Wall Arch, 12th largest, one of the better-known and most-seen natural arches in Arches National Park, Utah, collapsed.
“Not being a geologist, I can’t get very technical but it just went kaboom,” [Arches NP] Chief Ranger Denny Ziemann said. “The middle of the arch just collapsed under its own weight. It just happens.”
Wall Arch, located along the popular Devils Garden Trail, was 71 feet tallwide and 33 1/2 feet widetall, ranking it 12th in size among the known arches inside the park. Lewis T. McKinney first reported and named Wall Arch in 1948.
No one reported observing the arch collapse and there were no visitor injuries, the National Park Service said.
Some tourist on Sunday, August 3, or Monday, August 4, got the last photograph of Wall Arch still standing. Was it you? Were you close? Give us a shout in the comments if so.
- Associated Press story in the International Herald Tribune, “Iconic stone arch collapes in southern Utah park”
- A stunning, fish-eye lens view of Wall Arch, before the fall
- National Park Service internet gateway to Arches National Park
- Edward Abbey worked as a park ranger in Arches National Park. His 1968 book Desert Solitaire includes pieces involving his work there, and the landscape. I know a few people who regard it as a great classic, and many more who regard it as simply classic — a good bookshelf on American geography and nature will include it, along with Silent Spring, A Sand County Almanac, Travels With Charley, the journals from the Lewis & Clark Expedition and the John Wesley Powell Expedition, and Walden. Excerpts from Desert Solitaire.
Other blogs and later reports:
- National Parks Traveler
- Huffington Post (with lots of indexed links — odd that this site would even notice, no?)
- Super Topo Climber’s Forum (good photos)
- Althouse (see photos of her earlier trip to the southwest)
- National Park Service release (added 3-14-2009)