There are many natural phenomena in our world that are completely inexplicable. The Northern Lights, where the sky dances with colors and shapes beyond our imagination. Geysers, erupting water springs from deep within the earth. Caves and rare forms of life that exist deep within the depths of our oceans. Another such natural phenomenon are naturally formed arches that would be an amazing addition to any cross-country road trip.

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Arches National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is the home of more than 2,000 natural arches. These unique formations came to exist because the park itself lies on top of a salt bed that endured extreme climate change millions of years ago. Debris from floods and the ocean compressed into rocks which pushed the earth into domes. The only rock layers that weren’t eroded over time resulted in the vertical arches. The park is also home to the Moab Fault, one of the most highly studied geological zones in the country.

There are many rock and arch formations that have become famous contained within this desert locale. There is the ‘balanced rock’ which involves a large rock precariously perched on much smaller rocks, somehow remaining in balance. There’s the ‘Delicate Arch’ which has now become famous as a symbol of Utah on US postage stamps. The ‘Fiery Furnace’ is a collection of much more narrow rock canyons and the ‘Landscape Arch’, which spans 290 feet.

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To visit this natural phenomenon, it may be a bit of a hike. For example, to see the ‘Delicate Arch’ from up close you’ll have to hike roughly 3 miles over the sand and harsh rocks. However, if you don’t need to see everything up close and personal, a good option for you would be the Arches Scenic Drive. This will take you a total of 19 miles to drive to the Devil’s Garden formation and back. This will roughly take you an hour and a half and it’s the perfect way to see all of these sights while avoiding the large crowds.