National Park Visits – Arches National Park

With snow covering all of Connecticut it’s a good time to take a virtual hike back to a time of warmth and sunshine and amazing sites. This is another of the National Park Visits my husband and I made in October 2010.  Enjoy.

It’s easy to be awed by the rock formations of Arches National Park, especially when you realize the region was an inland sea about 300 million years ago.

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Because the area filled with water and evaporated multiple times, a thick layer of salt sits beneath the rocks, sands, and vegetation there.

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These salt beds shift under pressure and dissolve in groundwater which causes the salmon- and buff-colored sandstone layers resting atop the salt to shift …

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forming domes …

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and arches … 

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and fins.

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The shots directly above come from the group of fins called Fiery Furnace. It’s a maze of sandstone spires and slabs reaching 200 feet high. It’s not a place to wander alone unless you have a good amount of experience hiking the region. Even experienced hikers need a permit to explore its nooks and passages. You don’t want to get caught in an unexpected afternoon downpour here without a clear passage up and out. Rains quickly become raging rivers through the fins. Hubby and I managed to take a ranger-led hike through Fiery Furnace on a clear day, but the evidence of the previous day’s heavy rains were still obvious.

I’ll take you on our Fiery Furnace hike in my next post.

Click here for sights of Colorado National Monument.

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9 comments for “National Park Visits – Arches National Park

  1. February 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I’m loving these hot dry pictures as I look out at our snowy cold landscape now. Thanks for the tour! Such amazing sculptural scenery.

  2. February 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Joene, Amazing photos. You can definitely see how the water must have shaped them. They kind of look like the images you see on the ads for sea monkeys!

  3. joenesgarden
    February 4, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    Laurrie, Hot and dry is exactly the virtual vacation we need right now. Glad you enjoyed the tour.

  4. joenesgarden
    February 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    It’s easy to take amazing photos, Debbie, when you are surrounded by such powerful subject matter.

  5. February 5, 2011 at 5:32 am

    Hi Joene – those photos of Arches bring back memories of a trip taken when my children were young – your pictures show how magnificent the area is – we didn’t get to do the Fiery Furnace , so I’m looking forward to the pix!

  6. joenesgarden
    February 5, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Magnificent perfectly describes the sights at Arches, Cyndy. I had visited there as a teenager and I’m so glad I went back.

  7. February 5, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Amazing, beautiful rock formations! Nice to see on a cold, dreary day. Thanks!

  8. joenesgarden
    February 6, 2011 at 12:10 am

    Glad you enjoyed the trip, Deb.

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