Arches' Rock Stars (U.S. National Park Service) (2023)

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Arches National Park has the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world. There are over 2,000 documented arches in the park, plus pinnacles, balanced rocks, fins and other geologic formations. Some are more notable than others. Here is a sampling of some of the longest, tallest, and most famous rock formations in the park.

Arches' Rock Stars (U.S. National Park Service) (1)

Longest Span:

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With a light opening measured at 306 feet (93.3 meters), Landscape Arch, in the Devils Garden area, has the longest span of any arch in North America. (Four arches in China now outrank Landscape in the claim for largest arch in the world.)

Arches' Rock Stars (U.S. National Park Service) (2)

Tallest Opening:

The southern span of Double Arch soars 112 feet (34 m) above ground level in The Windows Section. It is also the third-longest (or widest) arch in the park, at 144 feet (44 m) across.

Arches' Rock Stars (U.S. National Park Service) (3)

Biggest Balancer:

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Standing beneath Balanced Rock, it's hard to grasp its size. The massive sandstone boulder perched atop the pedestal is estimated to weigh 3,577 tons. That's the weight of an icebreaker ship or approximately 27 blue whales.

Arches' Rock Stars (U.S. National Park Service) (4)

Most Famous:

Without a doubt, Delicate Arch is the most famous natural stone arch in the world. Referred to as "The Arch" by many arriving visitors for whom it is No. 1 on their must-see lists, Delicate has an allure that is hard to explain but impossible to deny.

The light opening beneath Delicate Arch is 46 feet (14 m) high. The entire rock span is around 60 feet (18 m) tall.

Every single arch, spire, and other rock shape in the park is a remnant of massive, solid layers of rock that once covered the area. Over time, the layers bulged, cracked, and began to erode away. Given enough time, every arch will be gone and the layer beneath will be exposed... until it, too, is gone. What will the park look like then?

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(Video) Great Hike at the Delicate Arch - Arches National Park (U.S. National Park Service)


    What is the most famous arch in Arches National Park? ›

    Without a doubt, Delicate Arch is the most famous natural stone arch in the world. Referred to as "The Arch" by many arriving visitors for whom it is No. 1 on their must-see lists, Delicate has an allure that is hard to explain but impossible to deny.

    What famous arch collapsed in Arches National Park? ›

    Wall Arch, located along the popular Devils Garden Trail at Arches National Park collapsed sometime during the night of August 4, 2008. Rock has continued to fall from the arms of the remaining portion of the arch necessitating the closure of the Devils Garden Trail just beyond Landscape Arch.

    What is so special about Arches National Park? ›

    Arches National Park has the densest concentration of natural stone arches in the world. There are over 2,000 documented arches in the park, plus pinnacles, balanced rocks, fins and other geologic formations. Some are more notable than others.

    When did Delicate Arch collapse? ›

    Around 2:45 pm, on September 1, 1991, people heard cracking and popping sounds coming from Landscape Arch, and two of them provided photos and video to the park. Royce Morrison was at the arch on that day and captured photographs of the rock fall after hearing the cracking noises.

    What can you not miss at Arches National Park? ›

    8 Things You Can't Miss on FIRST VISIT to ARCHES National Park
    • Stop at Park Avenue Viewpoint and (optional) Hike Park Avenue Trail.
    • See the Balanced Rock.
    • Stop at Garden of Eden Viewpoint.
    • Visit Double Arch.
    • Visit the Windows and Turrets Arches.
    • Hike Devils Garden Trail and see Landscape Arch.
    • See Dune Arch and Broken Arch.
    18 May 2022

    How many arches have collapsed in Arches National Park? ›

    Arches has changed dramatically in the years since it became a national park in 1971: The roads are paved, the campground has flush toilets, and at least 43 arches have collapsed.

    Can your arch fall suddenly? ›

    It usually occurs suddenly because of a high-impact injury related to a fall from a height, a motor vehicle accident or participation in sports, and it may be associated with fractures or other injuries.

    What is the green dirt at arches? ›

    The green color comes from reduced iron. You may know about iron deposits that have a rusty-red color—that's the color you'll see the most in Arches' rock formations. environment—like under water—which gave it a green color.

    Did one of the arches fall in Utah? ›

    During the night of August 4, 2008, Utah lost a popular giant when Wall Arch, a prominent arch along the Devils Garden Trail in Arches National Park, collapsed. While not the largest or most famous arch in the park, Wall Arch was still a favorite due to its proximity to Landscape Arch along the always-busy trail.

    Which is better Zion National Park or Arches National Park? ›

    If you want a couple of long hikes, Zion. If you want a lot of shorter hikes with a couple slightly longer, then Arches. With one day in Zion you could hike the Narrows and Angels Landing (assuming you can get a permit) or you could do a few other hikes and stop at pull-offs on the east side.

    What is the best month to visit Arches National Park? ›

    The best time to visit Arches National Park is April through May and September through October, when daytime temperatures average about 60 to 80 degrees. In the summer, temperatures can exceed 100 degrees, which can make exploring the park's trails very uncomfortable.

    What are 5 facts about Arches National Park? ›

    Basic Facts About Arches National Park
    • Location: Utah.
    • Acreage: 76,519 acres or 119 square miles.
    • Visitation: 1.8 million in 2021.
    • Highest Elevation: Elephant Butte 5,653 feet.
    • Lowest Elevation: Visitor Center 4,085 feet.
    • Average annual precipitation: 8-10 inches.
    • When Did It Become A National Park?
    8 Dec 2022

    Is the Delicate Arch man made? ›

    The world-famous Delicate Arch was formed by the movement of underground salt beds beneath overlying sandstone, in concert with surface events including water, ice, and erosion, which washed away or broke off the sandstone to create the arches and fins found throughout Arches National Park.

    How long does it take to walk to Delicate Arch? ›

    How Long Is The Hike? The Delicate Arch trail is 3.2 miles long, round-trip. While you may be able to finish the hike in under an hour, most visitors will spend some time at the arch. Allow between two and three hours to complete the hike without being rushed.

    What is the famous rock in Utah? ›

    Utah is known for its amazing rock formations, including spires, pinnacles, hoodoos, natural bridges, and arches, as well as buttes and canyons. Some of the most spectacular can be seen at Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Natural Bridges, Cathedral Valley, and Monument Valley.

    Can you stargaze in Arches? ›

    Arches preserves some of the darkest night sky in the Southwest. If you go stargazing, bring a red flashlight to protect your night vision. Respect other visitors by keeping your lights pointed toward the ground and not shining bright lights on arches or formations.

    What is the best time to stargaze at Arches National Park? ›

    The winter months are the best time to go stargazing in Arches National Park, as the air is generally at its clearest. An added benefit to winter stargazing is that it gets darker earlier in the day, with the sun setting between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.

    Is 1 day enough in Arches? ›

    Arches National Park is a relatively small national park with a handful of must-see sights. With one day in Arches, you can visit these top sights and a few off-the-beaten-path places. After multiple visits to Arches National Park, including two visits in the past two years, we have learned a lot about this park.

    Do fallen arches disappear? ›

    The condition is referred to as pes planus, or fallen arches. It's normal in infants and usually disappears between ages 2 and 3 years old as the ligaments and tendons in the foot and leg tighten. Having flat feet as a child is rarely serious, but it can last through adulthood.

    How deep does the arch go into the ground? ›

    Foundation: 60 Feet Deep

    Reinforced concrete foundations sunk 60 feet into the ground extend 30 feet into bedrock and contribute substantially to the structural strength of the Arch.

    What to do if Arches National Park is full? ›

    Arches National Park is generally open 24 hours a day, year-round. On very busy days, when parking lots fill to capacity we temporarily delay additional park entries. Visitors who encounter a closed gate may try back in a few hours or consider visiting other nearby destinations.

    Can fallen arches come back? ›

    One of the foot problems people develop is "fallen arches" or "flat feet," a decrease in the longitudinal arch that absorbs landing forces. You can rebuild the arches through the use of the following and other active isolated, constant-resistance exercises.

    Is fallen arches reversible? ›

    Flat feet in children will often resolve without intervention, while "fallen arches" in adults tend to be permanent and non-reversible.

    Are fallen arches painful? ›

    Most people have no symptoms associated with flatfeet. But some people with flatfeet experience foot pain, particularly in the heel or arch area. Pain may worsen with activity. Swelling may occur along the inside of the ankle.

    What are 3 facts about Arches National Park? ›

    Longest arch: Landscape Arch has a light opening 306 feet (93.3 meters) across. Tallest arch: Double Arch South has a vertical light opening of 112 feet (34.1 meters). Rock colors: Red sandstones in the park contain iron oxide. Greenish rocks also contain iron, but in a reduced (non-oxidized) state.

    What is crypto in Moab? ›

    Moab, UT: Biological soil crust, also known as cryptobiotic soil, is the foundation of desert plant life. This black, knobby crust is made up of many different living organisms and plays a vital role in maintaining the desert eco-system. However, this sensitive soil is extremely fragile and can take decades to grow.

    Why is rock in arches red? ›

    Today many of the rocks in Arches National Park and throughout the southwestern United States are coated by a thin red-to-black coating called desert varnish. It is found mainly in arid environments and is thought to be formed from atmospheric dust and surface runoff.

    Where is the oldest rock in Utah? ›

    The eastern Uinta Mountains near the Colorado line and the Raft River-Dover Creek Mountains contain the oldest rocks in Utah from more than two billion years ago. Rubidium-strontium dating of the Red Creek Quartzite in 1965 indicated an age of 2.3 billion years.

    Is arches bigger than Canyonlands? ›

    Arches is smaller than Canyonlands at just 119 square miles to Canyonlands' 527 square miles. However, just the Island in the Sky area is close in size to all of Arches. Another way to compare the size of the parks is by the length of their scenic drives.

    How far away is Zion and the arches? ›

    How long is the drive from Zion National Park to Arches National Park? The direct drive from Zion National Park to Arches National Park is 351 mi (564 km), and should have a drive time of 5 hrs 17 mins in normal traffic.

    Is Bryce Canyon better than Arches? ›

    Bryce and Arches are both stunning. But Arches offer more variety. You can see a good portion of Bryce just from overlooks. And while the view of the hoodoos is otherworldly, if you're not a huge hoodoo fan, the view can start to grow monotonous.

    How many days do you need to visit Arches National Park? ›

    Two days in Arches is ideal though and would give you enough time to explore the Fiery Furnace on the ranger-led hike and do a few more of the longer hikes. One day is really all you need at the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands National Park if you're sticking to the overlooks and shorter trails.

    How long does it take to drive thru Arches National Park? ›

    The scenic drive in Arches is about 22 miles one way, so about 45 miles in total. You should count at least 4-5 hours to drive the entire road and make short stops (5-30min each) at all the scenic viewpoints. If you are planning to hike in Arches, you'll need more time.

    Which city should you fly to if you want to visit Arches National Park? ›

    Most people coming to Arches fly into these airports: Canyonlands Field (CNY) (11 miles from the park entrance) Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT) (109 miles from the park entrance) Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) (230 miles from the park entrance)

    Do you need a car for Arches National Park? ›

    The best way to get around Arches National Park is by car. There is no public transportation inside Arches National Park, though commercial tours are offered by companies in Moab, Utah, which sits about 5 miles southeast of the park entrance.

    Is Moab and arches the same? ›

    The entrance of Arches is located 5 miles (8km) north of Moab, along highway 191. Arches National Park is normally open year-round, 24 hours a day. The park is very busy between March and October.

    How hard is arches hike? ›

    To get to Delicate Arch, it is a 3-mile round trip hike with 480 feet of elevation gain. This hike, plus time to view the arch, takes most people 2 to 3 hours. The National Park Service describes this hike as difficult.

    Is arches a difficult hike? ›

    Arches contains a variety of hiking trails, many of which are considered easy to moderate.

    Can you see Delicate Arch without hiking? ›

    For those who aren't up for the hike, there are two other viewing options: The Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint just down the road only requires a 100-yard walk over flat ground to get a fine look at the arch from a mile away.

    What caused the arches in Utah? ›

    The arches formed as the result of erosion through weak parts of sandstone fins composed of Jurassic-age Dewey Bridge Member of the Carmel Formation and Slick Rock Member of the Entrada Sandstone. Utah is also unique in its abundance of entrenched river systems, which often form spectacular natural bridges.

    What metal is the arch made of? ›

    The Gateway Arch is a 630-foot-tall (192 m) monument in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. Clad in stainless steel and built in the form of a weighted catenary arch, it is the world's tallest arch and Missouri's tallest accessible building.

    Is Delicate Arch worth it? ›

    Delicate Arch was really worth the hike, but this walk is not only about the arch itself. The views along the way are phenomenal and I would recommend this hike to everyone visiting the Arches. If you do one hike in the park, make it this one – it's probably the most beautiful hike of the Arches National Park.

    Is Delicate Arch on a cliff? ›

    Directly to the south of the arch a steep cliff plummets over 400-ft to the desert floor. The bowl itself is a work of art.

    Is Delicate Arch better at sunrise or sunset? ›

    Is Delicate Arch better for Sunrise or Sunset? If you're hoping for the best experience, i.e. fewer crowds, sunrise is going to be the best time to hike Delicate Arch Trail. Keep in mind, in order to beat the crowds, you want to aim to be at Delicate Arch before the sun breaks the horizon.

    What gem is only found in Utah? ›

    The only known deposit of large, gem-quality red beryl in the world is from the Ruby-Violet claims in the Wah Wah Mountains of Beaver County, Utah.

    What is the most famous arch in Utah? ›

    Without a doubt, Delicate Arch is the most famous natural stone arch in the world. Referred to as "The Arch" by many arriving visitors for whom it is No. 1 on their must-see lists, Delicate has an allure that is hard to explain but impossible to deny.

    What is the best arch in Moab? ›

    Delicate Arch at Arches National Park. Probably the most iconic arch within the park is the Delicate Arch. The arch rises 46 feet from the ground, making it the largest free-standing arch in the park. The hike to the base of the arch is three miles, round trip.

    What is the world's biggest victory arch? ›

    Arc de Triomphe, in full Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile, massive triumphal arch in Paris, France, one of the world's best-known commemorative monuments. The Arc de Triomphe is an iconic symbol of French national identity and took 30 years to build.

    What are the 4 main types of arches? ›

    The many forms of arch are classified into three categories: circular, pointed, and parabolic. Arches can also be configured to produce vaults and arcades. Rounded, i. e. semicircular, arches were commonly used for ancient arches that were constructed of heavy masonry.

    Where is the famous arch in Moab? ›

    The entrance of Arches is located 5 miles (8km) north of Moab, along highway 191. Arches National Park is normally open year-round, 24 hours a day. The park is very busy between March and October. To avoid traffic, we recommend entering the park before 8 am or after 3 pm.

    What is the best month to visit Moab? ›

    In the Spring | March – May

    As days get longer and the red rock starts to warm, travelers from around the world visit Moab to shake off a cold winter. Midday temperatures generally reach 70ºF during the springtime, making it a perfect time of year to get outside!

    Which is better to see Canyonlands or Arches? ›

    You can still visit the short (and gorgeous) hikes in Canyonlands if you don't have time or don't want to do a more difficult/longer day hike. We preferred Canyonlands due to the longer trails and much fewer people. But if you're looking for shorter trails and lots of arches, Arches might be your better bet.

    Where is the biggest arch in the US? ›

    There's hardly a more recognizable landmark in the Midwest than St. Louis's towering Gateway Arch, a 630-foot-tall monument to Thomas Jefferson and his ideas for America's westward expansion. It's the tallest monument in the United States and the tallest arch in the world.

    What is the law of the 12 tables? ›

    The Laws of the Twelve Tables was the legislation that stood at the foundation of Roman law. Formally promulgated in 449 BC, the Tables consolidated earlier traditions into an enduring set of laws. Displayed in the Forum, "The Twelve Tables" stated the rights and duties of the Roman citizen.

    How far can the arch sway? ›

    Is the Arch moving? The Arch is designed to sway as much as 18 inches in 150 mile per hour winds and it can withstand an earthquake; however, under normal conditions the Arch does not sway. It takes a 50-mile an hour wind to move the top 1 1/2 inches each side of center.

    What are stone arches called? ›

    Keystone (architecture) - Wikipedia.

    What makes arches fail? ›

    Causes of Flat Feet and Fallen Arches

    Stretched or torn tendons. Damage or inflammation of the posterior tibial tendon (PTT), which connects from your lower leg, along your ankle, to the middle of the arch. Broken or dislocated bones. Some health conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

    Did Romans invent arches? ›

    Roman architecture developed the use arches and vaults in architecture. While Roman architecture may not have invented the arch or the vault, they certainly perfected them. These architectural forms allowed Roman architects to create large roofed structures without a reliance on pillars.

    How much does it cost to ride to the top of the arch? ›

    Take a stroll around the top deck to see the city from brand new angles as it lights up the night sky. Adult Ticket (13 & Over): $54; Child Ticket (3-12): $22; Infant Ticket (0-2): FREE must have a ticket.

    What is the black stuff on the rocks in Moab? ›

    Desert varnish is the thin red-to-black coating found on exposed rock surfaces in arid regions. Varnish is composed of clay minerals, oxides and hydroxides of manganese and/or iron, as well as other particles such as sand grains and trace elements.

    Can I enter Arches without a reservation? ›

    Yes. A timed entry reservation is required to enter the park even if you have an existing pass. Annual passes cover the payment of entrance fees, so annual or senior pass holders only need to pay the $2 reservation fee.


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