Arches National Park

When I had first planned our route through Utah, I had thought we’d stay in Moab, which is right next to Arches National Park.  When I called ahead however, all the RV parks in Moab were full because of a 4-wheel Jeep get-together and we ended up staying in Monticello instead.  This actually worked out well since Monticello is closer to some of the places we wanted to visit.  Yesterday we drove through Moab on our way to Arches we could see that all of the RV parks were still packed.  Moab itself is pretty busy and on the noisy side so we’re just as glad we’ve been staying in Monticello.

Arches National Park was about a 60 mile drive and about halfway there, we knew were were going in the right direction when we passed Wilson Arch.

Wilson Arch
Wilson Arch

Arches National Park is mostly located where an ancient salt deposit rose up through the overlaying sediments.  When it did this, it fractured the upper rock layers in long, thin parallel lines.  When water got into the salt dome it was dissolved and the rock layers fell into what is now a deep valley.  The upper rock layers eroded along the fracture lines leaving a lot of rock fins in all different kinds of widths.

Rock fins
Rock fins
Arches 12 rock fins
More rock fins

When the weaker spots in the rock erode away this often leaves arches.

South Window Arch
South Window Arch
North Window Arch
North Window Arch

Erosion also causes spires and other fantastical forms.

Balance Rock
Balance Rock

There was an entire area of rock forms that was called the Garden of Eden, although the reason why it was called that was never explained.  Maybe it was to counterbalance the Devil’s Garden at the other end of the park.

Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden

Since it was Arches National Park, there were of course a lot of arches to be seen.

Cove Arch and the Cove of Caves
Cove Arch and the Cove of Caves
Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch
Double Arch
Double Arch

We had picked up sandwiches at a Subway in Moab and found a picnic area for our lunch.

Susan and out lunch at Arches National Park
Susan and out lunch at Arches National Park

Once again we saw a lot of spectacular scenery but despite this we have mixed feelings about the park, mostly because it was not handicap friendly at all.  The Visitor’s Center was fine, but many of the arches can only be seen or seen best by following a hiking path.   All of the paths had stairs, soft gravel or very steep sections and couldn’t be considered wheelchair accessible in any way, so we had to be content with what we could see from the car.  There were a number of scenic vistas, but only a couple could be considered wheelchair accessible.  Finally, even though we came on a weekday, there were a large number of visitors and a constant stream of traffic everywhere we went. For all these reasons we found our visit to the park to be something of a disappointment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *