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Tower Arch, Arches National Park Virtual Visit

Tower Arch is the sixth-largest in Arches National Park, spanning 92’ (28 meters). Named for the rock spire just behind it, this arch is one of the most remote in the park. To reach it you first drive 8 miles (12.8 km) down an unpaved, rough, and sometimes impassible (for weather) road to the Tower Arch trailhead. Then it’s a 1.3 mile (2.1 km) hike to the arch itself. The reward is a beautiful arch, beautiful views, with far, far fewer tourists than most other arches in the park. You may see only a few other people your entire time there.

Venture farther up the formations to one of the white-topped spires along the sandstone fin, part of the Klondike bluffs. The distance isn’t great but it is definitely more difficult. The reward, standing atop a tower, is a spectacular view of the entire region including the Marching Men formation further down the sandstone fin. Better hope you don’t have vertigo because the drop-offs are just as spectacular.

The journey is well worth the effort but if that isn’t possible there is an easier way to get a taste of this experience – this virtual visit.

More info: This is just one of more than 2,000 arches in Arches National Park.

Arches sits above an ancient salt bed, thousands of feet thick in places. That is the remnant of an ancient sea that evaporated away some 300 million years ago. Over time windblown and stream-laid sediments filled the basin to over 5,000 feet (1,500 m), compressing the lower portions into sandstone. The weight liquified the salt bed below causing salt domes to push up into the sandstone above. In some areas, the domes and uplift were linear causing faults and even tipping the sandstone layer on its side. The younger, softer sandstone weathered away leaving the oldest, hardest layers that we now see as these long, thin fins of rock. In some cases, weathering left holes in some fins. These became the arches we see today.

-- Primary Source: Wikipedia --

If you enjoyed this virtual experience, be sure to check out our virtual visits of Carlsbad Caverns and Death Valley.

For more 360 interactive images and virtual tours visit the main Tour de Force 360VR website.