Arches National Park is a US National Park in eastern Utah. The park is located on the Colorado River 4 miles (6 km) north of Moab, Utah. It is known for containing over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the World-famous Delicate Arch, in addition to a variety of unique geological resources and formations.
The park is located just outside of Moab, Utah, and is 76,679 acres (119.811 sq mi; 31,031 ha; 310.31 sq km) in area. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Forty-three arches are known to have collapsed since 1977. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average.
Administered by the National Park Service, the area was originally named a National Monument on April 12, 1929. It was redesignated as a National Park on November 12, 1971.
Climbing on named arches within the park has long been banned by park regulations. Following Dean Potter's successful free climb on the Delicate Arch in May 2006, however, the wording of the regulations was deemed unenforceable by the park attorney. The park revised its regulations as follows in response:
All rock climbing or similar activities on any arch or natural bridge named on the United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute topographical maps covering Arches National Park are prohibited.
Climbing on other features in the park is allowed, but regulated. The revised regulations also prohibit slacklining parkwide. Approved recreational activities include auto touring, backpacking, biking, camping, and hiking, some of which require permits. Guided commercial tours and ranger programs are also available.
Astronomy is also popular in the park due to its dark skies despite the increasing light pollution from towns like Moab.