Arches National Park

A stop off at Vail, Colorado

We left Denver and stopped for morning coffee in Vail, Colorado which is a lovely alpine ski resort. It was very quiet whilst we were there since ski season hadn’t started. The main area of the town is pedestrianised and Gore Creek drive is lined with restaurants and ski wear shops. A nice feature of Vail is that it is has a village-wide wifi network.

Arriving at Arches National Park

We then continued onto the Arches National Park, which lies to the north of Moab in Utah and is adjacent to the Colorado River. Arches National Park has over 2000 natural sandstone arches, within a 76,359-acre area.  The definition of an Arch is a hole in a rock which is at least three-foot-long, regardless of its height. I was intrigued to know how these arches were formed.

The Natural Science

300 million years ago, this area was the sea which over time evaporated, leaving thousands of feet of the salt bed. Slowly over many hundreds of years, the salt was covered with sand and other sediments which compressed and compacted into sedimentary rock. The weight of the rock caused the salt layer to move and where there were cracks or cavities in the rock, the salt moved upwards to form domes.

When the salt domes collapsed, the rocks on each side would crack. Wind and water erosion formed fins of sandstone and during a gradual process of continual freezing and thawing, mother nature created the rock arches we see today.

Courthouse Towers

The North Window

Double Arch

The Three Gossips
Balanced Rock
Delicate Arch – Distance Shot
Delicate Arch – Closeup
Impermanent structures
It is worth noting that this process still continues and that the arches are not permanent, with one of the most famous arches “Wall Arch”, collapsing in 2008.
Name an Arch

If you visit Arches National Park, keep a lookout for new arches because if you find a new one, you will get to name it! Sadly I didn’t find a new arch, but maybe next time!

Please take a look at my YouTube video for my photos from my visit.

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15 thoughts on “Arches National Park

  1. Stunning photos of the Arches in the National Park. Fascinated on the history of how they were formed. With all those arches are people allowed to hike among them? I pinned this for later. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. This national park looks amazing. Some of the arches are gorgeous. Just a question (since I don’t know the area… at all!) Is it hot there? You mentioned ski resort but it looks so dry, a bit like the Australian outback.

  3. What a fabulous National Park to visit and I love the story of how it was formed! I am rather partial to natural wonders and (as Kelly has said) it’s not too dis-imilair to the outback in Australia and did remind me of when I visited Uluru and the Olgas. I have pinned this so I can visit! #feetdotravel

  4. This is so weird, just done the quiz Angie posted and saw a pic of Arches National Park, and thought we should add this place to our bucket list! Well, really enjoyed reading your post, and looking at your great photos! really fancy doing all of the National Parks one day, that would be one big road trip!! will pin this for future reference

  5. This National Park looks great, I loved the history lesson – it’s crazy how this was formed. I would love to name an Arch, it would be so cool 😎. Thank you for sharing this with us, I enjoyed reading your post and admiring your lovely pictures.

  6. The National Parks in Utah have been high on my list for about 2 years now and we just haven’t made it that way yet, which is ironic considering I live in a neighboring state! Arches looks amazing! I really want to take a week-long roadtrip and go!!!

  7. I’ve only been to Bryce Canyon in Utah but after reading your post and seeing your photos of Arches National Park I want to go back and experience this. I wish I would have known about it when I went to Bryce Canyon, I would have taken a detour and went there also. But, I really loved Utah, it’s so pretty. So, I’m sure I will go back there one day and Arches National Park will be on the list. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  8. Another great wonder of Utah! So many wonderful places like this in the area to enjoy and hike. Will be back out there sometime next year again.

  9. We would love to do this road trip – bizarrely I think we flew over it last year – next time I would like to be on the ground to really admire it. The more I see of the US the more I want to have a 6 month road and rail trip around it – so much to see!

  10. Isn’t mother nature an artist?! Some of these photos reminded me of Death Valley. I didn’t even know this place existed. I have so much left to see right here in my home country! Great photos! You are making me want to go on a roadtrip haha

  11. Looks so cool! We’d planned to go to Arches earlier this year and unfortunately had to cancel – I hope to make it there eventually!

  12. I have heard so much about this national park recently, but no one has ever explained how the arches become the arches we see today. Thanks for clearing that up for me! Love that you have added a video of the photography in the end too! Can’t wait to visit the beautiful national parks in the states some time in the future! I would do so much hiking there, it’s not even funny ha!

  13. Wow, another national park that I didn’t get a chance to visit but is absolutely making my bucket list! Beautiful formations and a dream-like landscape. Super cool!

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