ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
Established in 1971, is the closest park to Moab, Utah.
This park contains more than 2,000 natural arches - the
greatest concentration in the country and located on
76,359 acres. But numbers have no significance beside
the grandeur of the landscape - the arches, the
giant balanced rocks, spires, pinnacles, and slickrock
domes against the enormous sky.
Perched high above the Colorado River, the park is
part of southern Utah’s extended canyon country,
carved and shaped by eons of weathering and erosion.
Some 300 million years ago, inland seas covered
the large basin that formed this region. The seas refilled
and evaporated - 29 times in all - leaving behind
salt beds thousands of feet thick. Later, sand and boulders
carried down by streams from the uplands eventually
buried the salt beds beneath
thick layers of stone. Because the
salt layer is less dense than the
overlying blanket of rock, it rises
up through it, forming into
domes and ridges, with
valley in between.
Most of the formations at
Arches are made of soft
red sandstone deposited 150 million years ago. Much
later, ground-water began to dissolve the underlying
salt deposits. The sandstone domes collapsed and
weathered into a maze of vertical rock slabs called
“fins.” Sections of these slender walls eventually wore
through, creating the spectacular rock sculptures that
visitors to Arches see today.
The arches offers a variety of walking/hiking trails for
those wanting an easy stroll as well as those for a veteran
hiker; the trails are rated for easy, moderate and
strenuous. For those wanting a tour by car, the 48 mile
round trip on paved road wanders through spectacular
scenery and offers formations with unique colorful
names as: Delicate Arch, Fiery Furnace, the Three Gossips,
Devils Garden, and Parade of Elephants to name
For more information on visiting Arches
National Park, contact information is listed
below for your convenience.
Visitor Information: (435) 719-2299;
Business Office: (435) 719-2100