion at the time but I’m sure glad I didn’t spend any money there now that I know this.
How can the National Park Service even allow him to have a gallery at Zion? There are plenty of other photographers in Utah, some of the most outstanding photographers I have seen actually, who deserve it more than this moron.