USA, Arches National Park – The Gateway to the Land of Red Sandstone
As you turn off the main road of U.S. 191, the road suddenly turns the same turn and climb. To make the highest point of this park, Elephant Butte, lies at 1,723 meters above sea level. To enter the Arches National Park you can use your tourist pass america the Beautiful. At first glance, Arches can remind you of Monument Valley - in both cases, it is a sandstone formation that originated hundreds of millions of years ago. Still, you will find something different in each park.
As the name suggests the Arches National Park boasts more than 2,000 arcs. You will not see so much elsewhere in the world. However, as a result of the ongoing erosion, some of them collapse from time to time.
In summer, when there is a major tourist season, temperatures reach up to 40 degrees Celsius. In winter, however, the are can be covered with snow. We are here in July. Without sunscreen, hat and sunglasses, you can't be there. The sun is that agressive. We did not expect much from Arches National. We are more surprised at how beautiful it is and how many amazing natural jewels are here to see.
The park can be riden through by car. The road is made of asphalt, suitable for all types of cars. There are short trails by some stops. There you can get around and see fascinating formations from all sides. A nice view awaits you at La Sal Mountains Viewpoint where you can see all rocks right at the beginning of the park. Take it as an appetizer. The main one is only waiting for you.
Approximately fifteen kilometers from the entrance gate you will see an interesting formtion - Balanced Rock. It is a 17 meter high stone that balances on a narrow stone neck below. The total height of this interesting structure is 39 meters and the weight of 3,500 tonnes. Balanced Rock can also be walked around, there is a short trail (0.3 km).
A short section behind it is the Windows section, or area where you will find several windows. These are holes in the rocks that resemble windows.
The most famous icon is the already mentioned Delicate Arch, the height of which is 20 meters. The disadvantage is that it can not be reached by car. You must leave it in the parking lot and go for a 5-mile trail (there and back).
A cherry on the icing on the cake waits at the end of the park - Landscape Arch. It is the longest arched bridge in the world. Its length is 91 meters. You can find this beauty in the area called Devil's Garden. In the area, there is a camp as well.
If you do not want to stay overnight in the park, there is a journey back to the visitor center where you can buy various souvenirs to remind you of this beautiful day.
Text and photos: Michal Hejl
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