There are a lot of incredible national parks around the globe. They come in all shapes and sizes, and each one of them has its own unique features that set it apart from all of the others. Arches National Park is no exception to that.
Without question, Arches is one of the most picturesque National Parks in the entire United States. It offers incredible scenery mixed with a rich history and a variety of unique experiences. There’s a reason why so many people head there every year and why you should be one of them.
The facts about Arches
Arches National Park was originally established as a National Monument in 1929. A little over 40 years later, it became a full-fledged National Park. This was done to protect the vast natural resources that make this place so special.
Over the years, different Presidents would expand the scope of the monument, eventually building it into a National Park. Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Richard Nixon all played roles in its development.
It’s home to an incredible range of geological features that cannot be found anywhere else. At the very least, they can’t be found anywhere else in the quantities they are here. The purpose of establishing this National Park was to protect them and provide access to them.
At 76,679 acres, it’s not necessarily the biggest park in the United States but it’s hard to ignore the beauty to be found here. Being a semi-arid environment certainly contributes to that. Arches National Park gets less than ten inches of rain per year. It’s dry there. Really dry.
What do you do there?
The simple reality of Arches National Park is that you’re there to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds you. It doesn’t have a lot of services or draws beyond that, nor does it need them. There are no restaurants in the park, so you have to go to nearby towns for food. Plan accordingly.
For the most part, people go to Arches for the hiking which is some of the best in the world. If that’s not your style, several private tour companies can provide a variety of ways to see the sights around the park. That includes guided hiking tours as well as bus tours and more.
Arches National Park is reputedly heaven for photographers. There are a seemingly endless array of geological formations to photograph. If you hit the magic hour right, you will end up taking some of the most striking photos of your life.
As one would expect, wildlife is abundant in the park and can be viewed throughout it. But the stargazing here is also exceptional, thanks to the dark skies with minimal light pollution. The combination of the geological formations with a clear night sky is exceptional.
It’s called Arches for good reason
Not surprisingly, the main reason people head for Arches National Park is for the arches. There are more than 2000 naturally occurring sandstone arches throughout the park, making it the biggest concentration of these impressive features in the world.
One of the best ways to see them is to take the Arches Scenic Drive around the park. There are plenty of roadside turnouts and viewpoints along this road, so be prepared to stop a lot. The amount you can spot from this drive is honestly impressive.
You have to make sure you check out Delicate Arch, Windows Arch, Turret Arch, and Double Arch. In addition to that, take the time to swing by the Garden of Eden, Balanced Arch, and the Fiery Furnace. The options are honestly endless, though some can only be viewed via hikes.
Just keep in mind that you are not allowed to climb any of these features. Some spots allow rock climbing, but you need a special permit. Don’t start clambering over everything you see. Just take a moment to drink it in and enjoy the experience.