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Copyright 2002-2015
Leslie M. Barstow III

Arches National Park

Why Visit?  Park Info  Tour Guide  When To Visit  Photo Tips  Nature  Photo Gallery

[Picture: Delicate Landscape]

Arches National Park is a desert land of red rocks, containing the greatest population of natural arches in the world.  But beyond just the arches, the park is a wonderland of carved rock - fin canyons, monuments, monoliths, spires and hoodoos - with expansive canyon and mountain backdrops accenting the formations in the foreground.

The park is a photographer's playground; the sunrise and sunset turn the red and ochre formations into glowing ruby and orange, contrasting with the darkening blue sky.  The weird formations take on an even more otherworldly character for these brief moments of the day.

Hikers have access to trails ranging from .1 mile lookouts to 7+ mile excursions with primitive trail conditions. Experienced hikers can also try less formal routes such as the Cottonwood Wash trail, which leads through a canyon out of the park and back to the outskirts of Moab.

Several of the park's rock formations have technical climbing routes for the vertically intrigued. The park is not as popular for climbing as other parks such as Zion or Yosemite, but you can often see at least a couple of climbers on your drive through.

Off-season the park is usually not crowded, and the adventurous person can take one of the primitive trails to escape into desert isolation for a short time.  Edward Abbey's "Desert Solitaire" was written about the solitude he found in the park (before they paved the road and Moab became a popular tourist destination) - with some effort, you can feel a little of what he experienced and immerse yourself in the vast beauty of this place.