Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wilson Arch Trail

Wilson Arch is one of about 50 large arches south of Moab and outside of Arches National Park in southeast Utah. It is probably the easiest to find, being along Highway 191 about 25 miles south of Moab.

This large span was named for a local pioneer Joe Wilson. There is a short trail that climbs up to the span. This arch is in the widespread Entrada Sandstone layer.

These arches are formed as ice water seeps into cracks and freezes, breaking loose particles that are cleaned out by winds. Fins form, which are attacked by wind and water until the cementing material breaks down and chunks of rock break free.

The backside of Wilson Arch slopes down steeply to the desert floor. Visitors are usually drawn up and want to stand under the span but these are often precarious spots. The beauty of this arch has attracted some real estate development down below.

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