Photo courtesy of Dan O'Laurie Museum
Every small town needs a good newspaper, and early Moab was no exception. The beauty of the red rock country around Arches was glowingly described in print by Loren "Bish" Taylor, who took over the Moab newspaper in 1911 when he was just eighteen years old. Bish editorialized for years about the marvels of Moab, and loved exploring and describing the rock wonderland just north of the frontier town.
Word spread. Alexander Ringhoffer, a prospector, wrote to the Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1923 in an effort to publicize the area and gain support for creating a national park. Ringhoffer led railroad executives on hikes into the formations; they were impressed and believed such wonders would certainly attract more railroad customers, so the campaign began. The government sent research teams to investigate and gather evidence.
On April 12, 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed presidential proclamation No. 1875 reserving 1,920 acres in the Windows and 2,600 acres in the Devils Garden for the purpose of establishing Arches National Monument. Since that time, the park's boundaries have been expanded several times. In 1971, Congress changed the status of Arches to National Park, recognizing over 10,000 years of human history that flourished in this now-famous landscape of rock.
Did You Know?
Lizards, including the colorful collared lizard, are one of the most frequently seen animals at Arches. When not chasing flies or basking in the sun, they are often seen doing what appears to be push-ups. This odd dance might enhance their stereoscopic vision, helping them see what's looking back at them.