Arches National Park

State: Utah

Established: November 12, 1971 (the area was originally created as a National Monument on April 12, 1929)

Area: 76,359 acres (30,901 ha)

History of Arches National Park:

The park contains more than 2,000 natural arches (the greatest concentration in the country). It is located on the Colorado River 6 km North of Moab, Utah. 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 it into domes and ridges, with valleys in between.

Groundwater began to dissolve the underlying salt deposits. The sand stones domes collapsed and weathered into a maze of vertical rock slabs called “fins.” Section of these slender walls eventually wore through, creating the spectacular rock sculptures.

Today’s major formations are salmon-colored Entrada Sandstone, in which most arches form, and buff-colored Navajo Sandstone. They stand like a layer cake over most of the park.

American Indians used this area for thousands of years. The Archaic peoples and later ancestral Puebloan, Fremont and Ute peoples, searches the arid desert for food animals, wild plant foods, and stone for tools and weapons. They also left evidence of their passing on a few pictograph and petroglyph panels. The first non-Indian explorers came looking for wealth in mineral forms. Ranchers found wealth as grasses for cattle and sheep.

 

How to get to Arches National Park:

1) From Moab, take US 191 north 5 miles to the park entrance.

2) From I-70, exit at Crescent Junction and follow US 191 south for 25 miles to the entrance.

 

When to go to Arches National Park:

Year-round, spring and fall are best. Moderate temperatures are ideal for hiking in the high desert. Summers are hot and winters mild. Wildflowers peak in April and May.

 

Hiking trails in Arches National Park:

Easy trails

Balanced Rock

Start:              Balanced Rock parking area

Length:           0.3 mile (0.5 km) round trip

Time:              15 to 30 minutes

 

The Windows

Start:              Windows parking area

Length:           1 mile (1.6 km) round trip

Time:              30 to 60 minutes

 

Double Arch

Start:              Double Arch parking area

Length:           0.5 mile (0.8 km) round trip

Time:              15 to 30 minutes

 

Delicate Arch Viewpoint

Start:              Delicate Arch Viewpoint Trailhead

Length:           100 yards (91 meters) round trip

Time:              10 to 15 minutes

 

Sand Dune Arch

Start:              Sand Dune Arch parking area

Length:           0.3 mile (0.5 km) round trip

Time:              15 to 30 minutes

 

Broken Arch

Start:              Sand Dune Arch parking area or Devils Garden campground across from campsite #40

Length:           1.3 miles (2.1 km) round trip; 2 miles (3.2 km) including the loop

Time:              30 to 60 minutes

 

Skyline Arch

Start:              Skyline Arch parking area

Length:           0.4 mile (0.6 km) round trip

Time:              10 to 20 minutes

 

Landscape Arch

Start:              Devils Garden Trailhead

Length:           1.6 mile (2.6 km) round trip

Time:              30 to 60 minutes

 

Courthouse Wash Rock Art Panel

Start:              Lower Courthouse Wash parking area

Length:           1 mile (1.6 km) round trip

Time:              30 to 45 minutes

 

Moderate trails

Park Avenue

Start:              Park Avenue parking area

End:                Courthouse Towers parking area

Length:           1 mile (1.6 km) one way

Time:              30 to 60 minutes

 

Strenuous trails

Tower Arch

Start:              Klondike Bluffs parking area, via the Salt Valley road

Length:           3.4 miles (5.5 km) round trip

Time:              2 to 3 hours

 

Delicate Arch

Start:              Wolfe Ranch parking area

Length:           3 miles (4.8 km) round trip

Time:              2 to 3 hours

 

Double O Arch

Start:              Devils Garden Trailhead

Length:           4.2 miles (6.8 km) round trip

Time:              2 to 3 hours

 

Devils Garden (includes primitive loop)

Start:              Devils Garden Trailhead

Length:           7.2 miles (11.6 km) round trip, including all spur trails to points of interest

Time:              3 to 5 hours

 

Fiery Furnace (Fee Area)

The Fiery Furnace is a mazelike labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons. There is no trail, so visitors are encouraged to accompany a ranger.

 

Information sources:

Arches Visitor Guide

Guide to National Parks of the United States

http://www.arches.national-park.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arches_National_Park

Official website:

http://www.nps.gov/arch/index.htm

One thought on “Arches National Park

  1. Pingback: Seznam národních parků USA | MiLe expeditions

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