Did you mean?Try your search again
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.
Written Jun 27, 2006
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?)
Written Jun 10, 2006
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).
Written Jun 10, 2006
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.
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
Written May 31, 2006
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.
Written May 22, 2006
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
Updated Mar 4, 2006
Hiking Dangers include dehydration, getting lost, and severe weather.
Signs will tell you to bring at least 1 quart (1 liter) of water per person while hiking in the park. The reason is obvious, most trails don't have a lot of shade and temperatures in the supper can easily reach 110 F.
I found that there are only a few places in the park which have running drinking water. Unfortunately they are on opposite sides of the park and are about 17 miles apart. The two locations that water is available are: at the visitor's center, and in the Devils Garden area.
Since paving the trails in the park wouldn't make very much sense a lot of the trails are somewhat hard to follow. They are marked with cairn's (piles of rocks) so you don't loose your way.
Another danger of hiking especially in the summer months would be the frequent and fast moving storms. Lightening storms occur more frequently in the summer months than any other time of year and although they may not produce a lot of rain the lightening could easily kill you.
Written Feb 12, 2006
In most of the parks in Arizona and Utah, you'll see signs about Cryptobiotic Crust, or the living desert. It's quite easy to spot, as it's darker looking sand and very bumpy, as if it just rained. This is really tiny living organisms which are colonizing the soil. You'll read about how it takes decades to form and seconds to destroy by stepping on it. This doesn't stop morons from stomping all over it to try to get a better picture or let their kids "play in the sand" or any other number of stupid reasons we saw. Just do your best not to lunge in after them to smack them around.
Updated Sep 8, 2005
Hope, the officials don’t mind that I place Smokey Bear here to warn of forest fires. But, during all my travels in US I was fascinated of the successful campaign of creating the bear as a “living figure” to give the message to prevent forest fires.
So: wherever you are in Arches National Park (and of course also outside of it) – be careful when lighting a fire.
Don’t throw away cigarettes or matches, don’t cook with open fire when not protecting it against wind – the best of all would even be not to light a fire at all.
It is said that 9 out of 10 wildfires are caused by humans.
A bit off-topic, but nevertheless interesting: Smokey Bear is actually based on an orphan baby black bear, who was found after a big forest fire in 1950.
You can read more about this, and also about wildfires, what they do, and how to prevent them on Smokey Bears Website
The pic is a 1953 poster of Smokey Bear campaigns.
Written Sep 4, 2005
9 Reviews and 29 Opinions This is the only campground in Arches National Park. There are 52 site to choose from. Current...