Arches National Park Visitors Center
Arches National Park is best known for the over 2,000 natural sandstone arches and other geological features throughout the park. Among the most iconic of these are Delicate Arch, which has become one of the leading symbols of the state of Utah, and Landscape Arch, which is the longest arch at the park, extending 306 feet from base to base. The total area of Arches National Park is 76,358 acres. Among the numerous rock formations tourists can see in the park is the Fiery Furnace, which is a maze-like passage that contains different unique types of monolithic columnns, spires, and arches. The park is also known for its unique wildlife such as falcons, bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and the red fox. It is one of the more popular national parks in the United States.
Backstory and Context
The history of Arches of how it came to be was millions of years of erosion, deposition, and other events that shaped the park to what it is now. Humans have occupied the area since the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Ancient Pueblo and Fremont people occupied the region for about 700 years. In 1775, Spanish missionary expeditions discovered Ute and Paiute tribes within the area. The Mormon Elk Mountain Mission in 1855 was the first European-American attempt to settle the area. It was abandoned until ranchers, prospectors, and farmers settled the area near Moab close to the Riverine Valley in the 1880’s.