Galleries » Arches & Natural Bridges NM

Arches National Park and Natural Bridges National Monument preserves over 2,000 natural sandstone arches. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history. The extraordinary features of the parks create a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures that is unlike any other in the world.  In 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed legislation creating Arches National Monument, to protect the arches, spires, balanced rocks, and other sandstone formations.  Interestingly, the park's most famous arch, the picturesque main subject of this collection, Delicate Arch, was not even included in the initial land grant under Hoover. It would take a 1938 expansion of the park by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to include it and other famous rock formations. Arches National Monument became Arches National Park in 1971.
 
Mentioned throughout descriptions in this image release, are fitting quotes from renowned author Edward Abbey, noted for his advocacy of environmental issues.  Early in his career, he worked in the monuments in 1956 and 1957, maintaining trails, greeting visitors and collecting campground fees.  Abbey's fourth book, Desert Solitaire, was published in 1968. In it, he describes his stay in the canyonlands and is regarded as one of the finest nature narratives in American literature.  The book is interspersed with observations and discussions about the various tensions; physical, social, and existential, between humans and the desert environment. A typical Abbey quote typifies Artwestimage.com's staff views on adventure excursions featured on this site. "Hard work. And risky. Too much for some, who have given up the struggle on the highways, in exchange for an entirely different kind of vacation out in the open, on their own feet, following the quiet trail through forests and mountains, bedding down in the evening under the stars, when and where they feel like it, at a time where the Industrial Tourists are still hunting for a place to park their automobiles."
 
Repeatedly occupied and abandoned during prehistoric times, Natural Bridges was first used during the Archaic period, from 7000 B.C. to A.D. 500.; Around AD 700, ancestors of modern Puebloan people moved onto the mesa tops to dry farm and later left as the natural environment changed. Around A.D. 1100, new migrants from across the San Juan River moved into small, single-family houses. Navajos and Paiutes lived in the area during later times before moving to reservations in the Four Corners area.  In 1904, the National Geographic Magazine publicized the bridges and the area was designated a National Monument April 16, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt.

Digital Collections

Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a United States National Park in eastern Utah. The park is adjacent to the Colorado River, 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab, Utah. It is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations. It contains the highest density of...

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Sipapu Perspective

  • Title: Sipapu Perspective
  • Description: At 225 feet in length, Sipapu Bridge...
  • Pixels: 1491x2230
  • Views: 982
  •  4.5/5 (10 votes)

Sipapu Natural Bridge

  • Title: Sipapu Natural Bridge
  • Description: Sipapu is the largest and most...
  • Pixels: 2226x1489
  • Views: 736
  •  5/5 (6 votes)

Three Gossips in Arches NP

  • Title: Three Gossips in Arches NP
  • Description: Arches National Park is a United...
  • Pixels: 1024x683
  • Views: 409
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

  • Description: "The desert wears... a veil of...
  • Pixels: 5947x2665
  • Views: 372
  •  5/5 (4 votes)

Sipapu Bridge Landscape

  • Title: Sipapu Bridge Landscape
  • Description: A moderately strenuous trail descends...
  • Pixels: 2172x1452
  • Views: 354
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Abbey's Ring of Stone

  • Title: Abbey's Ring of Stone
  • Description: "For a few moments we discover that...
  • Pixels: 5847x3282
  • Views: 343
  •  4.7/5 (3 votes)

The Juniper Below

  • Title: The Juniper Below
  • Description: At its thinnest point on the right,...
  • Pixels: 3190x4467
  • Views: 317
  •  5/5 (3 votes)

Photographers Pose at Delicate Arch

  • Title: Photographers Pose at Delicate Arch
  • Description: Artwestimage.com expedition members...
  • Pixels: 4885x3256
  • Views: 303
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

Delicate Arch Spectacular!

  • Title: Delicate Arch Spectacular!
  • Description: Delicate Arch is the most famous arch...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 286
  •  5/5 (3 votes)

First Light at Delicate Arch

  • Title: First Light at Delicate Arch
  • Description: Nicole Nelson stands in the first...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 283
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

Awareness of the Wonderful

  • Title: Awareness of the Wonderful
  • Description: "The beauty of Delicate Arch explains...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 243
  •  5/5 (3 votes)

Delicate Arch Wonderful

  • Title: Delicate Arch Wonderful
  • Description: "If Delicate Arch has any...
  • Pixels: 4898x3266
  • Views: 228
  •  5/5 (3 votes)

Landscape Arch Magnifique'

  • Title: Landscape Arch Magnifique'
  • Description: Landscape Arch is the longest arch in...
  • Pixels: 4032x3024
  • Views: 200
  •  5/5 (3 votes)

Skyline Arch

  • Title: Skyline Arch
  • Description: Finding arches in this fractured...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 199
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

South Window

  • Title: South Window
  • Description: From the Delicate Arch trail, the...
  • Pixels: 5002x2916
  • Views: 195
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

  • Description: “Most of my wandering in the desert...
  • Pixels: 6485x3053
  • Views: 193
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Wolfe Ranch Cabin - Circa 1888

  • Title: Wolfe Ranch Cabin - Circa 1888
  • Description: The first settler in what is now...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 190
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Devil's Garden from Pine Tree Arch

  • Title: Devil's Garden from Pine Tree Arch
  • Description: In the early 1920s, an immigrant...
  • Pixels: 4930x3147
  • Views: 189
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Wolfe Ranch Petroglyphs

  • Title: Wolfe Ranch Petroglyphs
  • Description: Rocks have attracted visitors to...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 175
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Park Avenue Extraordinaire'

  • Title: Park Avenue Extraordinaire'
  • Description: About 2.3 miles from the entrance...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 172
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

Delicate Arch Frames Mt. Peale in the LaSal Range

  • Title: Delicate Arch Frames Mt. Peale in the...
  • Description: When the summit of the Delicate Arch...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 168
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Three Gossips

  • Title: Three Gossips
  • Description: The name, no doubt comes from a...
  • Pixels: 3456x5184
  • Views: 163
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Reflections on Delicate Arch

  • Title: Reflections on Delicate Arch
  • Description: “There are several ways of looking at...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 159
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Window in Stone

  • Title: Window in Stone
  • Description: "These are natural arches, holes in...
  • Pixels: 3456x5184
  • Views: 153
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

Double Arch Gigantique'

  • Title: Double Arch Gigantique'
  • Description: The larger opening has a span of 148...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 153
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

Park Avenue Trail

  • Title: Park Avenue Trail
  • Description: The Park Avenue Trail is one of the...
  • Pixels: 3888x2592
  • Views: 152
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Walking the Devil's Garden Trail

  • Title: Walking the Devil's Garden Trail
  • Description: "Walking makes the world much bigger...
  • Pixels: 3456x5184
  • Views: 146
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Golden Dawn from Delicate Arch Trail

  • Title: Golden Dawn from Delicate Arch Trail
  • Description: … the tremendous silence flows back,...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 139
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Desert Solitaire

  • Title: Desert Solitaire
  • Description: The first Europeans to explore the...
  • Pixels: 4446x2964
  • Views: 135
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Balanced Rock Superb!

  • Title: Balanced Rock Superb!
  • Description: Balanced Rock is one of the most...
  • Pixels: 2846x2033
  • Views: 134
  •  5/5 (2 votes)

Departure's Trail in the Morning Sun

  • Title: Departure's Trail in the Morning Sun
  • Description: "Grateful for our departure? One more...
  • Pixels: 5184x3456
  • Views: 130
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Delicate Arch from the Lower Viewpoint

  • Title: Delicate Arch from the Lower Viewpoint
  • Description: Your photographer took a series of...
  • Pixels: 4457x2647
  • Views: 130
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

A Hike Starts with a Single Step - Devil's Garden Trail

  • Title: A Hike Starts with a Single Step -...
  • Description: “The longest journey begins with a...
  • Pixels: 2883x2059
  • Views: 130
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Delicate Arch Structure

  • Title: Delicate Arch Structure
  • Description: Delicate Arch, from end of trail 1½...
  • Pixels: 4587x3224
  • Views: 121
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Delicate Arch Above Winter Camp Wash

  • Title: Delicate Arch Above Winter Camp Wash
  • Description: A lone hiker ventures beneath the...
  • Pixels: 5184x3354
  • Views: 121
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Horsecollar Ruin Alcove

  • Title: Horsecollar Ruin Alcove
  • Pixels: 2172x1452
  • Views: 121
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Colorado River Overlook

  • Title: Colorado River Overlook
  • Pixels: 2230x1491
  • Views: 121
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Pine Tree Arch Fin

  • Title: Pine Tree Arch Fin
  • Description: Pine Tree Arch, viewed northeastward....
  • Pixels: 4032x3024
  • Views: 111
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Juniper Pine Arch Solitude

  • Title: Juniper Pine Arch Solitude
  • Description: I'm not sure what is was about this...
  • Pixels: 3456x5184
  • Views: 111
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Fruita Petroglyphs

  • Title: Fruita Petroglyphs
  • Description: Petroglyphs (carved or pecked into...
  • Pixels: 2204x1575
  • Views: 111
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Arches Hoodoo Spire

  • Title: Arches Hoodoo Spire
  • Description: This classic hoodoo—an eroded column...
  • Pixels: 3456x5184
  • Views: 105
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Windows with a View

  • Title: Windows with a View
  • Description: The Windows also known as the...
  • Pixels: 6486x3043
  • Views: 102
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Turrent Arch

  • Title: Turrent Arch
  • Description: Turret Arch, is actually two arches,...
  • Pixels: 3453x4807
  • Views: 99
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Photographer's Viewing

  • Title: Photographer's Viewing
  • Description: It's all relative when you have a...
  • Pixels: 3411x2437
  • Views: 96
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Double Arch and the Cove of Caves

  • Title: Double Arch and the Cove of Caves
  • Description: Double Arch and the Cove of Caves...
  • Pixels: 3767x2086
  • Views: 95
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

sunset in Arches National Park

  • Title: sunset in Arches National Park
  • Pixels: 600x400
  • Views: 86
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

Arches/Natural Bridges National Monument

  • Title: Arches/Natural Bridges National Monument
  • Pixels: 3888x2592
  • Views: 80
  •  5/5 (1 votes)

Granary in White Canyon

  • Title: Granary in White Canyon
  • Pixels: 2148x1436
  • Views: 74
  •  0/5 (0 votes)

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