Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

  • where:

    Utah, United States

  • what:

    Hiking, Nature, Geography

  • why:

    Wilderness and Amazing Rock Formations

  • when:

    Year Round

  • Geotag Icon Show on map

What can I say that hasn’t been said about Arches National Park? Featured in literature, paintings, films, commercials, and thousands upon millions of photographs. Almost every person I have spoken to in my life that has done any traveling in the western United States has made the trip to arches, and rightfully so. The park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches and just as many more unusual sandstone formations created by millions of year’s geological events.

The park rests on a subterranean salt bed, which had directly contributed to the formations that can be seen today in the park. The salt came from the Colorado Plateau over 300 million years ago when the area was a sea that gradually evaporated. Over time the remaining salt was covered with dirt and debris that built up to over a mile thick. The unstable salt bed would shift and liquefy sending jutting rocks hundreds of feet in the air and creating great cavities in the stone. The finishing touches on the park impressive features were the result of thousands of years of erosion.

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy MilksOur most recent trip to Arches was in 2007. We only had a few days there but it was a great trip nonetheless. When you arrive stop at the visitors’ center and pick up a map. Also, while you are there, make a reservation to enter the Fiery Furnace, a section of the park is regulated to the amount of people that can enter per day. Your admission to the Fiery Furnace includes a guided tour, which is very informative about the areas geological history.

Make your plans on what to see based on how many days you have to go to the park. The major attractions like delicate arch and balanced rock can be crowded, but because of their awesomeness still should be a main priority. Most of the features require you to do some hiking, but the trails are all well kept and easy. The longest hike is through Devils Garden at around seven miles, and I believe everything else is fewer than two.

The nearest city to Arches National Park is Moab, famous for mountain biking and Slick Rock. The town’s main street is lined with hotels, so unless you go on a holiday weekend you won’t have any problem finding a room.

If you have a while to spend in the area you won’t run out of things to do. You can go rafting on the Greene River, visit Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Canyon Lands, and the Colorado National Monument. If you’re a pro mountain biker give the Poison Spider, or Porcupine Rim trails a try, unless you are afraid of heights.

Usefull Resources:

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Arches National Park

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Arches National Park

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Arches National Park

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Arches National Park

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Skyline Arch

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Arches National Park

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Delicate Arch

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Delicate Arch

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Delicate Arch

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Fiery Furnace

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Arches National Park

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Inside Double Arch

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Double Arch

Photography by Eric Scott and Marcy Milks

Landscape Arch