Arches National Park

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
First-time Visitors: Please visit Site Map and Disclaimer. Use "Back" to return here.


Period Arches NP
Cretaceous Mancos Shale
Dakota Sandstone
Jurassic

Morrison Formation

Curtis Formation

Entrada Sandstone

Carmel Formation
Navajo Sandstone
Kayenta Formation
Wingate Sandstone
Triassic Chinle Formation
Moenkopi Formation
Permian
Cutler Formation
Pennsylvanian

Honaker Trail Formation

Paradox Formation

Pinkerton Trail Formation

Entrance to the park.

Europeans are fascinated with the American West. I heard more French and German here than English.

Arches National Park Left and below: views on the way from I-70 to Moab. The drab tan rocks are Cretaceous and Jurassic Mancos, Dakota and Morrison Formations.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left and below: views near Moab just south of Arches National Park.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park  Triassic-Jurassic strata dipping into the Colorado River.

Park Avenue Area

Map based on National Park Service map

Arches National Park Fault near Visitor Center

Below: Park Avenue is lined by vertical rectangular slabs that reminded someone of Manhattan. The Entrada Sandstone is the principal cliff-forming unit.

Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park 
Arches National Park Two of the Three Gossips. The left one looks like a character from the Alien films.

Below: views of Park Avenue. Cliffs are Entrada Sandstone, the valley floor and base of the cliffs is Carmel Formation.

Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park The Three Gossips. To the right is Sheep Rock. The inward curve of the left side suggests that Sheep Rock was part of an arch at one time.
Arches National Park Left and below: Tower of Babel (right) and The Organ (left).
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Courthouse Towers: the lower end of Park Avenue.
Arches National Park Cross-bedded Navajo dune sand near the Visitor Center
Arches National Park View from above the Visitor Center looking toward Moab. The valley is the trace of the Moab Fault.

Windows Area

Map based on National Park Service map

Arches National Park The first stage in the development of the arches is fracturing along parallel joints. The fracturing is especially well developed in certain areas near Moab and may be due to solution or flow of salt beneath the surface.
Arches National Park The longer-lasting joint blocks remain as vertical fins
Arches National Park Weathering attacks the lower more sheltered parts of the fins and creates arches. North Window at left is in a largely intact fin, South Window at right is in a much more degraded one that may eventually look like Delicate Arch.
Arches National Park Collapse of arches may leave pinnacles.
Arches National Park This and similar landscapes probably inspired the pod race landscape in Phantom Menace.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left and below: Double Arch
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park End view of Parade of Elephants.
Arches National Park Parade of Elephants.
Arches National Park Late afternoon views of the La Sal Mountains. The resistant rocks of the La Sal Mountains are Tertiary intrusives.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park

Delicate Arch

Map based on National Park Service map

Arches National Park There are two ways to see Delicate Arch. The longer way involves a trail directly to the arch. There is a shorter trail to a viewpoint. When they say you can't get to the arch from the viewpoint, they're not kidding. The arch is on the cliff at left.
Arches National Park  
Arches National ParkLeft and below, views of the arch. This is obviously not a former bridge over a stream, but formed by weathering of a thin rock fin.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Below: cross-bedding in sandstone. 
Arches National Park Arches National Park

Wolfe Ranch

Arches National Park An abandoned ranch at the Delicate Arch trailhead.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park A bright green conglomerate layer crops out near the ranch.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left, Closely jointed rocks of the Fiery Furnace.

Below: Distant views of the canyon separating Delicate Arch from the Overlook.

Arches National Park Arches National Park

Devil's Garden Area

Map based on National Park Service map

Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left and below: Skyline Arch
Arches National Park 
Arches National Park Trailhead for Devil's Garden
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Weathered log on the trail.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left and Below: Tunnel Arch
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park 
Arches National Park Landscape arch. Enjoy it while you can because nothing is forever in geology, and this is about as ephemeral as geology gets. Signs warn visitors to flee if they start hearing sounds from the rock.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left and below: General views of the Devil's Garden area.
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Arches National Park
Arches National Park Left and below: views of the La Sal Mountains.
Arches National Park Arches National Park

Return to Virtual Field Trips Index
Return to Professor Dutch's Home Page

Created 7 April 2003, Last Update 01 July 2012

Not an official UW Green Bay site