Everywhere you look in Arches National Park, you’ll see some kind of amazing stone formation. The whole park is filled with unbelievable rocks, ridges, cliffs and other sandstone structures just waiting to be explored and photographed. The red stone against a bright blue sky makes every photographer a pro.
Though full of various rock formations it’s the arches that makes this park unique. These bridges of sandstone are remarkable, and it’s hard to believe these delicate structures are just wind-carved stone.
The whole park is laced with both hiking trails and regular vehicle roads so you can explore pretty much every inch of the park by vehicle, though some of the more difficult spots are better tackled with a tour guide.
The main guide-only spot in the park is the Fiery Furnace. There is a fee for this tour, but don’t let that stop you from taking it because this truly is spectacular. We will make all of the arrangements. The Furnace is filled with high sandstone outcroppings, or “fins”, that create a maze-like area for a one-of-a-kind hiking experience.
For more independent folks who prefer to hike without a guide, you should head down the trail to the Devil’s Garden. This trail is 7 miles long, and is marked with many high fins of rock as well as a number of well-known arches. It’s a good spot to hike if you want to see plenty of sights without having to head all over the park.
Notice a theme to these trail names – Fiery Furnace, Devil’s Garden? Let them be a warning that the Arches National Park can get very hot during the summer months; and by hot, we mean daytime highs over 110F (or 43C), so make sure you dress for it and bring plenty of water wherever you go in the park.
When you’re exploring the park, keep your eyes peeled for some of the native wildlife. There aren’t as many animals in this stony park as there are in the forested National Parks, but there are a few animals that call the Arches home – watch for deer, desert rabbits and kangaroo rats in particular.
- There are more than 2,000 cataloged arches in the park. The largest one is the 300 ft Landscape Arch.
- The well-known Wall Arch unfortunately gave up its stand and collapsed in August of 2008.