Published Dunndeal Gazettes, September, 2022
Arches National Park is located five miles north of Moab, UT. You can spend the day driving along the 36-mile road, stopping throughout your journey to see the incredible rock formations and take photos. The park spans 76,519 acres or 119 square miles. Just imagine looking across the vast land with over 2,000 natural stone arches.
Hikers can enjoy many trails leading to the colorful arches. Red sandstones in the park contain iron oxide. The green rocks contain non-oxidized iron. You may see rocks with black, orange, grey or even purple layers. It is amazing to look out over the land and see the rainbow of colors that God has created in the earth.
Over thousands of years, the earth shifted, and ground levels raised and fell. This process turns fractured rock layers into fins, and fins into arches. Arches are created when potholes near cliff edges grow deeper and wear through the cliff wall. Arches and small honeycomb formations called tafone are formed.
In addition to fracturing, the unique rock formations were created through wind, rain, and snow. Heavy rains erode the rock and carry sediment into the canyons. In the winter, snow melts into cracks within the rocks. The freezing and melting splinters the rock and changes the formations.
What are the Names of the Most Famous Arches?
Double Arch. This arch is the tallest arch at 112 feet. It is known as a pothole arch, formed by water from above.
Balanced Rock. The 128-foot, 3,577-ton boulder sits atop a 55-foot pedestal.
The Spectacles. The arches are side by side and resemble a pair of glasses.
The Delicate Arch. The most recognized arch in the park stands 52-feet tall.
The landscape of Arches National Park is continuing to change. In 2008, the Wall Arch, a popular tourist attraction, fell during the night.
It is best to visit the arches in the early morning when the air is still cool, as it can get very hot during the afternoon hours.
Reservations are required to enter the park from 4/3/22-10/3/22. Guided tours are available. For more information and to plan your visit, go to https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/index.htm.