Arches National Park


Arches National Park, located approximately 7 miles north of Moab, in the high desert country of Utah, contains the largest known concentration of natural stone arches in the world.

The park was established in 1929 as a National Monument, and gained National Park status on November 12, 1971.

The Park encompasses some 77,379 acres and contains more than 950 natural arches. It receives 750,000 visitors every year.


Geology

The rock in Arches National Park was laid down as sediment in a Jurassic sea, which in the time of the dinosaurs a northern tropical forests extended almost through the Colorado Plateau. The lowest exposed strata is the gray and buff Navajo Sandstone, some 300 feet thick. Above it is a 50 foot layer of dark red sandstone known as the Carmel formation. The third layer is Entrada Sandstone, which ranges in color from buff to light red in hue. In the park the Navajo Sandstone usually serves as a platform upon which the various erosional forms stand, and the Carmel appears at the base of cliffs where talus debris has washed away. The cliffs themselves, as well as the arches and monoliths have been carved in the Entrada Sandstone.

All of this lies atop an underground salt bed, which is basically responsible for the geological features of the area. Thousands of feet thick in places, this salt bed was deposited over the Colorado Plateau some 300 million years ago when the sea flowed into the region and eventually evaporated. Over millions of years, the salt bed was covered with the residue from floods and winds and the oceans that came in intervals. Much of this debris was compressed into rock. At one time this overlaying earth may have been one mile thick. Salt under pressure is unstable, and the salt bed below Arches was no match for the weight of this thick cover of rock. Under such pressure is shifted, buckled, liquified, and repositioned itself, thrusting earth layers upward into domes. Whole sections dropped into cavities. In some places they turned almost on edge. The result of one such 2,500 foot displacement is Moab Fault, located near the park's entrance.

As this subsurface movement of salt shaped the Earth, surface erosion stripped away the younger rock layers, leaving the Entrada Sandstone. In Arches, the full thickness of the Entrada has been fractured by a criss-cross of cracks from 10 to 20 feet apart. Over time water seeped into the superficial cracks, joints and folds of these layers. Ice formed in the fissures, melted, and the winds cleared out the loose particles. A series of free-standing "fins" remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, the cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed. Others, with the right degree of hardness and balance, survived despite their missing sections. These became the arches of today.


Prehistoric and Historic Indians

Although there are no Indians living in Arches National Park today, there is evidence that Indians of several cultures - both prehistoric and historic - once used to roam the area on a seasonal or sporadic basis. It is though that about 25,000 years ago early man reached the present-day American Southwest. These original inhabitants, called Paleo Indians, were big game hunters. Though they were Stone Age people, they were "modern" in the sense that they had developed a spoken language, and possessed full-sized brains.

The Paleo-Indians entered the Arches region some 11,000 years ago, remaining here until about C 7000. Evidence of their presence is based on finds of Folsom projectile points, the spear-tips used by these Indians in hunting. Their name derives from Folsom, New Mexico, near which these artifacts were first found.

Pre-Agricultural people now called the Archaic appear in what is today southeastern Utah at least 8,000 years ago. Their culture lasted in the area until about 3,000 years ago. These ancient people were hunters and gatherers, who wandered seasonally to gather seeds, berries and nuts, and to hunt animals, principally the mule deer. They probably lived together in small, kin-related bands. The Archaic left unique artifacts of their culture called split-twig figurines, made from willow twigs that were twisted to resemble animals. Anthropologists suggest that they may have been fetishes, used to invoke magical powers for successful hunts.

Beginning about AD 1000 two groups of prehistoric peoples - the Anasazi and the Fremont - entered Utah's Canyon Country. They were agriculturists whose origin has not been established, although some anthropologists believe that they were descended from the Archaic.

Arches lies near the boundary between their territories occupies by the Anasazi and the Fremont. Anasazi territory included the present parkland, plus the area to the east and south and a narrow strip of land immediately to the west. Areas north and farther west of the park were in the realm of the Fremont. The Anasazi and Fremont cultures in the Arches region were essentially contemporaries. The earliest Fremont settlements date from AD 1000, and their culture lasted some 300 years, ending about AD 1300. The Anasazi existed during a parallel period of time. Although they had different languages, the Anasazi and the Fremont did engage in trading activities.

When the first white explorers reached what is toady southeastern Utah in the mid-1700s, they encountered Ute Indians living in the vicinity of Arches. Farther to the south they found Navajos.

The Utes, whose origins have been traced to what is today southern California, began to disperse from their homeland about AD 1000. Although it is uncertain when they entered the Arches region, the Utes petroglyphs in the park obviously postdate the introduction of horses into the present-day Southwest by the Spaniards in the 1700s.

The Ute band that occupied the Arches region - one of seven principal Ute bands - were the Parianuc. In 1855, Indians of this band attacked a colonizing party, the Elk Mountain Mission, sent by the Mormon church to the site of present-day Moab where they built a rock fort and log corral. Three of the missionaries were killed. The fort was quickly abandoned, giving the Utes a victory. Some two decades passed before the Mormons made another attempt to settle the area - this time successfully.


Historical Background

Possibly the first white man to enter Arches country was Juan Maria Antonio Rivera. In 1765, Rivera, searching for silver, led an expedition from Abiquiu, in New Mexico, northward into Colorado River to the Dolores River. Unsuccessful in his search for silver, he turned back at the Dolores to Abiquiu. Later that year, Rivera organized a second expedition. This time, in addition to searching for silver, Rivera was charged by the governor of New Mexico to explore the little-known region and obtain information about its Indians. Rivera traced his summer route to the Dolores, then continued into eastern Utah, and reached the southern bank of the Colorado River - across from Arches. However, the party did not cross the river to the Arches side.

In the winter of 1830-31, William Wolfskill and George C. Yount led the first party to open a through trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Los Angeles, California. This trail became an important overland route for commerce between the two Mexican frontier areas. Commonly called the Old Spanish Trail, this name is a misnomer since the route was opened under Mexican, not Spanish sovereignty, and the first travelers were led by two Americans.

The trail forded the Colorado River at Arches, yet there is no record of any of the people trekking into the park area. The trail use declined in the late 1840s and by the middle 1850s it was essentially unused.

As the Mormons pushed out from Salt Lake City, they chose the present site of Moab for their Elk Mountain Mission in 1855. Unfortunately the Utes, whom they sought to convert, revolted. Three Mormon deaths caused the fort to be abandoned later that same year. Not until the 1870s, when cattlemen moved into the area, did the Mormons return. By 1885, the cattlemen were ranging the entire countryside. Many of the canyons in the park provided good range, it is not unreasonable to assume that they knew the canyons well. In 1888 Arches got its first settler, John Wesley Wolfe, a Civil War Veteran, who came west from Ohio for health reasons. Until 1910 he lived with his family on the banks of Salt Wash below Delicate Arch.

Credit for the "discovery" of Arches has been tentatively given to Alexander Ringhoffer, a miner who worked his way into the section in 1922. In 1923 he suggested to the managers of the railroad that they develop the Klondike Bluffs section of the park as a tourist attraction, and guided officials through the remarkable sandstone mazes. The impressed railroad men contacted Stephen Mather, first director of the National Park Service. Two small sections of the present-day park were set aside in 1929, as Arches National Monument. To Ringhoffer's dismay, neither the Klondike Bluffs nor Devils Garden were included in the original monument. Harry Reed, an eastern photographer, came to Moab in 1935 to test descriptions of Arches' scenery. He found few who knew where the arches were, and a smaller number who had visited them. The following year, Reed was appointed part-time custodian of the Monument, and in the fall, Harry Goulding, trader to the Navajo of Monument Valley, drove to the Windows Section in a specially equipped car. In 1937 Grand County ran the first bulldozer and grader over Goulding's course, and the first tourists visited the Monument. The road was finally paved in the 1960s, and the park entrance was transferred from a nine mile long dirt road which ran from the Colorado River to the Windows Section to its present location along the Moab Fault.

Over the years Moab groups pushed through major additions to the monument, and in 1971 their work culminated with the establishment of Arches National Park.


Driving Tour

This tour begins at the Visitor's Center

The Visitor's Center contains an excellent display explaining the geological history and formations found within the park borders.

Moab Fault was created about 6 million years ago, when a vertical movement of 2,600 feet took place along this fault. The rock layers at the top of the far cliffs are nearly the same age as those on the bottom on this side of the road. If you were able to stack the rocks on this side on top of the rocks on the southwest side, you'd have a complete stratigraphic column of the Moab area -more than 150 years worth. Geologists classify this type of fault as a normal, or gravity, fault.

The Three Penguins sit high above the Visitors Center on Headquarters Hill. The "penguins" are sculpted in a Slick Rock Member of the Entrada Sandstone. An early name for the formation was Trinity Rock.

Park Avenue

Park Avenue, about 2 miles from the Visitors Center, contains only a few small arches today, although evidence suggests that major arches may have formed here in the past. This particular "fin" reminded early visitors of the New York City skyline, hence the name "Park Avenue."

Queen Nefertiti is named for the rock's striking resemblance to the famous bust of the fourteenth century BC queen of Egypt, the beautiful wife of King Akhenaton. Queen Nefertiti is also called Unjoined Rock because of its balanced block is offset on its pedestal. This displacement was probably caused by sandstone blocks falling from the "head" and the "neck." Or, less likely, an ancient earthquake may have shifted the "head" to one side of the "neck." Queen Nefertiti measures 20 ft thick and sits 300 ft above the canyon.

Sausage Rock, the 40 foot high pinnacle lower down on the wall from Queen Nefertiti, has also been called The Popsicle.

Queen Victoria, England's monarch, whose rule lasted from 1837 to 1901, also has a rock formation named after her. It is located across the canyon from Queen Nefertiti on a large part of the upper wall. Some observers say that this rock mass looks more like the elderly woman sitting in profile in Whistler's famous painting of his mother.

Courthouse Towers

Courthouse Towers, four miles from the Visitors Center, takes its name from the battlements and towered piles near Courthouse Wash. Although there are no major arches in this section, they probably existed here in the past. The monoliths in this section were formed as Courthouse Wash and its tributaries cut back into the terrain, leaving huge, isolated rock masses that were weathered and eroded into today's shapes.

The Organ, the 700 foot high unmarked monolith behind the parking area reminded early park visitors of a huge pipe organ. Park rangers have given up trying to place markers by The Organ, because the sign has been continuously removed and placed at the foot of some towering phallic pinnacle.

Sheep Rock, the large monolith close to the opposite side of the road, is all that remains of a collapsed fin, which probably contained arches. The sharp cleavage found on the structure, and the scars on other rock faces near it, indicate that an arch formed in the fin which connected the "sheep" to the Entrada mesa it faces.

Baby Arch is located in the wall to the left of the broken fin. Erosion will slowly expand the opening. Baby Arch is only 16 ft/4.9 m high and 25 ft/7.6 m wide.

The Three Gossips are located to the left of Baby Arch. The formation stands 400 ft high and measures 50 ft thick at the base.

Tower of Babel is the large monolith to the northeast of the parking area.

Ring Arch, the major opening in the Courthouse Towers section, can be seen to the west of the road as you pass over the Courthouse Wash bridge. The arch has a span of 64 ft and a height of 39 ft. Ring Arch was first reported by Harry Reed in the late 1930s.

The Great Wall runs north from Courthouse Towers to the vicinity of Balanced Rock, a distance of some four miles. This escarpment of Entrada Sandstone is more than 300 ft tall at its southern end, the cliff decreases in height northward until it merges into the terrain. At several places along the wall are hoodoos - weirdly shaped spires and pinnacles created by differential weathering and erosion of strata of varying hardness.

The Lovers is less than a mile northeast of Courthouse Wash bridge on the left (west) side of the road.

Schmidt Arch, about a mile and a half from the Courthouse Wash bridge, has an opening 20 ft wide and 15 ft high. It was named for Henry G. Schmidt, custodian (manager) of Arches from 1939 to 1942.

The Phallus rises - some observers have contended, pornographically - about two miles farther up the road from The Lovers.

Arch of Motion, immediately north of The Phallus, is difficult to see from the road. Its name is derived from an optical illusion. As the observer moves towards the arch, its opening becomes increasingly visible. An appropriate variant name is Hard-to-see-Arch. Its opening has a span of twenty-three ft and is ten ft high.

The Poodle is located a tenth of a mile beyond The Phallus.

The Petrified Sand Dunes lie to the east of the Great Wall. The "dunes" are outcroppings of crossbedded Navajo Sandstone, formed originally from the compaction and cementation of ancient sand dunes that accumulated about 200 million years ago. The slanting lines on the rock are this bedding planes - compacted layers of the original sand. They are exposed in cross sections as erosion cuts through the dunes.

Balanced Rock is a classic example of a hoodoo, a rock spire composed of horizontal strata of varying hardness that weather and erode at different rates, thus often creating strange shapes. The Entrada Sandstone's relatively soft Dewey Bridge Member forms the pedestal, while the Entrada's much harder Slick Rock Member composes the large boulder that gives the landform its title. The "balanced" rock is not resting loose on its pedestal, but is physically attached to the base. the feature's total height is 128 ft/39 m, with the boulder atop the pedestal standing 55 ft/17 m. This large boulder weighs approximately 3577 tons (over 3,000,000 kg) - or the equivalent of about 1600 full sized cars.

Ham Rock, named for its obvious shape, stands on the summit of the unnamed butte just to the north of Balanced rock, on The Windows road.

Pothole Arch, on the north side of the same butte, was named by Stanley W. Lohman of the U.S. Geological Survey. This arch has a span of 90 ft and a height of 30 ft. It was formed by water running down the edge of the cliff and wearing a depression, or pothole, into the rock just above the cliff edge.

Garden of Eden was so named because early visitors thought they saw rock formations resembling Adam and Eve, complete with Adam holding an apple to take the first bite. To the north is a panorama of Salt Valley. A sighting tube in the parking area aids in picking out Delicate Arch on the northern horizon.

Owl Rock isn't very impressive these days. The distinctive bird-shaped rock that gave Owl Rock its title fell from its perch in March 1941.

Serpentine Arch is also in the Garden of Eden. It opening has a span of 10 ft and a height of 13 ft.

Windows Section

Elephant Butte lies just beyond the Garden of Eden. Its summit elevation is 5,653 ft, the highest point in the Park. On the butte's top, near its northern end is incredible thin Ribbon Arch. At its slimmest, the 50 ft span is a mere 18 inches wide and 1 ft thick.

Cove of the Caves is located on the west side of Elephant Butte, some two miles along The Windows road from the main park road. Several caves, from which the cove gains its title, indent the east wall, and at each end of the cove is a large arch. This relatively soft Dewey Bridge Member of the Entrada Sandstone was eroded away by ancient streams flowing down from channels above each alcove to form the shallow caves. If the back of the cave of the largest alcove continues to erode, an arch will eventually form. Alcoves such as these provided shelter for early Indians of this area.

Cove Arch, on the northern end, has a span of 49 ft and a height of 34 ft.

Parade of Elephants resembles a group of elephants marching in echelon, trunks to rump. Elephant Arch helps to form the "legs" of one of the beasts.

Double Arch occupies the southern section and is a combination of perforated fin and pothole arch formation. The largest opening is 144 ft/44 m by 112 ft/34 m. The other opening is a smaller 61 ft/19 m by 86 ft/26 m. Together the tow arches form a large opening overhead, but it isn't considered a true arch. Double Arch has also been called Double Windows, Double-O Arch, The Jug Handles and Twinbow Bridge.

Archaeologist Cave is cut into the southern side of Elephant Butte, just east of Double Arch. There is evidence that this large, prominent cavity was used by prehistoric Indians. According to a report by Frank A Beckwith, leader of the Arches National Monument Scientific Expedition, "cedar bark, a few squash seeds, and some bone awls had been taken from it," by the first custodian of Natural Bridges National Monument. When the expedition investigated the site in 1934, all that they found were four holes in the cave's floor which had been dug by artifact hunters. Archaeologist Cave and Double Arch were featured in the beginning of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Aunt Emma is just east of Archaeologist cave. This projection of Elephant Butte was named by Frank Beckwith. To him, the rock resembled a very proper, aristocratic grande dame.

Buccaneer Rock stands to the south of Double Arch. It was named by Frank Beckwith. He said that it reminded him of "a grizzled Spanish buccaneer, with a pirate cap, a la liberty style..." Such a cap is brimless, fits snugly around the head, and has a soft crown.

The Windows Section contains arches which, like most of the arches in the Park were formed when erosion penetrated a sandstone fin. Although geological forces seem slow to us, arches are constantly changing in form. They can be described as immature, mature, and over-mature. These terms refer, not to age, but to stages of development.

An immature arch consists of a great mass of sandstone surrounding a comparatively small hole. An example of this would be Baby Arch in the Courthouse Towers section. A mature arch is next in the sequence of development. The North and South Windows are considered mature arches. An over-mature arch is a very thin span of stone covering an opening that seems very large in comparison to the amount of surrounding sandstone. Landscape Arch in Devils Garde is a good example of this. It has a 306 ft span over an enormous open space.

South Window is the larger of the two Windows, with a 105 ft span and a height of 65 ft. It is the third largest arch in the Park. South Window can also be seen from Wolfe Cabin, from the lower section of the Delicate Arch trail, and from Delicate Arch.

North Window is 51 ft high and 93 ft wide. Together with South Window, when seen at the same time, they are called the Spectacles. And the rock mass between the two is referred to as the Nose Bridge, for the analogous part of a pair of glasses.

Turret Arch is so named because of the reef in which it is found terminates in a great spearheaded tower. The arch itself is shaped something like a keyhole and is accompanied by a smaller window. It stands 64 ft high and measures 39 ft wide. Turret Arch has been known by seven other names: Double-O Arch, Framed Arch, Jail Entrance, The Jug Handle, Kneeling Camel, Pillar Arch, and Profile Rock. A favorite trick of photographers is to walk through the South Window and snap Turret Arch in its frame.

Duck-on-the-Rock sits several hundred feet west of Turret Arch.

Salt Valley marks the site of an ancient salt dome. The upward movement doomed the overlying rocks, forming a long, rounded ridge, or anticline. These domed rocks gradually eroded until the salt was close to the surface. Water reached the salt through cracks and faults in the overlying rock and dissolved it away. The remaining rocks then collapsed into the voids created by the removal of the salt. Rocks on the edge of the valley show the great amount of fracturing that took place within the rocks were domed and collapsed.

Wolfe Ranch and Delicate Arch

Wolfe Ranch is located about twelve miles from the Visitors Center on a graded dirt road, about two miles from the main road. In 1898, John Wesley Wolfe and his son Fred settled here. John was a Civil War veteran, having served in the Union Army. At the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, he injured his left leg. This injury was to be a continuing health problem for him, requiring the use of a crutch for the remainder of his life. Wolfe was granted a disability discharge, and returned to his home in Etna, Ohio.

Fred's sister, Flora and her husband Ed Stanley, and their two children, Esther and Ferol, came from Columbus, Ohio in 1906 to live at the isolated ranch. In 1908, the Stanleys moved into Moab. In June of 1910 John, Fred and the Stanleys moved back to Ohio. After the Wolfe family departed Arches in 1910, several other ranchers used the cabin as a line ranch until it was acquired by the National Park Service in 1948. Wolfe Ranch has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1975.

Wolfe Cabin has also been called Turnbow Cabin, after Marvin Turnbow, a later owner and the first custodian of Arches. The cabin, a rustic, one-room structure was built in 1906. Fremont cottonwoods were used to construct the walls of the seventeen-foot by fifteen-foot cabin. An earlier cabin was destroyed by a flash flood. In addition to the cabin, they built a corral, a dam for irrigation water, and a root cellar - a rectangular pit, roofed over and covered with dirt, and used for the storage of root crops and other vegetables.

Ute Indian Petroglyphs, pecked into the desert varnish on the nearby rocks, are the most famous, and easily accesible petroglyphs in the park. This panel depicts mounted horsemen, bighorn sheep and small animals, which are presumably dogs.  We know that they were carved by Ute indians, as opposed to Anasazi or Fremonts, because of the presence of horses, which were not reintroduced to the Americas until the arrival of Cortez.

Delicate Arch, like most of the Park's arches, is carved out of Entrada Sandstone. It is composed of the Slick Rock Member and capped by 5 ft of the Moab Tongue Member. This free-standing arch - the symbolic landform of the Park - has a span of 33 ft and a height of 45 ft.

Because of its similarity in shape to old-fashioned layered undergarments favored by women around the turn of the century, the arch has in the past been known as Bloomer's Arch, Mary's Bloomers, Old Maid's Bloomers and Schoolmarm's Pants. The arch was given its official name in 1934 by Frank A. Beckwith. He said that the "delicacy" of the arch's carving, especially of its legs, was the most pronounced among all the natural openings in that region. And he noted that Delicate Arch's east leg "is almost cut in two."

In Winter Camp Wash, below the Delicate Arch Viewpoint, stands a large rock mass - the Rock Settee.

Fiery Furnace, about fifteen miles from the Visitors Center, is a maze of fins, spires and chutes (narrow passageways). It was named for the warm, reddish glow which the area's Entrada Sandstone often seems to radiate in the late afternoon sunlight. These nearly free-standing walls are the result of parallel jointing or fracturing caused by the collapse of the Salt Valley Anticline.

Pipeline Flat lies east of the main Park road, about seventeen miles from the Visitors Center and two miles south of the road's end at Devil's Garden. it is a park, a term that in this case designates not a cultural unit such as Arches National Park, but a topographical feature, characterized by a level grassland surrounded by rougher, broken terrain.

Running east and west across Pipeline Flat is a prominent scar - the trace of a buried natural-gas pipeline, which gives the flat its name. This scar is clearly evident where the pipeline crosses Salt Valley west of the main Park road.

Popularly known as the "Scenic Inch," the Pacific Northwest Pipeline was constructed in 1955-56 by the Pacific Northwest Pipeline Corporation. The twenty-six inch diameter main pipeline is 1,487 miles long, with lateral lines totally more than 800 additional miles. Natural gas is transported via the line from wells in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Wyoming to the Pacific Northwest.

Sand Dune Arch lies in the northern end of the Fiery Furnace. This span cannot be seen from the road. Its name comes from the sand dune at the site. The opening is 30 ft long and 8 ft high.

Broken Arch, near Sand Dune Arch, is visible from the road. It lies on the Devil's Garden side of Pipeline Flats. The opening was given this name because its span appears to be cracked in the middle. It is 59 ft long and 43 ft tall. Reddish Slick Rock Member of the Entrada Sandstone forms the feature's abutment and the lower part of the span, and the whitish Moab Member of the Entrada caps the span.

Skyline Arch rises along the main Park road about one-half mile north of the pull-off for the foot trail to Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch. The formation of an arch is a process which removes rock from a fin or stone slab. Year of erosion may culminate in the removal of a few grains of sand or a chunk of sandstone. In 1940. a large boulder fell from Skyline Arch, roughly doubling it in size. The hole is now 45 ft high and 69 ft wide. Prior to November 1940, it was known as Arch-in-the-Making. The arch's present name is derived from the fact that it is visible from many points in the Park. It can be seen to the southwest of I-70, in the stretch lying between seven and thirteen miles east of Thompson.

Devil's Garden is located at the end of the main Park road, eighteen miles from the Visitors Center. Many arches are found in this scenic area that stretches for about nine miles along the eastern rim of Salt Valley.

Landscape Arch is ranked as the world's longest natural span - it stretches an incredible 434 ft. The light opening beneath the span in 306 ft wide, and at its maximum height the span's underside is 92 ft above the ground. At its thinnest vertical point the span is only 16 ft thick, and at its narrowest horizontal width it measures 15.5 ft.

Landscape Arch lies eight-tenths of a miles from the parking lot. The huge span can be glimpsed from the loop terminus of the main Park road, in the vicinity of this road's intersection with the campground road.

The arch was named in 1934 by (guess who!) Frank Beckwith. He said the landscape seen through the opening to the west was framed by the arch, hence that title. On May 29, 1950, the first recorded tourist fatality in Arches occurred at Landscape Arch. Nineteen-year-old Frederick Semisch, during an unauthorized attempt to reach the span's top, fell to his death.

Wall Arch, two-tenths of a mile north of Landscape Arch, was the sight of the first serious visitor accident. On September 1, 1948, Oras Krumboltz, a professor at Arizona State College (now University), fell thirty feet from the arch. Krumboltz, who had climbed to the span's top to have his photograph taken by a companion, lost his footing and plummeted to the ground. He suffered a broken pelvis and other internal injuries, plus multiple bruises and abrasions, and a badly sprained left ankle. Wall Arch has a 68 ft span and a height of 41 ft.

Dark Angel, a prominent spire, stands on the western edge of Devil's Garden, overlooking Salt Valley. It formed in the Slick Rock Member of Entrada Sandstone, and is a remnant of a high, narrow fin. The isolated shaft is two and a half miles from the Devil's Garden trailhead.