Arches National Park, Moab, UT

Arches National Park, just outside Moab, UT is one of the most spectacular places we’ve been.  The rock formations are spectacular, and the scale is huge.  Many of the rock formations have been named (this is The Three Gossips), as are many of the arches (this is the Skyline Arch).

The Devil’s Garden is a major section of the park.  A hike through this area takes you over to the Landscape Arch (pictured below), which is in very delicate condition.    

                                                                    Landscape Arch                                              

There is so much beauty here that it is best shown by photos rather than words.  This park is well worth a visit if you are in Utah!

One caution:  if you go, STAY ON THE MARKED PATHS.  Leaving the paths creates a threat to the cryptobiotic soil, a crust that consists of soil, cyanobacteria, lichens, and mosses.   The soil crust takes a long time to form initially, and also to regrow, and destroying it threatens the ecology of the area.

We re-visited the park in August 2013.  It is as beautiful as ever.  The one thing we would like to add to the previous narrative is that this time we decided to explore the Windows area and happened to arrive right at the beginning of a ranger walk.  The ranger, Karen, was wonderful - very bright and vivacious, full of good information, and clearly perfectly suited for her job.  She taught us a lot about what it means to live in the desert, and she also got us to do some thinking about issues to do with the park and ourselves.  After she was done with her presentation we opted to walk the remainder of the one mile path, which gave us some beautiful views.

                                                             Balancing Rock

Original post September 28, 2010

© Susan L. Stone 2015