Arches National Park has been called the most beautiful place on earth. It is home to many plants and animals. There are many hikes, tours and other things to do in Arches. Arches never had any Indians living there for very long at a time, but those that passed through are known to all.
What is Arches and how did it begin? Few humans ever lived in Arches but many have passed through. This is known because Indians have left petroglyphs as signs of their presence. Wolfe Ranch is a reminder of early explorers in the 1800's. Arches was declared a National Park on November 21, 1971.
How were these arches formed and what are they made of? Arches contains over 800 natural arches. That is the greatest number of arches in the world for any one place. These arches were formed by years of weathering and erosion. The arches are made of soft red sandstone. The underlying salt deposits and sandstone collapsed and weathered into a maze of vertical rock slabs called fins.
There are many fun things to do here at Arches. Hiking is the most popular. The star attraction here at Arches is the Delicate Arch. It is 480 feet high. There is no shade, so people have to take lots of water. Some of the easier hikes are Landascape Arch, Balanced Rock, and Double Arch Fiery Furnace is also popular. It is a guided hike taken usually twice a day.
Arches is mostly sandy flats but on these sandy flats there are many different kinds of plants. On the sandy flats nearly all the plants have thorns, needles, or spines to ward off the animals. Black brush is the main plant of the area. The only trees Arches has are the Pinion Pine and the Utah Juniper. There are cattails, watercress, and marsh grass in a few damp areas.
People would not think a desert like area would have many animals but Aches has many. The animals that live in Arches forests are foxes, coyotes, mule deer, and mountain lions. Golden eagles and red tailed hawks can sometimes be seen from over head. Collard lizards, spiders, snakes,and a variety of insects live on the sandy flat areas. Bald eagles Colorado Squawfish, and Bonytail Chub are the endangered species in Arches.
Where do people stay and what do they do? In Moab, a town near Arches, they have the Big Tree Cottage, Canyon View Cottage, Pack Creek Ranch, and Entrado Ranch. Some good things people do at Arches are biking, hiking, and camping. Climbing is also allowed for experienced climbers only. Climbing is done on Balanced Rock and a few other places. The Visitor's Center is open all year round and is located just inside the park.
At Arches the weather can be very differant in the four seasons. In the winter the maximum temperature is about 52 F, and the minimum temperature is about 18 F. In spring the maximum temperature is about 82F, the minimum temperature is about 33 F. In summer the maximum temperature is about 99 F and the minimum is about 55 F.In fall the maximum temperature is about 8 F, the minimum temperature is about 2 F. It is very dry at Arches so always carry a water bottle.
Arches is still on of the most beautiful places on earth.The Colorado River runs right through Arches National Park. Huge rocks and sandstone sculptures attract many visitors.
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