Theresa looks up at Delicate Arch

We were hanging out in Moab, Utah to avoid a late winter storm that was threatening to dump two feet of snow on I-70.  I woke up and said to Theresa, “How about we hike to Delicate Arch today?”  She enthusiastically agreed!  We visited Arches on our grand tour of Utah in 1996.  It was like visiting an old friend.

 

 

Theresa looks down into the deep canyon on which Delicate Arch stands

Delicate Arch is like nature… fragile but resilient.  In spite of a tiny left leg that has a long vertical crack in its foot (as shown above), Delicate Arch stands firm on the edge of a thousand-foot cliff.

 

 

Delicate Arch profile view

Here’s a side view of the arch.  How does she remain standing?

 

 

Delicate Arch with the Le Sal Mountains in the background

The Le Sal Mountains provide a beautiful backdrop for Delicate Arch.  People were patiently taking turns having their photos taken under the arch.  Fortunately there were no “arch hogs” today where people rudely camp out beneath the arch and spoil everyone’s photos.

 

 

Delicate Arch is a popular destination

Even on this cloudy, chilly day, Delicate Arch proved to be a popular destination.  There were about 100 people sitting and standing around, having lunch, and getting their pictures taken beneath the arch.

 

 

Delicate Arch stands next to a giant bowl

Delicate Arch is a 65-foot tall arch that was formed from an Entrada Sandstone fin that eroded away over millions of years.  Interestingly, this amazing arch played no part in the designation of Arches National Monument in 1929, as it wasn’t even within the monument’s boundaries at the time.  The arch was acquired in an expansion to the monument in 1938.

 

 

Theresa enjoying lunch at one of our most fantastic lunch spots ever

We climbed to a ridge on the opposite side of the canyon for lunch and a terrific view of Delicate Arch.

 

 

Tourists hike up slickrock to reach Delicate Arch

It takes a moderately strenuous 1-1/2 mile hike up slickrock to reach Delicate Arch.  In spite of this challenge, the trail is constantly filled with a stream of tourists.

 

 

Amazing colors from the Delicate Arch trail

The view from the top of the slickrock trail to Delicate Arch is almost as amazing as the arch itself.  The colors are so varied—including red, orange, yellow, green, white, and even blue—that this looks an impressionist painting.

 

 

Ute Indian petroglyphs

This rock wall near the Delicate Arch Trail was carved by the Ute Indians sometime between 1650 and 1850 A.D.  These petroglyphs include horses with riders, bighorn sheep and dogs.

 

 

Le Sal Mountains

Arches National Park protects 76,679 acres in southeastern Utah.  A snowstorm raged over the Le Sal Mountains the entire day we were there but never came over the park.

 

 

Balanced Rock front view

Balanced Rock side view

Balanced Rock is a 55-foot high boulder the size of the three school buses perched precariously on its base.

 

 

Tunnel Arch

Tunnel Arch on the right is one of over 2,000 sandstone arches in the park.

 

 

Skyline Arch

Skyline Arch

 

 

Timm stands in Pine Tree Arch

Pine Tree Arch is impressively large.

 

 

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch is the longest natural arch in the world with a span of 290 feet.

 

 

Timm and Theresa keep their distance from Landscape Arch

Since 1991, three slabs of sandstone measuring 30, 47 and 70 feet have fallen from the thinnest section of the arch on the right.  The 1991 fall was captured on film by an amateur photographer.  The amazing photo is displayed near the arch.  These collapses prompted the National Park Service to close the trail under the arch for two decades and counting.

>> Next Stop: Canyonlands National Park >>

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