Arches National Park in Utah has the world´s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches..
I’m sure that literally millions of photographs have been taken of Delicate Arch in Arches National Park. All day long, a steady parade of supplicants hike the steep, 1.5-mile trail and emerge from behind a rock fin to get their first view of the world-famous, free-standing arch perched atop a cliff with the La Sal Mountains visible through the opening. Each evening, as sunset nears, the crowd grows thicker. A thicket of tripods manned by professional and dedicated amateur photographers sprouts along the sloping sandstone shelf that offers the best view. On a higher shelf, above and behind the first, a throng of less ardent worshippers gathers. Everyone is waiting – hoping – for “the glow”: the magic moment when the setting sun, on clear evenings, turns Delicate Arch a fiery red.I actually had to go two times as the first evening was cloudly. Looking through the Arch you can see one of mountains of the La Sal ridge, which is shaped like Mt. Fuji in Japan.
I will come back to Delicate Arch but will take you through a tour of the Park with numerous Arches. Entering the Park and driving up for several miles we are at the plateau of the Park which opens in to a big valley and gives view to two landmarks. The Butte in the middle is called “The Organ” and the formation to the left “Three Sisters”.
This picture I did not take between of the “Arch” (which is rather a hole) but to show the different stages of erosion in the Park, from the sharp edges at the bottom to the soft forms of sandstone of the rocks. The look like you would form them out of sand on the beach.
Now, this is the first attraction in the Park, the “Double Arch”.
Wikipedia says that Double Arch was used as a backdrop in the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade… Following is the view from Double Arch to the other side with North and South Window.
The above picture with both “Windows” is a another perfect photo stop. From North Window we look over again to Double Arch. And to the other side again massive formations with the La Sale Mountains and it’s snow peaks in the back. Opposite to North and South Window is the Turret Arch located. With a 16mm wide angle it is possible to capture all three arches together.
Next stop on the tour around the Park is the “Sand Dune Arch” which is hidden at the end of a small, narrow sand path between huge pillars. In the north of the Park the street ends at Devils Garden. A trailhead leads to the “Landscape Arch”. Since 1991, three slabs of sandstone measuring 30, 47, and 70 feet (9.1, 14, and 21 m) long have fallen from the thinnest section of Landscape Arch, prompting the Park Service to close the trail that once passed beneath it. The Arch looks real weak and I could imagine it to collapse in our lifetimes.
The trailhead continues through “Devil Garden” with lot’s of interesting rock formations which I was not able to experience. I had to go back to “Delicate Arch ” to get a second chance for sunset.
When you hike up to the Arch you first see a basin, which looks like an Amphitheatre. The Arch is in the back, not be seen with its opening. The access road to the Arch is locacted in the back of the rocks, which frame the Theatre. On the way, climbing up on the side, a small hole reveals another view of the Arch.It is nearly impossible to take pictures of the Arch without people. Everbody one wants to pose underneath the Arch. Here is a panorama views of “Delicate Arch” to conclude this blog.