Arches National Park

Arches National Park

  Arches National Park was founded on April 4th of 1929 by President Herbert Hoover.  It is constantly receiving visitors from all over the world due to its immense natural beauty.  Too bad there aren’t more Americans there for the sole reason that they are in the same country and do not have to travel internationally in order to see it.  For Americans it is more convenient to travel to Arches National Park, but there seemed to be quite a diverse amount of people there.
  In Arches National Park, there are more than 2,000 recorded arches.  It also has the largest concentration of arches in the world.  These arches are constantly undergoing change due to the different types of erosion that have also caused the formation of the arches.  Arches National Park is also located on top of a very large salt bed.  Because salt is unstable under high amounts of pressure, this caused the salt layer to shift.  This also caused the other layers above it to shift, which then began the forming of multiple wall-like structures, which are called fins.  Then, of course, the erosion did the rest of the work.

  The types of erosion that were involved in the making of these arches would include that of wind, water, and even ice whenever it expands and causes chunks of rock to break off.  The arches form from multiple types of erosion, but start to form when erosion causes alcoves in the fins.  When alcoves form on both sides of a fin, then the erosion simply continues in order for the two alcoves to meet up.  This in turn causes the two alcoves to turn into an arch.

Arches National Park
  The Native Americans would not have inhabited this area, and no evidence has been found of them actually living here for long periods, but for good reason.  This area would not have provided the Native Americans with any of the resources that they needed to survive, especially that of water.  Even the ephemeral pools, or tiny ecosystems that can be found throughout the park, would not have been much for a sizable amount of people.  They most certainly would have taken the opportunity of acquiring any good sized cherts in order to use for stone tools  and weapons as well.  Thus the Native Americans have only left evidence of passing through the area by way of petroglyphs and pictographs left on the walls of rock around the park. 

Delicate Arch
  Arches National Park today is continuously being  visited by many people every day.  Just the day that we were there on Saturday, May 28th, there were a few hundred people, most of them trying to climb to Delicate Arch  and most of them actually making it.  The walk up to Delicate Arch is a 3 mile round trip hike in which there is no shade along the way.  It also goes up in elevation of 480 feet!  The trip is quite strenuous and there was a great need for water, and then of course the bathroom, which was conveniently located at the beginning.  Needless to say there was a line of 50 or more people once they began to reach the end of their treks.  The hike up and the sunburn mixed with sweatiness, however, was worth it and made for a memorable experience in the end!

Maegan Smith

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