The Great Arches!


“A landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world.” Arches National Park Service




-Salt played a huge role in the formation of Arches National Park. The highly pressurized flowing salt layer (like deep glacier ice) forced it’s way upward, splitting the top layers of sandstone. This left it to be eroded into arches. Thank goodness precipitation rates were right and there was little tectonic activity in the area. Arches are just so cool.

-You can find 80 year old clumps of living dirt at Arches. This is called cryptobiotic soil, or cryptobiotic crust. It helps keep the Arches area from becoming a barren wasteland by holding together the sands, rocks, and soil. Visitors are asked to not go off-trail as this might trample the crust, undoing years of slow accumulation of lichens, cyanobacteria, fungi, bryophytes, and algae. “Don’t bust the crust.”


-Delicate Arch, the most famous arch in Arches, was originally called by cowboys “Chaps” or “Schoolmarm’s Bloomers”.

Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch

-Delicate Arch was not originally included in the older Arches National Monument. It was within the boundaries, however, when it was expanded in 1938


-In the ’50’s, the National Park Service thought about coating Delicate Arch in plastic to protect it. They abandoned the idea because of impracticality and, well, you really don’t shrink-wrap your nice jewelry, do you? It totally would have been anti-principal, so it was rejected.

-At Arches National Park, arches have to have openings at least 3 feet across in order to gain the title.

-In 2008, Wall Arch collapsed and no-one saw it.

P.S.: We would love for you to share one of your funniest experiences at Arches or any other national park in the comments.

“… I read “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey–which takes place primarily in Arches… Abbey paints the landscape so beautifully and it would be so lovely to get out there one day and see it for myself.”   It’s A Britta Bottle .com

It’s an amazing world of science out there…let’s go exploring!!

National Park Service
The Sierra Club Guides to the National Parks: Desert Southwest


53 Comments Add yours

  1. jabrush1213 says:

    Definitely, on my list of places to visit. There is so much beauty in the world that is opened for the eyes to see and enjoy.

  2. I love geology. It’s got a super habit of giving amazing surprises the world over!
    Thanks for sharing this one.

  3. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature says:

    Beautiful pictures, and nice to know the science. I went there in the 70s. It was almost empty. It was before all the tour buses or fences. I just remember feeling the powerful energy. I just had to sit and meditate. I went back in the late 90s and it was very different, though still amazing. Thank you for a beautiful reminder.

  4. brittabottle says:

    I would looove to visit Arches one day. I read “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey–which takes place primarily in Arches–for one of my classes last semester. Abbey paints the landscape so beautifully and it would be so lovely to get out there one day and see it for myself. Awesome facts about this awesome landscape! 🙂

  5. Aquileana says:

    Absolutely stunning! 🌺 …. Nature is full of treasures, isn’t it!….
    All my best wishes. Aquileana 💗

  6. Yes it is! Thank you so much for stopping by!

  7. wow! That is an absolutely wonderful book. He is so vivid in his descriptions and a adventurous spirit. Thanks for sharing.

  8. It must have been an amazing experience back in t5he seventies. How wonderful. Sadly the throngs of people are needed to support the park or they will disappear. As long as they are treated with respect all will be well. Thanks for sharing.

  9. It is such a wonderful place & it is wonderful to see people all over the world appreciate it a much as we do!! Thank you for stopping by.

  10. It is spectacular and worth the trip and experience. Thank you so much for stopping by!

  11. We Just added you wonderful and informative comment to the post! Thank you so much. It really is a great book.

  12. I’m really fascinated by the cryptobiotic crust. Will have to continue to read up on the topic!

  13. Well thank you for stopping by. geology is just fascinating!

  14. Nancy says:

    A magnificent place. We were just there in April and we loved it!

  15. Thanks for sharing this one. The arches are beautiful! 🙂

  16. Barb Knowles says:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re making this up. So cool.

  17. You go to Disney World and it can feel real, you go to the National Parks and it feels like a fantasy. So cool. Thanks for stopping by.

  18. Thanks for stopping by. Yes they are beautiful.

  19. It must have been wonderful. Yesterday the had a heat alert with temperatures over 100.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  20. We just visited the Arches last month on our vacation. Unfortunately due to my being unable to hike 4 miles we weren’t able to get a close up view of the Delicate Arch but did see it from a distance at another view point. We camped at a KOA in Moab a beautiful place to visit. The town has a couple of restaurants that have “patio” seating.
    There are many wonderful natural formations in the park to see. Plus we drove through a beautiful mountain pass roughly 10,000 ft high were cattle roam free and the view was spectacular. This brought us down to the Colorado River which we followed back to Moab. We only stayed in the area 2 days but I wish we had more. It is one of the most beautiful spots in Utah.

  21. Wow! How wonderful. It really is an unforgettable place and you can enjoy it even from your car or RV! That you so much for sharing your experiences.

  22. We were enjoying it from our 3 wheel motorcycle.

  23. Wow! Well that had to be one big experience!!

  24. Nancy says:

    Of course! I enjoy your blog immensely!

  25. How extraordinary a place! I can imagine how incredible it would be to look out over Nature’s wonderful works; what a scientist Nature is 🙂 Given the time, it definitely would be on my list of places to visit! Thank you for guiding us to wondrous places!

  26. You couldn’t make this up!! Nature is an absolutely brilliant scientist.

  27. Thrilled you gals got to visit The Arches.

  28. The place is magnificent. So nice to see you.

  29. As the close up photos of Pluto unfolded, I thought of Faraday’s Candle and knew you gals were having an exciting science day for certain! As was I. Thinking that if the news media focused more on some of the science being done today, the spirits and optimism of people would rise exponentially.

  30. That is so true. To have the ability to reach for the cosmos is awe inspiring! We were all absolutely geeking out.

  31. Impressive National Park, the arches look stunning! Nature is certainly full of surprises and wonders!

  32. Nature is definitely a wonderful wonder. Thank you so much for stopping by.

  33. brittabottle says:

    It is. I wrote my English senior thesis paper partly on Desert Solitaire. Such a powerful read!

  34. Wow! That must have been an eye opener!

  35. Arches is one of my favourite national park in the Us (along with Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon and Yosemite). Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to hike up to the Delicate Arch 🙁

  36. Yellowstone is one of those parks on every boys bucket list. Someday…. Too bad about delicate arch!

  37. Alisha says:

    Very well! Amazing! I have nominated you for the creative blogger award. Find out more about it at The Creative Blogger Award –

  38. brittabottle says:

    It was. The writing process for that paper was an unbelievable learning experiencing for me, and I took away a lot from it.

  39. Beautiful, beautiful images! I know where I’m headed when I am back stateside!

  40. Ince you decide to come stateside you will be greeted with our beautiful National Parks. There is a whole “Find Your Park” movement going on that you would enjoy.

  41. It’s wonderful when you take away a real learning experience from education.

  42. Alisha! Thank you so so much, but we are unable to fulfill all the requirements right now. We are honored though. Keep on blogging & thank you again.

  43. Mama says:

    Wow, looks stunning. I haven’t been but I’m adding it to my list.

  44. All the National Parks are amazing & definitely putting on your list. Thanks for stopping by.

  45. I was happily reading until i came up to the line that in 2008 wall arch collapsed. Thank you for sharing this. 🙂

  46. It is such a beautiful place and the earth keeps changing making it even more beautiful.

  47. restlessjo says:

    Oh, yes please! I’d love it! 🙂 I’ve put that book on my reading list too.

  48. It is outstanding! Thank you!

  49. we took the girls to Arches & they absolutely loved it!

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