DOUBLE ARCH

Double Arch is a close-set pair of natural arches, one of the more known features of Arches National Park in Utah, United States. From the Double Arch parking area it’s a 0.5 mile (0.8 km) round trip to the arches. There are no guardrails or fences to prevent visitors from exploring directly beneath and through the arches.

Double Arch was formed differently than most of the arches in Arches National Park. It is what is known as a pothole arch; it formed by water erosion from above rather than more typical erosion from the side. The larger opening has a span of 148 feet (45,1 meters) and a height of 104 feet (31,7 meters), both measured using precision laser equipment on June 23, 2009

Start down the level desert trail toward Double Arch. To the left are distinct rocks that bear an uncanny resemblance to elephants. Pass the elephants and continue to Double Arch, which looks like part of a gyroscope embedded into a sandstone cliff. The trail passes directly beneath the bigger of the two arches, a monumental 112-foot tall, 144-foot wide span, which is the tallest in the park and the third widest.

Ascend the rock amphitheater behind the first arch up to the adjoining span, a smaller 67-foot wide and 86-foot tall arch. Geologists believe this impressive span began as a pothole of water on the surface overhead. The collected water slowly broke down the rock, forming an alcove, which eventually created both arches. Science aside, the twin arches seem like an improbably natural wonder, created solely to amaze. The inspiring configuration went by a few other names over the years, like Double Windows, Jug Handles, and Twinbow Bridge. Whatever you name Double Arch, you will call it impressive. This short hike should not be missed.

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~ by ferry1984 on July 15, 2011.

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