Arches National Park Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by blueskyjohn
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by blueskyjohn
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by blueskyjohn

Most Recent Warnings and Dangers in Arches National Park

  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Extreme heat in summer ? bring enough water !!

    by Trekki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    plain desert - hardly any shade
    1 more image

    Wherever you drive or hike in Arches National Park, be aware that it is a high bassin desert. There is hardly any shade, and the summers can be extreme hot. Make sure, you bring enough water (4 l minimum per person in a hot summer).

    If you hike to Delicate Arch, this is even more important, as on the first half, there is zero shadow, and the hike can get quite strenous, even if you have enough to drink.

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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Delicate Arch – be careful when moving around

    by Trekki Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    behind the wall opeing - ouch - so steep !!
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    The terrain around Delicate Arch is pure slickrock, very slippery even when it’s not wet. Make sure, you have well gripping hiking boots, and even with them, take care for each step you do. The whole area is quite steep, and one wrong step might have you ended up with broken bones in the bassin or even deeper.

    The pics show how steep it is just outside of the opening in the wall, you might get into just close to Delicate Arch.
    The other one shows how polished the base of Delicate Arch is.

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  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Follow the trail markers

    by Etoile2B Updated Apr 4, 2011
    The stacked rocks indicate a trail marker.

    There are many hiking paths throughout Arches National Park that are maintained by the National Park Service. These trails are marked to blend in with the natural terrain. Be sure to stay on the clearly marked paths and follow the trail markers. If you’re planning to hike “off the beaten path” and are unfamiliar with the terrain check in first at the visitors center located near the park entrance. Here you have access to park maps and trail guides. Experienced hikers lead guided hikes through some of the more difficult terrain at various times during the day. It is easy to get lost if you are unfamiliar with the territory and stray from the marked paths. And the sun in this area can be unforgiving with very little shade available. When in doubt search for the trail markers and be sure to bring plenty of potable water with you.

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Too Many Hikers

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 15, 2009

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    Climbers coming and going up the rock to Double O
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    Too many people are on the trails causes a slow up of hiking and traffic problems. Some people not "cured" hikers get on the trail and then get tired and slow up/stop. The park gets about 850,000 annual visitors, or average is then around 5,000 a day in months of demand, and more in peak summer times. That also leads to having to find a parking place, which is short by Windows and especially by Devil's Garden. A lot of vehicles parked along the roadside.

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  • KiKitC's Profile Photo

    Bighorn Sheep Crossing

    by KiKitC Written Nov 23, 2008

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    1 more image

    Upon entering Arches National Park, off Route 191 just north of Moab, Utah, visitors are greeted with this uncommon crossing sign for bighorn sheep.

    Bighorn sheep frequent the hills surrounding Arches National Park, and the road through the park winds around mesa tops and formations with blind curves.

    Be prepared...be cautious.

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  • wilocrek's Profile Photo

    Hot as Hell!!!

    by wilocrek Written May 27, 2008

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    In between the months of May through September the temperatures in Arch's National Park are well past 90 degrees and because of how the sun reflects off the rock it actually feels hotter than advertised. Even if you tan well its advisable to bring at least 30spf sunblock and reapply every few hours. Bring lots of water, the only place to get water in the park is at the Devil Garden campground and the entrance to the Devils Garden trail. If your not in great shape I would not recommend taking any trail longer than 3 to 4 miles. If heat is a problem for you the best time to visit is in March and April, or October and November, when the temperatures are in the seventies.

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  • LauraWest's Profile Photo

    funny story...

    by LauraWest Updated Sep 6, 2007

    I just thought of this again this morning as I was driving to work. I have no idea how these memories just pop into my head. Well, I got to thinking - did I ever write this up as a Tip, for Arches? so, the negative answer realized, here goes -- !!

    The Dangers of Pitching a Tent on Sand!

    We were camping at Arches National Park, getting a meal ready, after pitching our tent. At the small group site, near the camp site nearby, we heard and saw a group of teens setting up camp. They erected a very large nylon dome tent. They seemed to be having a good time, so far. Their adult chaperones were low key and jovial. Suddenly, screams and shouts. I look up from my Sterno flame, to see a large orange nylon ball rolling over the sand, FAST, with teens running after! Lesson: pitching a tent in sand can be tricky. The stakes are not that effective! Remember to put something(s) heavy inside the tent, to keep it from blowing away!!

    Chapter Two

    Reminds me of another story...I lent a small two person nylon pup tent to friends. They came back home, to report they lost the tent. How?! This is what I asked. Lesson (which seems obvious to me, even though I never had a boat!!): Don't pitch a tent on the deck of a boat. It will blow away!!!

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  • Karnubawax's Profile Photo

    BUNNIES!!!

    by Karnubawax Updated May 17, 2007

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    If you camp in Devil's Garden in the late spring, chances are you will witness hordes of bunnies hopping through camp!!! They are the cutest thing ever, and it seems like there are whole herds of them bouncing around the campground! They are most frisky at dusk and early in the morning.

    There is, however, a warning here - never ever ever EVER feed them!!! No matter how cute they are, never give food to any wild animal! It is really a form of cruelty; animals who associate humans with food often lose the skills needed to hunt in the wild, and thus they slowly starve to death. The lucky ones are merely captured and euthenized.

    Don't be cruel to our wild friends! DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS! If you catch someone feeding an animal, for the animals' sake please alert a Ranger.

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Don't Hang About Too Long Under The Arches!

    by johngayton Written Jun 27, 2006

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    I reckon that chunk in the middle is next!

    In 1991 Landscape Arch lost a huge chunk of its underside and is now a bit more fragile than it was previously. By all accounts there was a group of peole around at the time but on hearing a cracking sound decided it might be a good idea to move away from the Arch. This doesn't mean that the Arches and other rock formations are really that fragile but they are undergoing constant change and you never know.

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    The Threat of Dehydration Is Real

    by AKtravelers Written Jun 10, 2006

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    Delicate Arch sits above the hot, dry desert rock

    Arches is a desert environment so make sure you carry enough water for your plans. This should be a liter per person per half day (at least) if you are hiking. Even if you are seeing the park by car, be sure to drink enough water as you will be making short walks to many sights. And don't forget the pets! If you've brought your dog along for the ride, they'll be hot too (and we're sure we don't need to warn anyone about the foolishness of leaving their dog inthe car, right?)

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    The Soil is Alive!

    by AKtravelers Written Jun 10, 2006

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    An Indian Paintbrush enjoys its neighbor bacteria

    Please be careful and don't stray off the hiking trails and walk on the soil. The soil is the home of fragile microorganisms that make the ecosystem function. A misplaced footstep can kill them and effect the environment for decades -- things gro slowly in the desert (even bacteria).

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  • lazyman_1's Profile Photo

    Be careful hiking to delicate arch

    by lazyman_1 Written May 31, 2006

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    The very last leg of the delicate arch hike cuts a trail around the rock on your way up. One side is a sheer rock wall but the other side is completely open. Be careful if you've brought little ones along with you or when passing another person who's going the opposite way.

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  • lazyman_1's Profile Photo

    BRING WATER!!

    by lazyman_1 Written May 31, 2006

    It is very very important that you bring a few liters/gallons of water with you. Temperatures routinely soar above 100 degrees meaning you will become dehydrated very very fast. I was able to locate 2 places to fill up my water bottles however both were at the far north end of the park. One at the start of the devils garden trail, the other at the campground entrance.
    Also be sure to bring sunscreen along as the Utah sun can really burn the unprepared

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  • Callavetta's Profile Photo

    Stay hydrated

    by Callavetta Written May 22, 2006

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    Hot and Dry
    1 more image

    Arches National Park is high and dry. At between 4 and 5 thousand feet in elevation, there may be a bit of an adjustment to make for visitors from sea level. It can also be very hot and being so dry it's easy to get dehydrated. Carry water with you at all times when hiking or walking on the paths.

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  • Trekki's Profile Photo

    Stay on the trail !!!!!! Please !

    by Trekki Updated Mar 4, 2006

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    stay on the trail - please !
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    The hikes and paths in Arches National Park are marked well. Nevertheless, the park rangers hand out leaflets with warnings to stay on the trails. These warnings should be taken serious, as this protects the environment and prevents it from more damage than the day-to-day weathering is doing.
    The main reason for these warnings are the tiny living desert species, called "cryptobiotic soil". This soil or crust consists of various plants and microorganisms which live together in harmonic symbiosis. It is typical for arid regions, such as for the high plateau desert around Arches NP .
    It consists of cyanobacteria, lichens, mosses, algae, funghi, rhizoids and other microorganisms. Together with their by-products, they form a dense widely spreading crust on the ground with depths up to 10 cm.
    It's color is usually darker than sand or slickrock, but depends on the species that live together (lichens and cyanobacteria add to darker color).
    The crust has several functions, which are fascinating:
    * they build a solid ground and thus protect a bit against water and wind erosion;
    * cyanobacteria "digest" nitrogen from the air and convert it into a natural fertilizer for their symbiotic partners.

    So the cryptobiotic soil is a very important feature of the park - please respect this, consider and don't leave the trails.
    They grow approximately 1 mm/year, which means that one step onto the crust will destroy some 50-100 years of growth.

    Thanks for not leaving the trail :-)

    Who would like to read more about that fascinating soil - please check Kymba's page on El Morro :-) and the biological cust website

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Comments (1)

  • Apr 13, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Warning for people with a tremendous fear of heights and falling: Arches is panic-stricken torture for people terrified of heights-or at least the ascent and descent into it is...

    This isn't a review to discourage people from going to Arches, but my experience led me to believe it isn't for everyone. Seriously; consider the needs of those with an irrational fear of heights and falling. I detail my experience below:

    For those of you who have never been to Arches before, please be advised that the ascent into the actual park is quite terrifying. Upon paying the park entrance fee at the little hut, you drive towards certain death everso slowly, winding back and forth up a sheer rock cliff face tens of stories high. In my opinion, the ascent was a horrible experience and no amount of money in the world could make me do it again. The road itself is extremely narrow and does not have guardrails. Please, if you are afraid of heights choose someone fearless yet sane to drive, and be prepared to be on total mental lockdown for a few minutes while you make it to the arches. I was so afraid I tell people I had my eyes closed times three: 1. my eyelids; 2. the Arches National Monument park map covering my eyes; and 3. my hand over the park map over my closed eyes. I was squatting down almost to the floorboards of the car seatbelted into my seat.

    I am deathly afraid of heights and have never been more afraid in my entire life than I was at Arches; I had an easier time on the Steel Eel at the Sea World in Texas than on this ascent.I have flown several times in my life (and would fly again), eaten at the Skies restaurant at the Hyatt in Kansas City a few times, and viewed Boston at the Prudential SkyWalk. In fact, dealing with the steep Rocky Mountain National Forest roads mentally for me in a rainshower was a piece of cake than compared to my experience at Arches. Also, I was so incredibly excited to see the Grand Canyon I even sat 5 feet from its edge for a photo opp, if that gives you any indication on how fear-instilling Arches really was for me...What I am trying to say is that I have been forced to deal with heights before, but this ascent caused me to react very negatively.

    I would suggest allowing plenty of daylight to enter and exit Arches; I could not imagine doing it at night (there were still hundreds of people there at sundown). I was so happy to reach solid, continuous ground that I vowed to never leave it again.

    For equally beautiful sightseeing (without the terrifying entrance or exit), I would suggest Canyonlands. If you have a 4wd vehicle you may take your vehicle on the trails. We left our 4wd adventure at Canyonlands to make it to Arches in time, and we soon regretted that decision.

    On another note, we weren't nearly as impressed with Arches as we were with Monument Valley. Monument Valley was a very easy, relaxed drive and the formations were incredible. That is my husband's most favorite place in the world now. :).

    • goodfish's Profile Photo
      Apr 16, 2013 at 3:55 AM

      Very sorry you had a negative experience at Arches but honestly, yours is only the 2nd complaint I've EVER heard about the drive in/out the park. My husband does not like heights at all and he's had NO problem either driving in or driving out - and we've done it probably 6 times both during daylight and after dark. We've done places in the west that were much, much worse than this one, trust me.

      So, just for the benefit other others wishing to visit the Arches, while it obviously bothered the previous poster, I've never, ever read the same from any of the other millions of visitors to this park so please don't let one review deter you. If you have any concerns, please post the question in the VT Arches forum for more input from our members.

      forum.virtualtourist.com/Arc...


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