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Arches National Park

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Arches National Park Entry Sign...
Arches National Park Map
Map of Arches National Park. (Click for a larger map.)
I've been to two places that I think could qualify as an alien landscape, and both happen to be in Utah. The first, Goblin Valley State Park, qualifies on a local, close-up level, where you can walk among the sandstone formations on the valley floor.

The other, Arches, qualifies on a larger level, where entire backgrounds seem to be other-worldly, from arches to impossibly balanced rocks, to almost instantly recognizable rock formations. These, however, aren't small formations, they rising hundreds of feet into the air.

There are more than 1600 cataloged arches within the parks boundaries, the greatest density of stone arches anywhere in the world. This is one of the premier National Parks in America, and definitely resides in one of my must see parks.

I was at Arches National Park twice, in September 1997 and September 2005. The first time, all the photo gear was analog. The second time it was all digital, and went into the park with the express purpose of imaging the park with more modern equipment and photo-stitching techniques. Of course, I always seem to visit the park when I'm on the way to or from someplace else, and there's a lot of things to do in the vicinity of the park... Back to Top

Entrance to Balanced Rock

There's a (relatively) new visitor's center, as well as a new entrance, which was moved down the road from the old one. The old entrance used to be right around a blind corner on US-191, and you can probably tell why it was moved to a relatively straight stretch of road.

Arches National Park, Part 1
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Arches National Park, Part 2

The windows area of the park has an high concentration of famous arches, The Parade of Elephants, Double Arch, North and South Windows (The Spectacles) and Turret Arch.

As you can tell from the picture below, Jo was still suffering from sticking her nose into that flower in Great Basin...

Windows Section

Arches National Park, Part 2
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Fiery Furnace to Skyline Arch, Delicate Arch

From the Windows area, we visited Fiery Furnace, Skyline Arch, and the most iconic arch, one of Utah's icons, Delicate Arch. No I didn't walk to it. I probably would have if I had included the time to do it, but the hours always seem to be better spent elsewhere.

Arches National Park, Part 3
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Related Links

Canyonlands is just downriver from Arches, around 30 minutes by road. On the way to Canyonlands is Dead Horse Point State Park, which has a magnificent view of the Colorado and the gooseneck before the river enters Canyonlands. Utah-128 follows the meanders of the Colorado River, right across the river from Arches. It's the alternative way to get to I-70 from Moab.

Canyonlands National Park
Canyonlands Link Canyonlands National Park is proto-Grand Canyon, and in my opinion even more impressive in many ways. It is the confluence of the Green and Colorado Rivers, a major contributor making the Colorado the powerhouse river of the Southwest. Once the Colorado enters Canyonlands, it doesn't leave Federal land until the river reaches the California.

I've only been to the Island In The Sky District, since it was the most accessible.

Near Moab, UT / 49 Images. Visited Sep 1997, Sep 2008.

Dead Horse Point State Park, Utah
Dead Horse Point Link Dead Horse Point State Park is right next door to Canyonlands National Park, about a half-mile as the crow flies, or about 11 miles by road. That's just the way things are out here.

From the top, you get a magnificent view of the Colorado River Valley and the goosenecks just before entering Canyonlands. Unfortunately, the main view is to the South, so the sun will always be in front of you.

Near Moab, Utah / 27 Images. Visited Sep 2005, Sep 2008.

Colorado River
Colo River Link The Colorado River starts as a small stream in Rocky Mountain National Park, and gathers hundreds of other streams and rivers along the way to become the lifeline of the Southwest, providing water, electricity and recreation to millions in the five states the river flows through or touches.

I've actually followed the river in one form or another, from Rocky Mountain National Park to Grand Canyon. I've also done more river miles on the Colorado than any other river...

Colorado, Utah and Arizona / 55 Images. Visited Sep 2005, Sep 2008.
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Trip Report: Sep 1997, Sep 2005.

Return to: State Index Utah State Page Moab, Utah National Parks

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