Arches National Park is a U.S. National Park in eastern Utah
. It is known for preserving over 2000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch
, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.The park is located just outside of Moab
, Utah, and is 76,679 acres (31,031 ha) in area. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Forty-three arches have collapsed due to erosion since 1970. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average. It was redesignated as a National Park on November 12, 1971.
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.The national park lies atop an underground evaporite 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.
Climbing on named arches within the park has long been banned by park regulations.All rock climbing or similar activities on any arch or natural bridge named on the United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute topographical maps covering Arches National Park are prohibited.Climbing on other features in the park is allowed, but regulated. The revised regulations also prohibit slacklining parkwide. Approved recreational activities include auto touring, backpacking, biking, camping, and hiking, some of which require permits. Guided commercial tours and ranger programs are also available.