Woke up to crystal clear sunny skies. Found out this morning that Moab's annual music festival is going on - thus explaining the lack of accommodation. By the time I got to Arches National Park there were already no campsites available - so I'm not staying here tonight. I asked at the ranger station if they could check to see if any sites were available at Canyonlands National Park - there were a few, so I planed on heading there for tonight.
In Arches I drove the length of the park road and hiked the Park Avenue Trail, the Delicate Arch View Point Trail, and the Delicate Arch Trail. On the Delicate Arch Trail I ran in to the same ranger I'd talked to at the HQ and she told me that she had just heard on the radio there were no more campsites at Canyonlands - oh well, Zion then...
I visited Delicate Arch with my parents probably more than twenty years ago. It was amazing how the view of the arch brought back a flood of memories. It's spectacular, but also crowded. In fact I found the entire park crowded - and it's post season. The only places I had any breathing room were on the four wheel drive only roads, and at the Delicate Arch View Point I somehow managed to sit on a rock without anyone coming by for a half hour.
Next time I come to Arches I'll aim for even further into the off season and for a full moon - it would be incredible.
The drive to Zion was unexciting. As I was leaving Arches I could see heavy clouds and rain to the east - luckily I was heading to the west where only clear skies could be seen. At dusk, shortly after turning on to I-15 towards Las Vegas (and Zion) there was some rain ahead. I stopped and put up the top (just as well as it was also a bit cold out) and shortly afterwards there were a few drops. As I approached Zion's western gate the skies cleared and the stars were brilliant - as they can only be in the desert.
Not surprisingly Zion's campgrounds were full. I drove through the park (first time I've done this in the dark), and found a commercial RV Park / Campground a few miles outside the park's eastern gate.