We love Arches!
Sandstone dominates the landscape in Arches National Park, and we can’t get enough of it! It’s a hikers playground with great trails that scramble up and over fins, through arches and small canyons.
When you see it from a distance, indeed, it looks like that rock could topple over at any moment! Walk the short trail around it, and you see it’s pretty sturdy and will likely be there for a long time to come. What I like about walking around Balanced Rock is watching how much it’s shape seems to change from different angles. I also love the view off in the distance of Garden of Eden and all of the sandstone mounds.
This arch is not to be missed. It’s the largest arch in the world, spanning . In ….. a huge chunk of the arch fell and amazingly it was caught on film.
Devil’s Garden Trail
This is one of our very favorite trails. It is a really fun trail with rock scrambles, but not a lot of elevation change. You’ll see arches along the way including Pine Tree, Tunnel, Landscape, Navajo, Partition, and Double O Arches. Look for blooming cactus, lizards, and along the way!
This tiny multi-organism plays a huge role in the survival of the diverse ecosystem in Arches. It’s a combination of lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi, and cyanobacteria. But what it’s made up of is not as important as what it does. The combination of these organisms form a web and crust that protects the soil, retains nutrients and water so other plants can grow successfully in dry conditions. Be careful where you step while hiking in Arches and throughout the southwest. Try to keep to rock only, as stepping on the crust can kill it, and it literally takes 5-7 years for it to recover. Don’t Bust the Crust!