Fiery Furnace, Arches NP

Arches National Park is a very successful establishment. It is a good idea to go here early in the day. You do not have to wait at the park entrance and the tour to Fiery Furnace is not yet sold out for the day. So we got up at seven and drove the few miles from Moab to the Park. After seeing some arches on our own, we met Lee the Ranger at the entrance to Fiery Furnace, ready for the hike.

Despite the name, Fiery Furnace is not that hot a place. You can walk there in the shade of the huge sandstone formations. Lee told us a lot about the arches and sandstone geology. And he also told us about the Arch Hunters. While at first, people were only amazed by the existence of arches and happy to find one, soon some people wanted to have more order in the Arches business. So they founded the Society for Arches and Natural Bridges. Their goal is to catalog and describe every Arch and Natural Bridge on on the Planet. At the moment they are at about 2200 and still counting. A few years back they published their current catalog in four volumes and they also maintain a web site. So if you find an arch or a natural bridge which they have not cataloged yet, be sure to call them. Ah and by the way, they are only interested in arches or bridges with a minimal diameter of 3 feet.

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