Arches National Park
Arches National Park is located very near to Moab, Utah. Moab in itself is a sweet town that you should put on your list to visit. Tons of outdoor shops that have everything you could possibly want to spend your money on, so be careful.
Arches is a National Park that covers almost 77,000 acres, for those who don't know how big an acre is (myself included), it covers about 120 square miles. Arches is considered a high desert, highest elevation reaching 5,653 feet. Dotting the landscape are short grasses, shrubs, and some trees that found ways to survive in the desert climate. There are only about 10 inches of rainfall every year. As with all desert climates, there is an incredible amount of life in such a dry place. Hiking off the beaten path (still on a path, just not frequently traveled) there is a valley that we came across utterly filled with trees, bushes, and everything green. The soil crust has thousands of microorganisms, all doing their part to maintain this breath taking landscape.
The main attraction of course are the arches that gives the park it's name (shocking). The NPS is just so creative sometimes. Arches boasts over 2,000 naturally made arches throughout the 120 square miles. These include all of the big names such as Delicate Arch (featured above), Landscape arch which spans 290 feet, Double Arch, North and South Windows, Navajo Arch, and of course the spires of surrounding rock formations give a new view everywhere you look.
The best day that my buddy Owen and I had, was continuing out away from the roads of Arches into the slick rock jungle that is still part of the park. We found plenty of great places to hike and more arches to explore. If you head into the ranger station, they will show a trail that you can take out in the wilderness and pitch a tent if you wish. I would highly recommend doing this as waking up and sticking your head out of the tent and seeing The Sal mountain range is well worth it. You can escape the bustling crowds and huge tour buses and enjoy what is there.
To get information on how the arches have been formed over millions of years, you will need to find a far more information website than my own. The NPS has tons of great information on all of their parks, including Arches.
Arches provides an ample amount of opportunity for photography purposes. Both night and day photography, but of course sunrise and sunset is always a great time to be shooting anything and everything.
I would highly recommend going in the spring or fall, going in the dead of summer will expose you to very high heats and no great way to escape the sun. Do be prepared for cooler temperatures at night and always, always bring plenty of water to drink and stay hydrated.
Arches is a beautiful park that you should certainly explore, put it on the list when you are thinking about checking out Bryce Canyon and/or Zion as all three NPs are in very close proximity. Enjoy!!
All information in here was gathered through the National Parks website.