SIA2897: Arches National Park - Delicate Arch

Photographer:Rosanna Hamilton
Copyright:Copyright © 2008 Rosanna Hamilton
Location:Arches National Park, Utah

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Water and time have sculpted Delicate Arch. The span's distinctive shape has inspired such colorful nicknames as "Cowboy Chaps" and "Old Maid's Bloomers."

Carved in Entrada Sandstone, this free-standing arch is composed mostly of the Slick Rock Member. On top is a five-foot-thick layer of the Moab Tongue. A remnant of an ancient fin, the arch today has an opening 45 feet (13.7 meters) high and 33 feet (10 meters) wide.

Erosion continues to wear away the features of this mature span. It is only a matter of time before the geologic and environmental forces that created the arch will destroy it.

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