Herdina Park is one of those places I love to explore. It can be exhausting, and although you can see most of it in a day, it is one of those places you can revisit again and again and always find something new and exciting. I would suggest to anyone that ventures there to take a lunch and plenty of water, and if you can start at sunrise and leave after sunset. There are plenty of places to stretch out and take a nap. I wouldn’t advise doing this in the middle of summer.
If you venture north past the Eye of the Whale, you can climb to a higher overview where you will see the Windows area and the La Sal Mountains to the south. There are numerous places the rock has eroded into magical washes. Almost everywhere you go is a dead end however. Looking north up one of the draws you’ll see tall fins as in Castle Hollow (above).
There are probably ten of these cuts that all dump into a deeper canyon that would be impossible to get into without ropes unless you come up the canyon from the southwest. In Last Gleaming I am looking south fairly close to sunset.
Back near Eye of the Whale the ridge of rock just stops with a few random boulders. Eventide Storm is a composite with a sky I took after a big hailstorm.
If you’ve hiked in from the south, you’ve probably missed the east view of the Eye of the Whale. Getting down is a little tricky but doable if you’re not scared of heights. Our hike in October of 2010 brought us to a pool of water that was about half as deep as the one in my image. I couldn’t resist Photoshopping in a reflection to see what it would look like if the pool were full.
Back on the northwest side of the park I took a shot of the maze with the distant La Sals as a backdrop. Amazing Maze gives you some idea of the labyrinth of rock to explore.
These higher ridges of rock as in Serpentine Rim gives you a good view of Herdina, and also to the north you will see a ridge of rock that falls just outside of Arches, which is just as fascinating as any place in the park. You will also see the white tips of Klondike Bluffs, which will be my next visit.