Arches National Park Historical Timeline

1900s

1898–1910
Civil War veteran John Wesley Wolfe operates a cattle ranch in the area destined to become Arches National Monument/Park.

1920s

April 12, 1929
President Herbert Hoover signs Presidential Proclamation No. 1875 establishing Arches National Monument.

1910s

August 25, 1916
Congress passes the National Park Service Organic Act establishing the National Park Service.

1930s

November 25, 1938
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs Presidential Proclamation No. 2312 enlarging Arches National Monument.

an arch in a high wall
Skyline Arch

NPS Photo

1940s

1940
Significant rock fall occurs at Skyline Arch.

1950s

1959
Arches Visitor Center is completed.

1960s

July 22, 1960
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs Presidential Proclamation No. 3360 adjusting the boundaries of Arches National Monument.

1968
Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire is published.

a log cabin
Wolfe Ranch cabin

NPS Photo

1970s

November 12, 1971
President Richard M. Nixon signs Public Law 92-155 changing Arches from a National Monument to a National Park.

1975
Wolfe Ranch listed on National Register of Historic Places.

Winter of 1975/1976
“Chip Off the Old Block” falls near Balanced Rock.

1980s

1990s

September 1, 1991
Significant rock fall from Landscape Arch.

October 30, 1998
President William J. Clinton signs Public Law 105-329 enlarging Arches National Park.

a bicyclist with the Olympic torch on the back of the bicycle
Transporting the Olympic torch through Arches National Park.

NPS Photo

2000s

February 4, 2002
Winter Olympic torch carried through Arches.

August 4, 2008
Wall Arch collapses.

2010s

November 20, 2010
Annual visitation tops 1 million visitors for the first time.

August 25, 2016
100th Anniversary of the National Park Service

Last updated: January 30, 2018