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Delicate Arch
Natürliches Amphitheater um den Delicate Arch
websize photograph
Titel: Delicate Arch in the evenig sun

At the end of the trail starting at Wolfe Ranch, Arches National Park, Utah USA.


Because of its distinctive shape, the arch was known as "the Chaps" and "the Schoolmarm's Bloomers" by local cowboys. It was given its current name by Frank Beckwith, leader of the Arches National Monument Scientific Expedition, who explored the area in the winter of 1933–1934. The arch played no part in the original designation of the area as a U.S. National Monument in 1929, and was not included within the original boundaries; it was added when the monument was enlarged in 1938. In the 1950s, the National Park Service investigated the possibility of applying a clear plastic coating to the arch to protect it from further erosion and eventual destruction. The idea was ultimately abandoned as impractical and contrary to NPS principles.

Delicate Arch is formed of Entrada Sandstone. The original sandstone fin was gradually worn away by weathering and erosion, eventually leaving the arch. Other arches in the park were formed the same way but due to placement and less dramatic shape are not as famous.

Delicate Arch is located at the end of a moderately strenuous, 2.4 km hiking trail from the parking area at Wolfe Ranch. Taking thirty to forty-five minutes each way, the round trip is slightly more than 4.8 km long and the Arch is completely hidden from view on this trail.

The first third of the hike is through rugged, brushy terrain and gains slightly in elevation. The middle third of the hike is along the face of an exposed slickrock outcrop and is strenuous due to the gain in elevation, but offers better views of the geology in the salt valley. Cairns (piles of rocks) have been placed by visitors and park staff to roughly suggest the otherwise unmarked trail to the top, yet visitors tend to wander all over the huge expanse of completely exposed sandstone. The latter third of the trail is the most rugged, as hikers have now nearly reached the "top" of the plateau. The Arch is still invisible, and the trail runs around outcrops, through washes and between stands of twisted brush and trees. The trail may be easier to follow, but meanders as parts become muddy and difficult to walk through. During the 2004 fall season, the trail clearly followed the left (northern) side of the plateau, and brought visitors along a narrow shelf nearly 46 m above a dry wash.

The arch comes into view suddenly around a corner in the trail and frames the La Sal Mountains to the southeast. The immediate area around the Arch offers views of the southern expanse of the park, and has unguarded cliffs plunging one hundred feet or more.

Schlüsselwörter: Entrada Sandstone, arch
Image sizes: 2988*1969px, 2087kb
Origin: Scanned from analog diapositive slide
Date/Time: 19980817-000022
Position coordinates:WGS84 LONG -109.49991703°, LAT 38.7442014316°
Destination coordinates;WGS84 LONG -109.499359131°, LAT 38.7436993539°
Air-line distance:
Author: André M. Winter
Photo copyright: This photograph is copyrighted (©) by André M. Winter and others. A free permissions for re-use may be given for non-commercial purposes. Commercial use requires a license. Contact André M. Winter for any kind of use. This extended copyright notice applies in all cases. Infringements always will be persecuted worldwide. Legal court: Innsbruck, Austria, E.U.
Text copyright: The description of this photograph (or parts of) is based on this article of the free Wikipedia encyclopedia and are covered by the GNU Free Documentation License (GFDL). Authors are named on the Wikipedia page.
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