Designated a national park in 1971, the Arches National Park is famous for its stunning natural beauty and in particular its wide variety of geological rock formations such as sandstone arches, stacks, pinnacles, huge balanced rocks and eroded monoliths.
The park is particularly well known for around 2000 protected natural sandstone arches which permeate the park.
With little in the way of light pollution from surrounding towns in cities, the park is also very popular with astronomers as a result of its prevalence of dark skies.
Whilst the park is a highly popular tourist destination, receiving in the region of 1,000,000 visitors per year, this popularity also leaves the delicate ecosystem susceptible to erosion and destruction.
To protect the soil environment in particular, visitors are continuously encouraged to stick to designated trails and to the cryptobiotic soil organisms which are crucial to sustaining the plant life in the park. The park also bans people from climbing on the arches and land-forms.
This is fabulous place to explore and take in the wonder of a magical landscape which has taken hundreds of millions of years of erosion to form.
The park visitor can explore the park in a variety of different ways including car, bike or on foot via a myriad of trails. There are also a range of campsites within the park if you want to extend your stay.
The Arches National Park Utah
The appropriately named Delicate Arch is probably the most widely photographed and representative image of the park.
Standing at a height of 65 feet and 45 feet across this natural freestanding red sandstone rock formation is an icon of the park and the state of Utah.
Indeed you can easily recognize residents from Utah State by the fact that the arch is contained on their car licence plates.
2. Double Arch
A huge double span archway formed by water erosion. This is the second longest arch found in the park at 144 ft across. Check out the people in the image foreground to get a sense of scale.
3. Landscape Arch
Landscape arch is the longest natural rock span arch in North America the world standing at 306 feet in length.
4. Double O Arch
This wintry scene shows a 71 foot span arch with a much smaller 21 foot window arch just below.
5. Balanced Rock
A 125 feet above the ground a balanced rock weighing the equivalent of 1600 cars sits precariously balanced.
6. The Petrified Sand Dunes
The petrified sand dunes (solid stone) are 200 million years in the making. This is a breathtaking scene with the snow-capped La Sal mountains in the distance.
7. Turret Arch
The Park and the Arches also provide some iconic natural scenery in the evening
8. Delicate Arch and the Milky Way
The dark skies offered by the park offer a great opportunity for stargazing and experiencing the wonders of the Universe – a sight seldom seen due to the light pollution of our towns and cities.
9. Courthouse Towers
Years of wind and water have eroded the Estrada sandstone to create monolithic rock features standing 4800 feet in height.
10. Hiking in Arches NP
Arches NP offer a myriad of trails to suit all levels of hiker.
Arches National Park Utah Fast Facts:
Where is the Arches National Park?
The park is located just outside Moab in the south eastern part of Utah
How big is the Arches National Park?
The park covers an area of just under 120 square miles
What is the Arches Park weather like?
How are the Arches and rock formations formed?
Although the precipitation levels are very low at between 8 and 10 inches each year, this level of rainfall is enough to drive the erosion process which shapes the formations found in the park.
Precipitation seeps into the permeable Entrada sandstone very easily and then slowly dissolves and washes away the calcite bonding the sand grains together.