“But where are the arches?” my brother-in-law John asked Peggy about my series on Arches National Park. “There is more to Arches than arches,” Peggy had responded. John readily agreed but there was still a plaintive ‘where are the arches’ tone to his voice. This post is for you, John— and for all of our other followers who have been wondering about how anyone could do a series on Arches National Park without arches.
They aren’t hard to find. There are over 2000 in the park, the highest concentration of any place in the world. Of course you would need a month to find them all plus put in a lot of miles hiking. We only had a day and the 100 degree F heat (37.7 C) discouraged much roaming in the time we had. Not to worry. The road plus a little walking took us to some of the most famous in the Park. So without further ado, I’ll start with the arch I featured at the top of the post, Turret Arch, named for its resemblance to turrets on castles.
A walk up to the Turret Arch easily includes two of the Park’s other Arches, North and South Windows.
No trip to Arches is complete without a trip to see the Delicate Arch, which many consider to be the National Park’s most scenic arch. Rather than make the gentle three mile round trip at 3 P.M. when we were both hot and tired, we took an alternative one mile trip straight up a steep slope for an overlook. Hmmm.
NEXT POST: As we drove out of Arches, I took several photos from our van that will serve as a closure to this series.
44 thoughts on “The Arches of Arches… Finally!”
I love this place Curt!
Certainly one of nature’s very special places, Pam. I could never get tired of it! Signed up to follow you today after looking at Yogi-Bear’s photo, plus the beautiful winter scenes. –Curt
Thanks for the follow 🙂 I am behind on reading all the blogs I follow….are you on your road trip??
Yes we are, Pam. Right now we are in a campground near Batesville, Indiana. We’ve been following old route 50 but slipped off it. I am thinking about hitting the freeways to get to less populated areas of the nation more quickly. –Curt
Have so much fun!
Thanks, Pam. 🙂
Why do you think so many were created in one place? Do we know how they are formed?
A combination of being on top of a salt bed that raises the ground up to create arches, the type of rocks, and the forces of nature, G. It’s quite a combination! –Curt
Just an added thought to Curt’s reply: arches are formed by wind erosion; bridges are formed by water erosion.
Erosion will get you one way or the other in the end. Grin. –Curt
Loved that so many of your photos were taken from an angle other than the standard ones we see, Curt.
Thanks, Ray. Appreciated. Peggy and I always enjoy viewing and photographing scenes we like from different perspectives. –Curt
Beautiful photos. Never visited Arches, but maybe this fall.
A great time to go, Kate. October might be best from a weather perspective. Thanks. –Curt
There is a saying; ‘I have dropped my arches’, but I think that has something to do with feet. I don’t know how one can suddenly experience the dropping of arches.
I prefer your journey through the arches very much.
Much better than getting caught flat-footed, Gerard. 🙂 Thanks. –Curt
Curt, I am enthralled by these arches . Especially the first two of the Turret Arch with the sky being highlighted within. And or, enhancing the rocks.
All of those pictures are stunning but the first two had me call and book an airline ticket. ( kidding). I wish though.
So thank you for the beauty and for sharing.
Turret Arch was my favorite because of the overall effect of the rock formation and arch. Well, the clouds helped, too. 🙂
Laughing about the airline ticket. I always enjoy the sharing aspect of the posts. Not only because it lets us share our adventures but also because it lets us relive them. Thanks, Miriam. –Curt
Great tour. The Arches is a wonderful place.
Thanks, Peggy. I’m going to be sorry for the series to end. No more sorting through our photos for the posts. 🙂
Ha ha, John certainly got his arches! What a wonderful place.
Yep. No more whining from, John. Grin. –Curt
Well, that triggered a happy memory… remembering my mom’s visit (back sometime in the early 80s. I have a picture somewhere of my mom posing by the window arch from that day. I also remember locking the keys in the pickup when it was getting on toward evening. Luckily there was a nice gentleman who broke into the sliding door in the back window of the cab. Back in the day before cell phones. I don’t think my mom would have enjoyed a night spent out in the “middle of nowhere”! This apple fell a goodly distance from the tree… 😉
Thanks to both of you for the great images!
Laughing. I can’t imagine my mother enjoying a night under the stars either. As I recall, we wen’t on one camping trip in my youth. Your mother may have never forgiven you for locking your keys in the car. Mine would have been looking for a large rock. No lack of them at Arches. Grin. –Curt
I don’t know why I’ve not noticed this before, but in many of these photos, the rock looks like fudge cooling in a pan. The delicate arch is beautiful; it is my favorite, I think. I especially like Peggy’s last photo, with the tiny people on pilgrimage, and the cloud seeming to mimic the structure of some of the rock formations.
Mother Nature whips up fudge every once in a while, Linda. Unfortunately, it isn’t edible. 🙂 I really liked that last photo of Peggy’s as well. Beautiful arch, tiny people and towering cloud. –Curt
Hi Curt–this isn’t about your Arches photos, which are wonderful–as is Arches Nat’l lPark. I just got an email from a PC Liberia friend trying to get your permission to use your teaching materials–and give you credit for writing them. If you’re interested in giving permission, you can email Jinny Hesel (she was in my group, Group 9). Her email is email@example.com. I apologize for the personal un-Wandering-related message! Hope all’s well with you. I long to travel (we’re not now due to Covid) and my husband and I are thinking of buying and outfitting a van for camping. When I left Liberia in 1968, my roommate and I bought a VW van and drove it around w. Africa for a couple of months–until it finally gave up the ghost in Niger. I am so enjoying YOUR travels!
Hi Mary. I responded to Jinny. Thanks. Wed were in the midst of leaving for our 10,000 mile trip around the US and it had slipped through the cracks. Unfortunately, I wasn’t the person she was looking for. –Curt
Loved seeing all of these arches — walking into them, looking through them, sitting inside a couple to have my picture made, etc. What a grand National Park this is. So glad it’s preserved and people all over the world can visit. Would go back in a heartbeat, but would hope it wouldn’t be on a 100-degree day!
Best way to avoid those hundred degree days is in the spring and fall. 🙂 This was my first summer trip there and only because our schedule didn’t provide an option! Glad you could sit under the arches. It’s special. –Curt
The whole place is special. We couldn’t believe how different and spectacular the whole park was.
Those are fabulous pictures! You say that new arches are forming. Now, I could use my internet skills and see how that happens but perhaps you have some insight. I understand them falling down but making new ones? Anyhow, it looks like a fabulous trip and I can’t believe there are 2000 arches! I wonder if anyone has ever stayed long enough to see them all.
Thanks. Imagine having a job to go around and count the arches. 🙂 Moab adventure has a fairly succinct answer on arch formation. Here it is: Underneath Arches National Park lies a salt bed layer, which was deposited some 300 million years ago when the area was part of an inland sea. When the sea evaporated, it left salt deposits; some areas collected over a thousand feet of these deposits. During the next millions of years, the area was filled with debris deposited from winds, floods, streams and oceans that came and went. Over time this debris compressed into rock. The weight of the rock layer caused the salt bed below to become fluid, allowing it to thrust up and create domes and ridges.
What happened after the movement of salt molded the landscape? Erosion went to work on the surface rock layers and ground water began to dissolve the underlying salt deposits. Water seeped through cracks in the weathered rock and ice formed, further expanding the crevices and weakening the rock. Eventually, the domes began to collapse leaving a maze of vertical free-standing rock walls known as fins. Wind and water continued to assault these fins until they eventually wore through and pieces began to fall away, creating the amazing arches you see today.
That is absolutely amazing. The things that happen naturally are so interesting. I’d rather natural than technological.
Nature is never boring, Christine! 🙂 –Curt
This is one of my favorite places on earth. It’s sensational proof Mother Nature has an amazing imagination.
That she does! And sense off humor. 🙂
As always the Arches are beyond belief fantastic and photogenic! Their shapes and defying of gravity are breath taking.
The basic combination of colors between the vibrant red earth, blue sky, green brush tones and a few white clouds floating around is magnificent.
The area really is a photographer/nature lover’s dream, Arati. I could hang out there for a year trying to catch all of the moods of the various seasons. Did you ever read Edward Abbey’s book “Desert Solitaire” on the time he spent there? –Curt
Wow Curt- you and Peggy got some absolutely beautiful shots! Those clouds and colors! Thanks for sharing them- life swamped me, so I’m starting this series with the Arches and looking forward to seeing what Else Arches had to offer! 😁
I can imagine you are swamped, Anne. I can only imagine what teachers are going through now with everything so much up in the air. On top of that there is being a parent. now. Pretty hard to find time for writing and blogging. Hang in there and be safe. –Curt
Thanks so much, Curt- I appreciate it. This year is definitely keeping us on our toes (to put it positively :)) Still, I’m grateful for the little breaks to check out your blog and others- always appreciate the “mini vacations” that your photos provide!