|Arches National Park - Part 9 of 2010 Tour of 11 of
fantastic Southwest USA
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Reduced the zoom for a broader view of the Double Arch and other nearby rock formations. Notice the small
size of several visitors on the hiking trail going to Double Arch.
More giant parallel sandstone fins in Arches National Park.
The abundance of such giant sandstone fins are the basic structures for the erosion by water, ice and wind to
create more than 2000 stone arches in Arches National Park.
A part of the maze of Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park.
Double Arch - an amazing pair of giant arches that are joined at one end. Double Arch was formed differently
than most of the 2000 arches in Arches National Park. It is what is known as a pothole arch; it formed by
water erosion from above rather than more typical erosion from the side. The Double Arch was featured in the
opening scenes of two movies: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Notice the tiny size of people climbing on
the lower left side of the bottom of the giant arches. A 360-degree panorama view of this area around the
Double Arch can be seen at the following website:
Zoom in for a closer view of the tiny size of people climbing at the bottom of the massive imposing Double
popular and well photographed rock formations in Arches National Park. The total height is 128 feet, with the
huge balanced rock rising 55 feet above its base. The big rock on top is the size of three school buses.
Delicate Arch in Arches National Park in Utah, appearing on US postal stamps, Utah state's welcome signs,
vehicle license plates, and tourism advertisements. Notice the small size of two hikers under the giant Delicate
We toured Arches National Park in the afternoon of June 4, 2010. We took the moderate 1-mile round-trip hike
from the parking lot to the Upper Viewpoint which is still about 1-mile away from the Delicate Arch. The 20X
optical zoom of my compact super-zoom camera (Canon PowerShot SX10 IS) enabled me to zoom in over the
1-mile distance to take the two pictures above. We did not take the strenuous 3-mile round trip, uphill hike on
steep rock dome to reach the base of the giant arch because of the 100-degree desert scorching heat in the
summer season. However, a good description of this "brutal" hiking trail with several photos along the hiking
trail can be seen at the following website:
Arches National Park contains the world's largest concentration of natural stone arches – there are over 2,000
arches, including the world-renowned Delicate Arch, a favorite spot for gazing at the sunset, and the 306-foot
long Landscape Arch, one of the longest arch formations in the world. The park also contains an astounding
variety of other geological formations. Colossal sandstone fins, massive balanced rocks, soaring pinnacles and
spires dwarf visitors as they explore the park's viewpoints and hiking trails. An 18-mile paved scenic drive
leads to all the major viewpoints. The scenic drive also provides access to several trailheads for seasoned
hikers to explore deep into the park to enjoy many more beautiful arches and slot canyons beyond the
Viewpoints along the scenic drive.
Reduced the zoom to get a broader view of the Delicate Arch and several other rock formations on the brink
of the giant sandstone dome.
Many giant parallel sandstone fins in Arches National Park.
Many long vertical sandstone fins, all parallel to one another with narrow slot canyons between them.
Arches National Park offers a 3-hour guided tour into the maze of Fiery Furnace to see some beautiful
arches, colossal stone fins and slot canyons that most people don't get to see. The 3-hour hike is a bit
strenuous and requires some climbing and scrambling. There are narrow ledges with drop-offs and much of
the hike is in deep narrow slot canyons. The hike winds through terrain that occasionally requires the use of
hands and feet to scramble up and through narrows cracks, along narrow ledges above drop-offs and jumping
over some cracks. Video of such fantastic hike inside the Fiery Furnace can be seen at the following series of
four YouTube websites:
Part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IVNzWinNX8&feature=related
Part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSitGpBQLWE&feature=related
Part 3 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3w8_nQ40do&feature=related
Part 4 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HS-05uEK-Vc
However, every visitor entering the Fiery Furnace must obtain a ticket for the ranger-guided hike or a hiking
permit at the visitor center. An intricate structure of interconnecting passages through which it is difficult to
find one's way without an experienced hiking guide. There are a lot of dead ends in the maze of slot canyons
and people could seriously get lost and/or hurt.
Due to limitation of time, hot summer day and physical capability of retirees, we did not take this 3-hour
guided hike. But I am curious to see what those hikers see and experience on this important 3-hour guided
hike. Therefore, I made the YouTube search in Internet to find those four YouTube websites listed above so
that I can enjoy the arm-chair virtual tour of this 3-hour guided hike into the maze of Fiery Furnace.
Petrified ancient sand dunes in Arches National Park and the La Sal Mountains range in the background. La
Sal Mountains range is only about 15 miles southeast of Arches National Park with highest peak at 12,721
feet of elevation. It dominates the view of the surrounding canyonlands and appears in the background in
many views in Arches National Park. I was somewhat curious about the meaning of the name "La Sal" for this
nearby mountain range. I did a Google search on Internet and found the following answer:
The earliest Euro-American name comes from the Spanish, who called it Sierra de la Sal, or "Mountain of the
Salt." Frays Silvestre Velez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Dominguez passed by the mountain in
1776, mentioning in their diary that it was so called for there being salt beds next to it.
"Mountain of the Salt" and "salt beds next to the mountain" remind me that on the map of Arches National
Park there is a very large valley with the name of "Salt Valley" just southwest of Fiery Furnace, a Salt Valley
Wash and a Salt Wash in the middle of Arches National Park. The water along Salt Wash drains into the
beautiful upper Colorado River along the southern boundary of Arches National Park. It turns out that there is
a huge underground salt bed as thick as 10,000 feet in this area. According to the geologist, this thick salt
bed has been playing a key role in the formation of so many giant parallel sandstone fins and more than 2000
arches as explained in the following websites on the geology of Arches National Park:
In our previous trip in 2003, we were unlucky to arrive at Arches National Park in late afternoon such that we
did not have enough time to see everything that we wanted to see. But we were lucky to have the precious
opportunity for the beautiful sunset views of the National Park and to take the wonderful special picture
above. Similar to our recent experience in Monument Valley, during the sunset golden hour for
photographers, the reflections of the low-angle golden sunlight from red sandstone mountains turn into
amazing array of rich, intensive, brilliant, gorgeous, golden hues and glow as shown in this photo taken in
2003. It is the most beautiful time of day in the Arches National Park.
The sunset views of this mountain on fire and of Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park remind me of the
Flaming Mountain (火燄山 ) in Turpan (吐魯番) along the famous historical Silk Road in XinJiang Province in
western China. This Flaming Mountain is also in the fantasy stories in the Chinese classic novel "The Great
Adventure To The West 西遊記". About 1500 years ago, a Chinese Buddhist monk took a very treacherous
and long trip by foot from China to India to obtain the Buddhist sutra (scriptures) from India. His treacherous
trip went through many strange and challenging terrains along the Silk Road in the desert in western China.
One of the serious challenges that this monk encountered was this Flaming Mountain blocking his route to
India. The “Odyssey” of this Buddhist monk was dramatized by a very skillful Chinese writer into the classic
Chinese novel “The Great Adventure To The West 西遊記” by adding many fantasies, including this Flaming
Mountain and many demons challenging this Buddhist monk, to the original true story.
In addition to stone arches, stone fins and sandstones, there are also many beautiful globe mellow in Arches
The Skyline Arch.
The Broken Arch - The notch at the top gives the rock the appearance of being broken.
Many tall rock towers along the "Park Avenue" - Courthouse area in Arches National Park remind visitors of
the skyscrapers in New York City.
Three Gossips along Park Avenue
Tower of Babel along Park Avenue
The "Organ" along the Park Avenue.
The North (or South?) Window in the Windows Section of Arches National Park. The whole Windows area is
full of unique and captivating stone formations, with many arches among them.
Turret Arch with its vigilant tower standing beside. It appears to be a turret from a castle with a large arch in
the middle. It also has a tiny window on the side of the large arch
Head of Egyptian Queen along Park Avenue.
This is the trail head of Devil's Garden which is at the end of the Scenic Road in the Park. This fantastic trail
takes hikers to see 8 names arches: Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Wall Arch, Partition
Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O Arch, Private Arch and Dark Angel (not an Arch). The complete Devils Garden
trail, including side spurs and the Primitive Loop, is the longest hike on maintained trails in Arches, about 7.2
miles and takes about 5 hours of hiking round trip. Video of hiking Devil's Garden Trail can be seen at the
following YouTube website:
However, due to the limitation of time, hot summer day and physical capability of retirees, we did not take
this 5-hour hike. But I am curious about what those hikers see and experience along this Devil's Garden
Trail. Therefore, I did the YouTube search on Internet to find these two video clips on the YouTube
websites listed above so that I can enjoy the arm-chair virtual tour of the Devil's Garden Trail.
Utah Highway 191, the Entrance Fee Station and the Visitor Center (on right side) of Arches National Park at
the bottom of the spectacular Moab Canyon along Moab Fault line (looking north).
The Salt Valley and the maze of Fiery Furnace.
Petrified ancient sand dunes
Utah Highway 191, the Entrance Fee Station and Visitor Center (on left side) of Arches National Park at the
bottom of spectacular Moab Canyon along Moab Fault line (Looking south to Moab Valley).
Arches National Park is in eastern Utah, USA, about 6 miles south of Interstate Highway 70 and about 5
miles north of the town of Moab. The entrance to Arches National Park is located only 5 miles north of
the town of Moab, Utah along Highway 191. Moab is on Highway 191 and is about 2 miles south of the
Junction of Highway 191 and Scenic Byway 128. The southern boundary of Arches National Park is the
beautiful upper Colorado River with spectacular steep red sandstone gorge. The Upper Colorado River
Scenic Byway 128 runs along this boundary and upper Colorado River and is, therefore, very beautiful.
(We enjoyed driving through this Scenic Byway 128 along upper Colorado River during our previous trip
Map: Click here to see Google Map showing location of Entrance of Arches National Park
Detailed park maps inside Arches National Park are available at:
and at lower part of the following website:
Part of the Parade Of Elephants in the Windows Section, a lone section of sandstone, the remnants of the
fin to which Double Arch used to belong. The rock formation appears to be a herd of elephants, holding each
others’ tails, traveling single file.
Aerial View of the massive maze of Fiery Furnace of many parallel sandstone fins and slot canyons.
Part of the Parade Of Elephants
Majestic rock formations high on Moab Canyon wall above the Entrance Fee Station and the Visitor Center of
Arches National Park
Part 10 of 11 entitled "Kolob Canyons and Cedar Break National Monument - Part 10 of 11 of 2010 Tour of
SW USA" is on my web page at:
A picture of me (Sing Lin) at
Balanced Rock with my camera and
my monopod - This photo by May
Our 10-Day 2010 Tour Route of Southwest USA is a large loop starting and ending in Las Vegas in Nevada,
USA. The sequence of fantastic Point-Of-Interest (POIs) on this large loop is:
Las Vegas in Nevada --------> Kolob Canyon in Zion National Park in Utah ---------> Cedar Break National
Monument in Utah --------> Red Canyon State Park in Utah --------> Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah
--------> Scenic Byway 12 through beautiful Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument in Utah --------> Scenic
Burr Trail and southern Part of Capital Reef National Park in Utah --------> Goblin Valley State Park in Utah
--------> Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah --------> Canyonland National Park in Utah ---------> Arches
National Park in Utah --------> Goosenecks State Park in Utah --------> Monument Valley in Arizona -------->
Antelope Canyons in Arizona --------> Glen Canyon Dam and Bridge over Colorado River in Arizona -------->
Horseshoe Bend of Colorado River in Arizona ---------> Navajo Bridge over Colorado River in Arizona
Scenic Highway 89-ALT from east to west along beautiful Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in Arizona
--------> Grand Canyon - North Rim in Arizona --------> Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada --------->
Hemenway Park in Boulder City in Nevada ---------> Las Vegas in Nevada.
How I use information age technologies to enhance my enjoyment greatly of sightseeing large driving tour loop
of thousands of miles and of one to two weeks in duration covering many Points of Interest is described on my
web page at: