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Near Moab, a hard-to-photograph arch

Published October 12, 2012 10:21 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Moab • The hike to Jewel Tibbetts Arch was going well enough.

The trail head northwest of Moab was easy to find. The trail was flat. The footing was good. As I approached the arch viewpoint, there was a great view of the canyons below.

Then I reached the viewpoint itself. "Where's the arch?" I kept asking.

As I stood on the precipice, my eyes scanned the opposite canyon wall to the west, a few hundred yards away as the crow flies. The sun was setting and in my eyes.

I was about to give up when I finally spotted a hole almost in the center of the rock face. Then I realized another problem. "How am I going to photograph that with my camera phone?"

I wasn't. None of the photos I took were with the pixels forming them. That's why you don't actually see the arch with the Hike of the Week article. A skilled photographer would need to either hike down the canyon, for which there is no trail from the overlook, or have some expensive lenses and use them as the light hits the arch at the right time.

I feel some consolation that other would-be photographers have apparently had this problem. The Bureau of Land Management has a website for Jewel Tibbetts Arch, but the photograph on the site won't win any awards. A search of Google doesn't reveal many better photographs.

The hike to the Jewel Tibbetts Arch overlook is worth the trip. Just don't plan on posting photos of the arch to your Facebook page.

— Nate Carlisle

Twitter: @UtahHikes