Landscape Arch in Arches National Park is the longest natural arch in the world, with a span of 290.1ft (88.4m). Geologists disagree on whether or not the arch is currently stable, as large pieces of the giant sandstone structure have broken off in recent years. Whilst some believe it will soon fall, others argue that the dropping of excess weight has actually strengthened the arch. Regardless, with the sandstone now only six feet thick at its thinnest point, hiking trails that used to snake underneath the arch have been closed for safety reasons.
The Landscape Arch is an arc natural arch eroded in Entrada sandstone. This basically means that it shows no signs/evidence of a specific process of formation. Typically, arc natural arches are those considered old and close to collapse. Indeed, the Natural Arch and Bridge society warn that the arch could collapse at any time without warning. In the past few decades, there have been three occasions where large sandstone slabs (measuring 30, 47 and 70 feet) on the arch have fallen off. Whilst it’s no longer possible to walk underneath due to safety concerns, the arch remains a spectacle to behold. Looking at it, it’s hard to comprehend how a piece of rock just 6 feet thick at its thinnest point can support an enormous 290-foot span of rock.
How to get to Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch is situated in the Devils Garden section in the northern area of Arches National Park, which itself is located 5 miles north of Moab, Utah. To get to the Arch, you must drive 16 miles into the park to reach the Devils Garden car park. Approximately 150 spaces are available, and during busy periods, the parking area can sometimes reach capacity. Once parked up, the arch is a short 1-mile walk along a flat, paved trail.