Utah Arches National Park map and highlights

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Utah Arches National Park map and highlights

Map of National Park Arches, Utah
Arches, Utah on the map. National Park Arches  (Utah state) on the map of USA.   
National Park Arches, Utah   
Established: 1971   Acreage: 73,379
    
Arches National Park, which has the greatest density of natural  arches in the world, lies atop an underground salt bed. Wind and water,  extreme temperatures and underground salt movement created the red rock  pinnacles, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins and arches that make  the area a sightseer's mecca. Early explorers thought the huge arches  were, like Stonehenge in England, the remnants of a long lost culture.
    
The more than 200 catalogued arches range in size from a  three-foot opening (the minimum considered an arch) to Landscape Arch  (105-foot), a ribbon of rock that measures 291 feet from base to base.  All stages of arch formation and decay are found here. Delicate Arch,  all that remains of a bygone fin, stands on the edge of a canyon, with  the white-capped LaSal Mountains for a backdrop.
    
Covering the salt bed was millions of years worth of debris, which had been compressed into rock. Salt is an unstable substance and the salt bed below Arches was no match for the  weight of this thick cover of rock. Under the pressure of the rock  layers it shifted, buckled, liquified and repositioned itself, thrusting  the earth layers upward into domes. Entire sections dropped into  cavities; others turned on edge. When overlaying areas of earth sank  into cavities, great fractures, called 'faults,' formed. A 2500-foot  displacement of earth is obvious in the Moab Fault, which can be seen  from the visitor center.
    
Green pinyon pines and juniper trees provide a contrast to the  red sandstone terrain. In spring, when conditions are right, pockets of  the park brim with wildflowers. Wildlife here is typical of the sparse  pinyon and juniper forests of the Great Basin Desert. Although most  species are nocturnal, visitors occasionally glimpse mule deer, kit fox,  jackrabbits and cottontails, kangaroo rats and small reptiles. Blue  pinyon jays, golden eagles and redtailed hawks reside in the park, and  bald eagles and peregrine falcons have been sighted.
    
The park also contains the site of Wolfe Ranch, a small cattle  operation once run by John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran,  and his son Fred. An aged log cabin, root cellar and corral provide a  look at life 100 years ago.
    
Above right: South Window (left) and North Window (right). The  people standing in North Window give a sense of the overwhelming size of  these formations.
    
Delicate Arch (right) and Balanced Rock (far right), two of the well known landmarks in Arches National Park.
    
Facing Page: Pine Tree Arch, so named for the pine tree in the center of the arch.
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