Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a wondrous collection of geologic formations in Grand County, eastern Utah.  The park is adjacent to the Colorado River, off US 191 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab.  More than 2,000 natural sandstone arches are located in the park, including the well-known Delicate Arch (our site icon), as well as a variety of unique geological formations.  The park contains the highest density of natural arches in the world.  The banner photos highlight some of the arches and outstanding geology in the park.  Three noted arches are Landscape Arch, the longest arch at 306 ft (93.3 m), Double Arch, the tallest at 144 ft (44 m), and the most-photographed and best-known Delicate Arch, the tallest free-standing arch in the park.  Geologic formations include Balanced Rock, Elephant Butte, Three Gossips, and Courthouse Towers.

The park consists of 76,679 acres (119.811 sq mi, 310.31 km2) of high desert located on the Colorado Plateau.  The highest elevation in the park is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and the lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center.  The park receives an average of less than 10 inches (250 mm) of rain annually.

Administered by the National Park Service, it was created as a national monument on April 12, 1929, and was redesignated as a national park on November 12, 1971.  The park received more than 1.6 million visitors in 2018.  In June, 2019, 2,667 cars visited Arches NP.  The photo showing the lines of cars lined up at the entrance was taken in October, 2019 - plan your visit to arrive early.

Visit Arches to discover a landscape of contrasting colors, land forms and textures unlike any other in the world.  In addition to the arches, there are hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks.  This red-rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.  Throughout the park, rock layers reveal millions of years of deposition, erosion, and other geologic events.

Hikers at Arches National Park can take advantage of a wide variety of trails.  Some hikes in Arches take only a couple hours to complete, while others are longer half-day hikes for the intermediate and advanced hiker.  For those who prefer to tour by car, there are many scenic driving routes for viewing some of the park’s largest arches, including a drive to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint.

Nearby are Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, and Lake Powell, and hundreds of archaeological sites.

The Photo gallery includes an auto-show of the 38 photos in the gallery.  Video tour 1 is an 11:10 HD (1600x900) tour of Arches with music (requires a high-resolution monitor).  Video tour 2 runs 3:36 with a narrative.  The Geology video describes the processes over millenia that formed the arches.  The Rockfall video is an amatuer video by visitor Michael Müller of the partial collapse of Landscape Arch in 1991.

Some of the text, modified and paraphrased, comes from Wikipedia, the National Park Service, and the National Park Foundation.