Scenic USA - Utah

Courthouse Towers

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Courthouse Towers - Arches National Park, Moab, Utah

Photos by Marty Straub
Marty Straub Photography

     Covering more than 100 square miles, Arches National Park is one of the popular stops among Utah's Grand Circle of parks.LaSal Mountains from Arches National Park - Moab, Utah Seeing more than a million visitors every year, the park is known for the largest concentration of natural arches in the world. With over 2000 arches in the park, guests are quickly converted in arch hunters. Skyline Arch - Arches National Park, Moab, Utah These natural sandstone formations are scattered throughout the park, mostly found along hiking trails from a few park access roads.
     Aside from the park's arches, dramatic scenery is also on display from the initial climb upward from the visitor center. With the snow-capped peaks of the La Sal Mountains in the distance, visitors are greeted by the Courthouse Towers oblique view - Arches National Park, Moab, Utah immense fins of Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers. When approaching Courthouse Towers, this freestanding fin appears as an immense mountain of sandstone. And here especially, looks can be deceptive. A side view unveils a thin, fragile and gravity defying fin of sandstone. A narrow sliver of salmon-colored Entrada sandstone is all that's left standing after the surrounding salt bed and softer rock material have been eroded away.
     Arches National Park rests over the Moab fault, contributing to the instability of the area. Positioned over a very unstable salt bed, movements in the earth initiated long, vertical cracks in the sandstone. Wind and water erosion, plus immense pressures (video) have turned these ancient rock formations into the enormous fins and arches seen today.

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