Nature & Science

Natural forces created the landscape of Arches, which contains the greatest density of natural arches in the world. Rock layers tell a story of deposition, erosion, and other geologic events. Arches is in a "high desert" environment, with hot summer temperatures, cool winters, and infrequent precipitation. Desert conditions determine the kind of life forms that live here. We can witness natural process and conditions thanks to the park's isolation from major urban areas.

Explore the links below to learn more about the nature of Arches.

two broad stone arches


Throughout the park, rock layers tell a story of millions of years of deposition, erosion and other geologic events.

a small, brown bird stands on a rock slope

Species Lists

View species lists of various plants and animals that have been observed at Arches.

a deer with short antlers in velvet


Learn about the different animals that live at Arches.

a flower with a yellow center and purplish petals


Learn about the variety of plants that live at Arches.

a silhouetted arch with the Milky Way arcing overhead

Environmental Factors

Various factors including air quality, dark skies, disturbed lands, and exotic species contribute to our experience at Arches.

two tadpole shrimp swim in water

Natural Features and Ecosystems

You may be surprised at the variety of lifeforms and ecosystems in the desert.

bright yellow flowers with cactus pads in the background
Prickly pear flowers


Explore Biodiversity

Have you ever taken a picture of a flower, or butterfly, or an unusual mushroom? You can also keep track of the biodiversity you see when you are in a national park, or where ever you go, with iNaturalist. Learn more about how you can help document the various life forms in our national parks. Explore Biodiversity.
Check out the Arches iNaturalist project.

Last updated: May 12, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


(435) 719-2299

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