$10 dollars per car per week allows for multiple entries. Yearly fee of $25 is also good for Canyonlands NP, Natural Bridges and Hovenweep NMs.
Of course, you can always purchase the yearly National Parks Pass which is $50 and allows entry to all NP and NMs.
Apart from their formation, "arches" need to follow some rules before they can be considered as an arch :-)
They must "be" a hole in a rock, completely formed by natural forces, the rock removed by water, wind or gravity, leaving a frame.
Depending on where they form, or how "old" they are (in terms of erosion that took place), they are classified into:
Cliff-wall arch - which would be Wall Arch for example, or Landscape Arch in it's beginnings;
Free-standing arch such as Delicate Arch or Landscape Arch today, or
Jug-handle arch as the famous Double-O-Arch.
Fondest memory: Who likes to read more about arches from the taxonomy point of view - there is a good Website on arches, which explains a lot.
Arches - as they are displaying themselves today - are not made for (geologic) eternity. They have a life cycle, as all living things. They begin as small holes in a wall or cliff, and subsequent weathering opens this up.
Same is for the pinnacles in this area.
Balanced Rock, for example, once had a little brother, Chip-off-the-old-block. He looked quite similar to Balanced Rock, but toppled off in winter 75/76.
On the second pic - the remains are still there - in the middle between Balanced Rock and the big fin.
Fondest memory: However, just next to Balanced Rock there is this big thick fin, which in some hundreds of thousands of years might have eroded to the new generation Balanced Rock :-)
If you have a closer look and compare the strata - they are the same for both, Balanced Rock and the thick one.
The main stratum or rock layer which was exposed to erosion in Arches NP is Entrada Sandstone, composed of quartz sand, glued together by calcium cement.
This stratum furtheron consists of 3 members or divisions, which all have different properties (and thus erode different) due to their composition:
Dewey bridge - a lighter colored muddy sandstone, quite soft,
Slickrock - fine grained and thus erodes to more round objects,
Moab - which is white sandstone and caps the slickrock
The stratum below Entrada sandstone is Navajo sandstone, coarse-gained and thus erodes more rough.
Fondest memory: The first 3 pics are formations of slickrock - as the round edges show.
Pic 4 is moab member, where erosion brings out nearly every single layers of the formation.
As for all natural environment, please respect the rules for visiting – leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but pictures.
As for the footprints, please respect also the cryptobiological crust, and leave the footsteps only on the marked trails.
While browsing through the web, looking for further explanations on arches and hoodoos and red rock country in general, and to identify some of the views in my old pictures, I came across Bob’s Arches – a gorgeous website full of pictures and infos on arches.
It’s Bob Fagley who has created this page, and nearly every arch in and around Moab is shown here.
Bob has a huge knowledge about the location of the arches, in his website he mentions that he has visited the locations for almost since 40 years.
If you have any question about arches or need to specify which arch you took a picture of – send him an email, he will help you if he knows the arch.
I did it for some of my Moab Corona Arch hike, and he could help me a lot !
Thanks Bob from here !
Bob's Arches website
Favorite thing: Turret Arch is in the Windows section, not too far from the North Window. The photo shows a pretty standard shot you'll probably find in every VTer's page. I've seen a professional photographer use North Window (shaped like an eye) to frame Turret Arch, creating interesting effect. But to get that shot it requires serious rock climbing.
When I was finding my way from the Amphitheater to Skyline Arch, I was warned by a girl that there were lots of bats flying around the arch and she also saw some mountain lions. Once I got to the arch I realized these are not bats but swallows. They like to build nests underneath the arch or alcove, and they fly like bats. But I didn't see any mountain lions.
The photo was taken from the opening of Skyline Arch. The other side of the arch is a cliff, and I can see the fins beneath the arch and the trail I hiked earlier. The wind blowing through the opening was very strong so I didn't stay long.
Favorite thing: You can see Skyline Arch towards the end of Scenic Drive. Leave your car at the parking lot and it's a short, easy hike. The park says Skyline Arch's opening was doubled in 1940 as a big chunk of rock fell down. Once you arrive at its base you can't get any closer as the trail is blocked by the fallen chunk. At this point the arch is still 2 or 3 hundred feet above your head and you see the sky through the arch. Maybe that's how it's named.
Favorite thing: Besides the traditional way of hiking Skyline Arch, what the park didn't mention is that you can get much closer to Skyline Arch from the campground. Just follow the Scenic Drive to the end, turn into the campground road until you see "Amphitheater" sign. The Amphitheater is where the park holds their evening programs. As seen in photo, Skyline Arch provides the backdrop for the Amphitheater. Although it looks close, there's no defined trail to get to the arch and you pretty much find your way around the rock boulders to get to it.
Favorite thing: Scientists think Sheep Rock used to be an arch. The photo shows how it used to look like. Then after years of erosion, the arch collapsed and became the Sheep Rock as we see today. But it's all theory and we'll never know how it got here.
Favorite thing: Broken Arch is visible from the trailhead. To visit you need to hike about half a mile in green meadow. From the photo the arch looks like it's broken. It's not really broken. It's just a crack. And the chance of it falling on your head is slim.
Favorite thing: To visit Broken Arch you can start from the same trailhead as Sand Dune Arch, but it's about half a mile farther. The hike is pretty easy as there's no elevation change, and the scenery is great as you hike on green meadow as shown in photo.
Favorite thing: When I visited Sand Dune Arch, busloads of local kids were brought here by their teachers. Give the kids sand and they are happy. Who cares about scenery or the geological stuff? We want to play sand right here right now!!
Favorite thing: Kids just love this arch. And I'm not talking about McDonald's. This is Sand Dune Arch. From the parking lot it's a very short walk (maybe only 100 yards) so it's great for kids or family. The arch is so named as it sits on sand.