• Double O Arch

    Arches

    National Park Utah

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  • Extreme Fire Danger

    Due to extremely dry conditions, fire restrictions are in effect in all national park units in Southeast Utah. More »

Environmental Factors

The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion
The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

Although Arches may appear harsh and unchanging, the desert ecosystem is continually evolving. Weather, climatic shifts and geologic processes continue to shape this environment as they have for millennia.

More recently, human-caused factors such as air, noise and water pollution, as well as introduced species, have had a much greater impact on natural resources world-wide.

The undeveloped landscape of Arches provides an ideal place to study how various environmental factors affect desert ecosystems, and predict what changes might be expected in the future.

Did You Know?

Desert Bighorn Sheep

Once feared of becoming extinct, desert bighorn sheep are making a tentative comeback in southeast Utah due to reintroduction efforts by the National Park Service. There are roughly 50 sheep in Arches, though their shy nature keeps them well-hidden from most visitors. More...