Scenic USA - Utah
|Photo by Ken Reece
Ken Reece Photography
Inset photos by Bob Fagley
At first glance,
this extremely thin ribbon of rock may lead some to think it's the famous icon of Arches National Park, Delicate Arch. Found in the Devils Garden Section, Landscape Arch is the longest rock span in the park, measuring a fraction over 290 feet. Composed of Entrada sandstone, Landscape Arch may also hold the record of the longest span in the world. But, like any other records, it may not last. During the 90s, on two occasions, massive sections of this natural rock arch peeled away. Caught on video, on September 1, 1991, a 73 foot slab fell from the thinnest section of the arch. With visitor safety in mind, park officials quickly closed the pathway under the arch. Here in Arches National Park, collapsing arches isn’t something new. Sometime during the night of August 4, 2008, the 71 foot Wall Arch collapsed, giving park visitors some insight on the life cycle of an arch.
Although Arches National Park catalogs over 2000 arches, there are only about 100 that are considered significant. For those filled with a spirit of adventure, hikers may find the park’s largest concentration of these rock wonders in the Devils Garden. Taking on the entire Devils Garden Trail, this hike leads to a cluster of the park’s most prominent arches, including the spectacular Double O Arch, Black Arch and Pine Tree Arch. Returning over the Fin Canyon Trail, a little more of a challenge to the hiker, puts arch hunters on a quest for a series of well hidden spans, such as Private, Crystal and Hidden arches.
The Devils Garden Campground offers a great opportunity to enjoy the park’s backcountry, and an unhurried visit to these magnificent natural wonders. Photographers dream of the chance to see these rock landmarks in the fleeting light of day, adding more color to the rich earth hues found throughout the park. The park’s dark sky and frequent star parties are a few more highlights for those who choose to stay overnight.
Highway Points of Interest
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