Water, ice, extreme temperatures and an underground salt bed are responsible for the sculptured rock scenery of Arches National Park. These forces have been sculpting the rock for over 100 million years. Today there are over 2,000 cataloged arches ranging in size from 3 feet (the minimum to be considered an arch) to the longest, Landscape Arch which measures 306 feet at the base.
In 1991 a rock slab 60 feet long, 11 feet wide and four feet thick fell from Landscape Arch.
The hike out to Landscape Arch was almost 2 miles round-trip. The brochure listed the hike as “relatively flat”. Relative to what I don't know but it certainly was not relative to flat as my calves will attest to today. However, it was worth the hike.
Delicate Arch is the remnant of a sandstone fin and stands on the brink of a canyon. The brochure listed this hike as 3 miles and strenuous. So – we skipped the hike and did the view point thing. The view point is about a mile away from the arch but with modern photography – you think you are right next to it (kind of).
Wilson's Arch is outside the park boundaries but still part of the park and is a pretty spectacular arch. You can judge the size of the arch by the people standing under it.
We saw lots of arches of all shapes and sizes.
Just as interesting as the arches are some of the other rock formations, especially the rocks that seemingly defy gravity.
Some of our fellow tourists...
Many more pictures in the Arches NP album at http://picasaweb.google.com/scarp54