Monoliths, fins, and arches. Those are the formations that strike you when entering Arches National Park outside Moab, Utah. Not designated a national park until 1973, the 119 square mile Arches has become synonymous with Delicate Arch, the iconic (and amazing) rock formation that graces Utah’s license plates and state publicity.
But a visit to this tremendous park reveals a slew of equally impressive and precarious rock arches, some of which may not remain for much longer.
I had fun camping with friends in Arches last spring, and spent a few days hiking the impressive network of trails. The park is spread out enormously, however, and there are huge stretches of open land between collections of formations. Driving was the only way we were able to visit a large diversity of formations.
I was blown away by the estimated 2000+ formations in the park, some of which hold impossibly thin curves of fragile sandstone aloft.
Landscape Arch stretches 290 feet, making it the second longest natural arch in the world. It’s so thin that it probably won’t survive more than the next 20 years.