“Delicate Arch has become the unofficial symbol of Utah. Towering eighty feet over hikers, Delicate Arch is one of the highlights of Arches National Park and is possibly the most beautiful arch in the world. This arch needs to be experienced in person to be really appreciated. This hike competes with Devils Garden as the best hike in Arches National Park.
If you are looking for good photo opportunities this is the spot, Delicate Arch is probably the most photographed arch in the world. Resting on top of a huge Entrada Sandstone formation, the world-famous site offers a dramatic view.”
“The national park lies atop an underground evaporate layer or salt bed, which is the main cause of the formation of the arches, spires, balanced rocks, sandstone fins, and eroded monoliths in the area. This salt bed is thousands of feet thick in places, and was deposited in the Paradox Basin of the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when a sea flowed into the region and eventually evaporated. Over millions of years, the salt bed was covered with debris eroded from the Uncompahgre Uplift to the northeast. During the Early Jurassic (about 210 Ma) desert conditions prevailed in the region and the vast Navajo Sandstone was deposited. An additional sequence of stream laid and windblown sediments, the Entrada Sandstone (about 140 Ma), was deposited on top of the Navajo. Over 5000 feet (1500 m) of younger sediments were deposited and have been mostly eroded away. Remnants of the cover exist in the area including exposures of the Cretaceous Mancos Shale. The arches of the area are developed mostly within the Entrada formation.”
The “easy hike” in the title is how the trail to the Delicate Arch is rated… We assumed it was at least a moderate to difficult (in places) kind of hike. Let’s say for us it was challenging. It was more difficult getting down than up for the old but restored knees. But we did it and have a picture to prove it!
Like most places in this region of striking beauty, the Native American influence and spirituality is a treasure and inspiration. As Americans we are blessed with the preservation of our Native American Heritage. And in this part of America, the American Indian thrived in often harsh but awesomely beautiful place of peace, spiritual growth, and exceptional quality of life…
“Humans have occupied the region since the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Fremont people and Ancient Pueblo People lived in the area up until about 700 years ago. Spanish missionaries encountered Ute and Paiute tribes in the area when they first came through in 1775, but the first European-Americans to attempt settlement in the area were the Mormon Elk Mountain Mission in 1855, who soon abandoned the area. Ranchers, farmers, and prospectors later settled Moab in the neighboring Riverine Valley in the 1880s. Word of the beauty of the surrounding rock formations spread beyond the settlement as a possible tourist destination.”
There is much to learn about Native American history, and in the “Four Corners” (click here) region of the southwest is a treasure trove of early tribal culture (click here) to learn from. I have written frequently on this blog about our travels (click here) through out the southwest the past 4 years. Each year it seems we our drawn back to this region of the USA, and most often seek out Native American culture as food for the soul. It is my view that the American Indian teachings and life style reinforces the value of community building and sustainability. The powerful energy, as described in the term “vortex” (click here), best explains the overwhelming feeling of spiritual connectedness while visiting these sacred lands and ancient communities of our Native American Heritage.
The energy vortex of Sedona, Arizona (click here) is one of the most well known areas where so many visitors claim the special feeling of being at the confluence of mother nature’s energy. I believe this is why learning more about the early American Indian culture is so priceless to we 21st Century humans. Go to these special places to learn for yourself…a once in a lifetime experience to be sure…
Steve Sparks, Author, My Journey of Healing in Life After Trauma, Part 1, and Reconciliation: A Son’s Story… click for my author page…