Gabriela and I have discovered a closer, easier, safer and more picturesque route to Window Rock, than the published hike (Trails.com). Below this Update is the Published Hike, pretty much.
This, updated hike, begins only around the corner from us here at NMO. Click Here to vacation near-by.
Click Here To Get The Garmin Route
Please bare in mind that a 'Track' is a precise footprint based on satellite tracking..BUT a Route is traced on a map (MapSource). In this case..there is more incline than pictured on my MapSource. If you have Maps that reflect a NGS 1-24,000 ..then you'll be able to determine the contours more accurately. Download and Save..then open with you MapSource software. Dan
lthough this is a widely distributed hike (Trails.com), we saw NOBODY-NADA!!
Arches NP is not the only place to find arches..although it's the Capitol of Arches, granted!
This hike ran 12 miles..and there is a prescribed trail ..we found it really on again and off again. In fact with our grand faith in GPS and our "dead reckoning" abilities ..we decide to take the path less travelled to Window Rock.
I hate to say (because we only live a few miles from the trailhead) that the first few hundred yards ..it's as if there's a sign that say.."Dump Your Trash Here". It Santa Fe NF..and I'm going to write the local Ranger Station about all the trash dumped.
The first few mile we bushwacked, negotiated dry washes, slot canyons and even dead end box canyons. I'm sure this area in Spring is totally awash with waterfalls!! Image LOTS of waterfalls in the desert!
We were grateful that we made our own way, however, because of some the formations along the way:
And we entered into some slots ahead..very tight..and require focus of footing and navigation:
And below..Gabriela stands by what we termed Spatzli Rocks after the Swiss style dish.
After hiking these washes and slots for a few miles ..we scrambled up..up..up and out on volcanic rocks 10-15 lbs..tough hiking with unsteady footing. The area we came thru behind Gabriela:
At the very top..we intersected the trail-head and Window Rock came into view..as Ruby was sniffing out a wabbit La Sotella
in the background:
The meadow in front of the arch was a grazing place ..with livestock pond..but it obviously went dry. A steer spine ..stripped clean by Coyotes, Mtn Lion,Black Bear, Bob Cats, Eagles, Hawk, Ravens and Crows..all the bones spread out in all directions:
This is the best pic I got of Window Rock:
We decided no to hike up around it and had already contemplated that we'd be out here after dark and have to camp (done it, lots of dry wood and the slots'd be toasty and cozy ..and knowing the area..I brought a bit of a side arm):
We decided to hike the high ridges out to save time and made it out easily except having to scramble LOTS of volcanic stones..both up and down! Once again..we rarely stuck to the established trail-head..again that would disappear and reappear.
Again..at 12 miles this hike is rather advanced...and although no "technical" ..we needed to assist each other many times in the slots and boxes. Navigation NO PROB as long as you're proficient with GPS. Dan