Fun things to do in Arches National Park

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    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
    by blueskyjohn
  • Things to Do
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Arches National Park

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    Fiery Furnace

    by Basaic Written Jan 13, 2012

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    The name Fiery Furnace is based on the way the reds and oranges that glow in the evening sun. It is actually a series of tall fins made of Slick Rock Member of Entrada Sandstone and cool narrow canyons. Fiery Furnace was formed eons ago through the movement of the earth's crust. Erosion has deepened and widened the cracks. You can view this unique looking terrain from the viewpoint or walk into the formations themselves. There are no marked trails, however, so you may want to go on a Ranger-led hike. This is a pretty popular hike so you may want to make reservations.

    Fiery Furnace Fiery Furnace
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    Garden of Eden

    by Basaic Written Jan 12, 2012

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    The Garden of Eden is early on the very scenic 2.5 mile drive out to The Windows Section of Arches National Park. This is a good place to stop if you want a quick view of some of the terrain without any walking. You can also get a view of the Fiery Furnace area from here.

    Garden of Eden Fiery Furnace From Garden of Eden Viewpoint
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    Double Arch

    by Basaic Updated Jan 12, 2012

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    Double Arch is actually three openings that began as a simple pothole arch (a depression near a cliff face). The water then seeped down into the cliff face forming and alcove which eventually eroded into the Double Arch formation. This formation is very near the Windows Formation so it is easy and quick to see both. The trail is fairly short and easy.

    Approaching Double Arch Double Arch Double Arch
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    Turret Arch

    by Basaic Written Jan 12, 2012

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    To me it was well worth taking the short spur trail to get a better look at this interesting formation. I liked the little window next to the arch. The trail leading to this arch had a number of steps and was a tiny bit steep; but still pretty easy.

    Trail to Turret Arch Turret Arch Turret Arch
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    South Window

    by Basaic Written Jan 12, 2012

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    Continue on the trail a short distance past the "North Window" and you will see the "South Window". They really could have been more creative naming these. After viewing the South Window you can decide if you want to take a short spur trail to Turret Arch, or continue past South Window and take the "Primitive Trail" (that just means it is not as well marked or maintained as the main trail) back to the parking area. I opted to see Turret Arch.

    South Window View of Both Windows
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    North Window

    by Basaic Written Jan 12, 2012

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    As you first approach the windows formation from the parking area you can only see the first window the "North Window". The relatively short and easy trail leds you by this formation en route to the south window. You can get very close to the window. You can walk under it but you are not supposed to. The trail is not handicapped accessible as there are stairs and rough footing.

    North Window Closeup View of North Window
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    Balanced Rock

    by Basaic Written Jan 10, 2012

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    Another interesting formation to see in the park is the Balanced Rock. The large boulder of Slick Rock Member of Entrada Sandstone sits on a pedestal of Mudstone. This much softer Mudstone will eventually erode and the rock will fall. The entire formation is 128 feet (39 meters) high and the boulder itself is 55 feet (17 meters) high and weighs 3500 tons. Remember that this trail is wheelchair accessible.

    Balanced Rock Balanced Rock
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    Petrified Dunes

    by Basaic Written Jan 10, 2012

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    About 200 million years ago, winds from the northwest carried large amounts of sand here forming a large area of sand dunes. These dunes were then covered over with sediment and the pressure changed the dunes into Navajo Sandstone. The term "petrified" is actually incorrect as that refers to "organic" material.

    Petrified Dunes Closer Up on a
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    Courthouse Towers Viewpoint

    by Basaic Written Jan 10, 2012

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    Courthouse Towers Viewpoint is a great place to stop, especially if you are traveling with someone in a wheelchair or with limited mobility. There are several formations visible from the parking area of Courthouse Towers Viewpoint including this one called "The Three Gossips".

    Three Gossips Three Gossips
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    Park Avenue

    by Basaic Written Jan 10, 2012

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    Park Avenue got its name from the series of monoliths, fins, and balanced rocks along this narrow canyon that resembles a street in a major city. These layers started forming 150 million years ago as tidal flats, desert and beach deposits. There are three different layers of formations evident here (see photo). Layer 1 is the most recent; a Moab Member of the Curtis Formation. Layer 2 is a Slick Rock Member of Entrada Sandstone, most of the arches in the park are made of this type of stone. Layer 3 is a Dewey Bridge Member of Carmel Formation, which is the oldest rock in the park.

    Park Avenue Park Avenue
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    Hiking Trails

    by Basaic Updated Jan 10, 2012

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    There are over 20 miles of hiking trails in Arches National Park. The only trails that are listed as handicapped accessible is a very short one to the Lower Viewpoint for Delicate Arch, and the Balanced Rock Trail. I will go over several trails in detail in the "Sports Tips" Section.

    Balanced Rock Trail Lower Viewpoint for Delicate Arch Park Avenue Trail Skyline Arch Trail Devil
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    Moab Fault

    by Basaic Written Jan 9, 2012

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    There is a very interesting geological formation before you even enter the park. Some 6 million years ago the earth's crust cracked and shifted. The result is what is referred to as the Moab Fault. Because of the Moab Fault, the land on the east side of US Highway 191 (including Arches National Park) is 2600 feet (almost 800 meters) lower than the land on the west side (which includes Canyonlands National Park).

    Moab Fault
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    Visitors Center

    by Basaic Written Jan 9, 2012

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    When you first enter Arches National Park from US Highway 191, you will see the visitors center on the right. Begin your visit here so can get a brochure and newspaper for the park; look over maps; and get recommendations from the helpful rangers on how to best enjoy your visit based on your interests and the amount of time you have to visit. Check out the neat statues out front. This is also a good place to fill your canteens or other containers with water to ensure you have enough.

    Visitors Center Mountain Goat Statue Bird Statue Deer Statue
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    Hike a Sunset To Delicate Arch

    by RoscoeGregg Updated Dec 10, 2011

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    This tip may seem a bit outside some peoples comfort zones. i recommend that you suck it up and try it.

    When visiting Arches under a bright moon I always.hike up to Delicate Arch at sunset. The light at this time of day is at it's best and if it is hot this is a great time to bet the heat.

    We then wait till the moon rises and then we hike by moon light back to our car. This is a relly fantastic way to enjoy the hike.

    This trail is easy to follow and the lower light of the moon is just great.

    Sunset Is Best Here But Morning Is Nice Too Our Last Visit Do Not Expect To Be Alone A View Of The Trail At DUsk The La Sal Mountains
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    Hike The Windows in The Evening

    by RoscoeGregg Written Nov 26, 2011

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    This is a very sweet experience and you would do well to add it to your list of things to do at Arches. This hike is well placed to take advantage o the sunset.

    It is not a difficult hike and involves some slick rock and wash hiking. The route finding is easy and straight forward.

    Time it so that you arrive back at the parking area just as the sunsets. It will be wonderful.

    You can also take the very short easy hike to Double Arch that is accessed from the same parking area

    Sunset From The Windows Area Barb Watching Our Last Sunset In Utah Evening Flowers
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Arches National Park Hotels

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    This is the only campground in Arches National Park. There are 52 site to choose from. Current...

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Arches National Park Things to Do

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