Sunset at Arches National Park, Utah

One place I couldn’t miss on my North American adventure was Arches National Park in Utah where there are more than 2,000 natural arches – the greatest concentration in the USA.

The arches are made of soft red sandstone. They started out as large rocks which cracked and became slabs known as “fins.” Sections of the fins eroded forming “windows” which widened until only the arches were left behind.

Turret Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Turret Arch, Arches National Park, Utah

Please click on the images to view larger versions.

There is an 18 mile paved loop road you can drive through to explore the fins and pinnacles and there are many hiking trails that wind around the windows and arches.

On my first evening in the park, I set out to make some silhouettes of the arches. To make these images I used my exposure lock button on the back of the camera to set my exposure for the sky and then recomposed the image to include the rock formations. This made the exposure perfect for the sunset colours while making the rock formations go totally black.

Parade of Elephants, Arches National Park, Utah
Parade of Elephants, Arches National Park, Utah

Both of these formations are in the “windows” section of the park and are accessible by an easy trail from the parking lot.

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    • says

      Thanks Andy, that is always the challenge in all the national parks. They have been photographed so often, and I always love the iconic shots, but I try to make something original too if I can.

    • says

      Hi Lissa, that is one of the cool things about all the rock formations in both Arizona and Utah, you see so many faces in the rocks. Thank you very much for your comments.

  1. Dave Noordhoff says

    Thanks for sharing Anne. Did you camp in Arches? What a treat that was!

    Utah (along with eastern California, Nevada and New Mexico) are our favourite states. I made a similar image to yours back in autumn 2012, except I used a narrower f/stop to get a sun-star effect on the setting sun.

    Nice to see this place again, and i hope to revisit our favourites in fall 2015.


    • says

      Hi Dave, no, we stayed at an RV park in Moab. I can’t remember now if they didn’t allow RVs in the park, or if it was full. It may have been full because the RV parks in town were really full too. It seems to me there was some kind of event on that we didn’t know about. Usually I like to stay right in the national parks if possible. Thanks for your visit and comments!

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