A red rock wonderland containing some of the most scenic and inspiring landscapes on Earth, Arches National Park contains the world's largest concentration of natural sandstone arches. Although over 2,000 arches are located within the park's 76,518 acres, the park also contains an astounding variety of other geological formations. Colossal sandstone fins, massive balanced rocks, soaring pinnacles and spires dwarf visitors as they explore the park's viewpoints and hiking trails. Geologic faulting has exposed millions of years of geologic history within the park. A paved scenic drive takes visitors to many of the major viewpoints and trailheads within the park. Whether you have a few hours, or a few days, Arches has something to offer everyone.
Spectacular slickrock formations highlight this wonderful hike to a couple of the most impressive arches in the Moab area. The smooth sandstone terraces that are traversed en route to the arches are quite beautiful on their own right, and make the entire length of this hike a visual feast. The smooth erosional design of Corona Arch, which has a sculpted appearance, is breathtaking.
It is hard to imagine a more picturesque setting for such an impressive arch. I highly recommend this hike to anyone visiting the Moab area.
Little Wild Horse Canyon is a narrow slot canyon with intricately sculpted sandstone walls, sometimes less than a shoulder-width apart, towering hundreds of feet over your head. This hike, located in the San Rafael Swell, may contain more beauty-per-mile than any other in southern Utah! Hiking through such a beautiful canyon is an experience that you simple will not forget.
Every twist and turn in this canyon holds a surprise. Constantly changing color, light, and erosional characteristics transform the personality of the canyon in the blink of an eye. No two views are ever the same. Closer inspection of many of the sandstone walls reveal exquisite carvings, indentations, and variations of color.
Negro Bill Canyon is an impressive Navaho Sandstone gorge containing many hidden secrets, including massive Morning Glory Natural Bridge. Morning Glory Natural Bridge is 243 feet long and is located adjacent to a sandstone wall within a huge red rock alcove. Reflected sunlight from the sandstone walls often envelopes the bridge in a warm reddish light that is quite intense and beautiful to photograph. Because the canyon follows a perennial stream, the canyon bottom is lush and green which contrasts wonderfully with reddish sandstone walls. Throughout the canyon, desert varnish creates some exquisite patterns on the shear walls.
This hike is located just minutes from downtown Moab, making it a great selection to fill in a few extra hours in your Moab visit itenerary.
In May of 1999 I was delighted by an unexpected visit from my friend Roger Heins from Fort Collins, Colorado. We quickly decided to go on a backpacking trip into the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park, which contains some of the most rugged and inspiring terrain in southern Utah.
The challenges and rewards of hiking in this area has made it one of the most desirable places for backpacking in the United States. People travel from all over the world to experience the solitude and unique beauty of the Needles.
Stream hiking in the southern Utah affords an entirely different perspective on the natural beauty of this area. Certainly during the summer, when many people find the intense heat of southern Utah oppressive, stream hiking offers a splendid way to experience the natural beauty of this area in total comfort. Additionally, the current popularity of sport sandals, such as those made by TEVA, has made stream hiking a real breeze.