Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Arches National Park, Colorado River Gorge and Travel Plans

Location: Moab KOA Campground (el 4,500 ft); Moab, Utah

(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 Cell Phone)

I mentioned in the last post that I was disappointed in Arches NP. I have thought about it more and have changed my mind a little. Although my preference is still for Canyonlands, Arches was nice too. I wasn't feeling up to par when I visited Arches and that may have played into my "semi-disappointment". I may not have given it a fair shot which could be used as a reason to return to this area in the future. Arches is a nice park with several different sandstone formations to see. I am still reading up on some of the geology of the area and am confused about some of it. It surely doesn't help when the "experts" say they are guessing about how parts of it formed but are absolutely sure about other parts. One of their "puzzles" is the existence of such thick salt layers that floated upwards to create salt domes. This floating upwards pushed layers of rock upward to the point where the rock layer split into parallel cracks. That is the puzzle. If the overlying rocks were not split into cracks, then it could be assumed the rocks were layed down after the salt formed. But by them being cracked, then it indicates the salt layer moved (floated) upwards with such force as to displace a thick rock layer. What could have provided such a strong and isolated force. There are salt domes in many places around the country from under Lake Erie to the marshes of Louisiana. Avery Island, home of Tabasco Sauce, is located on such a salt dome.

Oh well, there are always puzzles and questions when talking about events over such a large time period. I would think the "expanding earth" people would jump on this floating salt dome thing as something to help prove their theory. 

On the way back to the campground, I turned off and followed the Colorado River upstream for several miles. It is like a mini-grand canyon. It was interesting and provided some good pictures.

There are several pretty views and interesting things to see in Arches and along the Colorado River, so here are some of them:
This is right past the entrance to Arches. You climb up several hundred feet.

Looking down at the Visitors Center and the Moab Valley.

Sandstone is everywhere. Cliffs, spires and of course arches

This was a nice view looking at the mountains in the distance. 

A panoramic view of the area.

This is the kind of picture most people think represents the typical southwest.

This isn't the "official" balanced rock formation, but I liked it just as much.

You can clearly see the horizontal layers of the sandstone

This is the official balanced rock. Pretty impressive. Even more impressive to try to imagine all of this area under water. (inquiring minds,,,lol)

Another angle of balanced rock.

There are areas with some fantastic vistas. 

This is the area of the "floating salt dome". The fractured rocks in the middle of the picture is the top of the dome. I didn't feel like taking the fancy camera out of the case, but now maybe I should have so I could have zoomed in more. 

An arch, thus the name of the park.

These are called "fins". They will eventually form into arches, many centuries from now.

Another vista. I like these type of places

There used to be an arch across that opening. It collapsed a long, long time ago.

That is the Colorado River on the right side. The bridge-like structure is a bike path. I liked the tree.

Looking upstream you can see it is like a mini-grand canyon.

High wall cliffs along the river

Turned around and headed back to the campground.
Tomorrow is moving day. My plan is to head to Mesa Verde to see some ancient housing projects. 

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. Since you are heading that way anyway, you really should take the time to stop in Needles area. There is a campground down at the ranger station and you can rent a Jeep nearby to tour the area beyond Elephant Hill. It is beautiful back there! Natural Bridges is just a little further south and worth a visit too. And the view at Goosenecks State Park is great. You can boondock right on the edge of the canyon there.

    1. Hello Conrad, I have reservations at a campground in Mesa Verde for tomorrow thru Saturday. I haven't decided which direction from there. I may go back into south Utah or head straight north towards Yellowstone. There is a special place in northern New Mexico I may go to also. Thanks for your suggestions. Much appreciated.