Located just outside of Moab in Utah is the stunningly beautiful Arches National Park. The geology of the park is quite amazing with many different multicolored bluffs, free standing rock formations, and of course natural arches. The name of Arches National Park is certainly well deserved as there are over 2,000 stone arches located within the park, but the other formations are equally impressive. Although it is possible to simply drive through the park and stop at the many pull-offs and parking areas to see some of the amazing sights, but if you get a chance to hike some of the many trails, it will give you an even better sense of the park.
The temperatures in the park can be quite extreme due to the very dry desert air. During our trip, the temperatures started out very moderate in the early mornings, but quickly soared to 100 degrees Fahrenheit as mid-day approached. Because of that, it is important to make sure that you have plenty of water with you when you decide to go hiking and it is also wise to have something with electrolytes to help replenish what your body loses during the day. There are several trails within the park, some of them easy, but many of them are considered moderate to hard, so be sure to wear appropriate clothing and shoes if you plan on hiking. We found even the moderate trails to be strenuous at times with plenty of exposure to the sun and terrain that varied from the faces of boulders to deep sand.
Needless to say, the geology of Arches National Park steals the show. It varies throughout the park and each different location within the park offers unique and fascinating views. Seeing how nature has carved out the stone from the forces of wind and water into something so beautiful is an amazing experience. It is also important to understand that those forces continue today, although the changes occur slowly, over time the park will be different in the future than it is right now.
Many of the more spectacular arches have been given names such as Delicate Arch (the one depicted on the Utah license plate), Broken Arch, Landscape Arch, Skyline Arch, Double Arch, and many more. Each of them are unique and spectacular in their own ways, so just because you’ve seen one arch doesn’t mean that you’ve seen them all. Many people prefer to visit the park at sunrise, but even more at sunset as the scenery can be even more amazing. We chose to get into the park early in the day and try to be done with our hiking by early afternoon when the temperatures started to get unbearable.
It is possible to see the park in a single day, but we took two days as we really wanted to make sure that we saw everything that Arches National Park had to offer. Utah has several wonderful parks that feature amazing scenery, such as Zion, Bryce, and Canyonlands, but Arches National Park is certainly one of the most impressive. The type of beauty that is found in the park is something so special that photographs can never truly capture it completely, so we would highly recommend that you visit Arches National Park.