Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Arches National Park; Moab, Utah

Moab, Utah, is a haven for mountain bikers and ATV riders. The myriad off-road trails cut through red sandstone known as slickrock. But Arches National Park, five miles north of Moab, is reserved for hikers and bikers to explore petrified sand dunes and rock formations known as fins.

Fins sometimes become arches when the salt bed, deposited 300 million years ago when a sea covered the Colorado Plateau, erodes from harder rock layers.

Many of the park's 2000 arches can only been seen by hiking to them. On the day of our visit, it was so cold and windy that we toured the 18-miles scenic drive by car. We were able to see the most famous arch, Delicate Arch, from about 3/4 of a mile away.

Balanced rock will make you scratch your head, trying to figure out how it seems to defy gravity!

The Cove of Caves contains arches and some future arches-in-progress.

The La Sal Mountains provide a glorious background.

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