Arches National Park

Written by on March 17, 2015 in UT Outdoor Adventures - 2 Comments

Swirled slickrock, towering arches, soaring pinnacles and painted rocks are what you will find in Arches National Park. Located a few miles north of Moab, Utah, Arches National Park offers some 2,000 natural arches, one of the greatest concentration of such structures anywhere in the world. The arches come in all shapes and sizes, from small keyholes at the beginning of their lifespan, to monumental creations that dominate the landscape.

The arches in Arches National Park are made of Entrada sandstone, which sits on a bed of salt, both are the last remnants of an ancient inland sea. The pressure of the layers of sandstone above made the salt to flow like thick syrup, causing it to dome up in places and collapse in others. Then the sandstone was (and is being) carved by wind and water into fantastic shapes, including the amazing arches for which the park is named.

delicate arch

Many of the arches in the park can be seen from the road that winds through the park. Others are a short hike from your car. And for those nature enthusiasts who love to hike, Arches offers some of the finest trails anywhere. The longest arch in the world, Landscape Arch, stretches 306 feet, is a short hike from the parking lot. Delicate Arch, the icon of the park, perfectly frames the snowed capped mountains in the distance, but it is quite a hike. And some times, the arches come in twos, like Double Arch!

The park sits in the high desert of Utah, between 4,500 and 5,500 feet above sea level. Plant life is a bit sparse, which makes the soaring rock formations even more amazing. Fifty-three species of animals and 185 bird specials call the park home. The climate is one of very hot summers, cold winters and very little rainfall. Even on a daily basis, temperatures may fluctuate as much as 50 degrees, so dress appropriately.

There are places to camp, picnic, hike and backpack in the park. In addition, Moab prides itself as being the capital of biking, both road and mountain biking, and you can ride in the park, but only on the roads. Nearby Moab offers a wide variety of places to stay, great restaurants, shopping and entertainment. The best time to visit is in the spring or the fall, as temperatures are perfect at those times of year. However, if you visit in the summer, be sure to carry plenty of cold water with you … it is the high desert!

Other attractions in the area include:
Canyonlands National Park
Moab, Utah
Natural Bridges National Monument

Arches National Park
PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532
Visitor Information: (435) 719-2299
Visitor Center: open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Entrance Fee: $5 per individual, $10 per vehicle[ad]

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