Exploring the Earth and Sky of the West

Arches National Park, Utah

With more than 2,000 natural arches in an area of just over 100 square miles, Arches National Park packs quite a punch. The otherworldly landscape sculpted from the orange-red Entrada Sandstone draws well over a million visitors annually. Consequently, Arches is no longer the quiet backwater made famous by Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire, but instead one of the most crowded and chaotic national parks I’ve visited. The park’s small size and delicate cryptobiotic soil crust means there is relatively little room for visitors to spread out compared to many other national parks of the west. Still, if you are in the area, don’t pass up the opportunity to see the place that makes Utah’s license plates the most unique in the country!

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