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26 October 2018 / leggypeggy

Let’s take a stroll down Park Avenue

Park Avenue, Arches National Park

The south entrance to Park Avenue with a wall of ‘skyscrapers’ on the rgiht

I’m not talking about New York City’s famous street, but the aptly named scenic trail in part of Arches National Park in Utah.

Early travellers noticed the similarities between the sandstone walls and spires and the skyscrapers along New York’s Park Avenue. The name has stuck. Of course, the main difference is that these western ‘skyscrapers’ have been sculpted by Mother Nature.

The trail is only a mile long and we were lucky enough to start at the south end, which meant the route was downhill all the way. It starts with a few stairs and a concrete path that turns into an unsurfaced, but well-defined trail.

Nefertiti's Head, Park Avenue, Arches National Park

Nefertiti’s Head is unmistakable at the south end of Park Avenue

Some of the landmarks along and near Park Avenue are Nefertiti’s Head, the Courthouse Towers, Baby Arch, Ring Arch, the Tower of Babel, the Three Gossips and the Organ. Except for Nefertiti’s Head, which is so darn obvious, I didn’t know any of these names when we were there. Of course, that meant I had no idea what I was photographing. As an aside, we saw the famous Nefertiti bust in a museum in Berlin, but no photos were allowed.

The signage was helpful and explained that Park Avenue is a wonderful example of Entrada Sandstone, something I’d never hear of. In addition to Utah, it occurs in Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and Arizona.

 

It seems that Entrada Sandstone began forming more than 150 million years ago (the Jurassic period) as tidal mudflats, sand dunes and beaches. Over time, layers of rock, perhaps a mile thick, covered these deposits. The tremendous pressure from these layers compressed the buried sand into sandstone and cracked it.

Erosion eventually removed the rock layers and the Entrada began to weather. Over the past two million years, erosion of the cracks in the Entrada has left vertical slabs (called fins) like the rock wall that lines this Park Avenue.

The youngest layer (shown in yellow on the info board below) is called the Moab Tongue. The middle layer (orange) is called Slick Rock Member and the oldest layer (red) is called Dewey Bridge Member.

Explanation of Entrada Sandstone

This info board shows the layers of Entrada Sandstone on Park Avenue

A wall of Entrada Sandstone, Park Avenue, Arches National Park

See the info board above for an idea of the layers in the Entrada Sandstone at Park Avenue

In addition to the rock formations, we saw plenty of plant life, but no animals except bugs. Luckily we didn’t get bitten by any mosquitos, and the best thing was I could enjoy the beauty of this Park Avenue in camping clothes and tennis shoes—not some swanky outfit and high heels.

 

Park Avenue, Arches National Park

Park Avenue, Arches National Park

Admiring the view

76 Comments

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  1. Coral Waight / Oct 26 2018 4:04 pm

    What a fabulous place.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. a mindful traveler / Oct 26 2018 5:05 pm

    Well, that’s a different sort of Park Avenue alright! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  3. thewonderer86 / Oct 26 2018 6:09 pm

    Stunning. The colours in that last picture!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. libarah / Oct 26 2018 6:21 pm

    Amazing👍🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  5. beetleypete / Oct 26 2018 6:24 pm

    These continue to be breathtakingly impressive, Peggy. And that really does look like an Egyptian queen’s head. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Emma Cownie / Oct 26 2018 6:45 pm

    Sunning – the blue sky really sets of the red of the rock.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 26 2018 6:46 pm

      My mother always said Australia has the bluest skies, but I don’t think she’d been to the USA’s national parks.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Emma Cownie / Oct 26 2018 7:08 pm

        I think the contrast with the red rock make them look especially blue!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. derrickjknight / Oct 26 2018 7:54 pm

    Awe-inspiring. I particularly like the textures in your photographs

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Gilda Baxter / Oct 26 2018 9:27 pm

    The Geology of this area is amazing. Must have been incredibly to be surrounded by such beauty?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. MichaelStephenWills / Oct 26 2018 9:50 pm

    That’s a place to see. You visited at a good time of day. for the light. I enjoyed the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 26 2018 10:59 pm

      Thanks. It was a good time of day and a good season. We were lucky.

      Like

  10. shehannemoore / Oct 26 2018 10:51 pm

    I just love your travels.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Eliza Ayres / Oct 27 2018 12:37 am

    Reblogged this on Blue Dragon Journal and commented:
    Wow! Peggy, great photos. I’ll have to visit these beautiful places soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Tasty Eats Ronit Penso / Oct 27 2018 1:45 am

    Beautiful photos of an amazing place. Thanks for taking us along! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  13. SuperDuque / Oct 27 2018 2:23 am

    Liked by 1 person

  14. petiteloulou25 / Oct 27 2018 2:25 am

    Breathtaking! ~Happy Travels. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. dfolstad58 / Oct 27 2018 2:33 am

    This Park Avenue I would like to travel and see. As always I enjoy your photos and the extra detail you put into your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 27 2018 1:26 pm

      Thanks so much. I think it’s always worth adding a little extra detail to each post.

      Like

  16. sidilbradipo1 / Oct 27 2018 4:13 am

    Love, pure love 😍
    Ciao
    Sid

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Scott Levine / Oct 27 2018 6:39 am

    Amazing. Arches is one of my favorite places in the word; that whole part of the country is amazing. Enjoy your trip. Seems like it’s been great so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. dreamweaver333 / Oct 27 2018 7:03 am

    Reblogged this on dreamweaver333.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Doggedly Yours / Oct 27 2018 8:51 am

    Less traffic than NY Park Avenue is always welcome.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Brian Lageose / Oct 27 2018 12:28 pm

    Great photos, although I’m a bit concerned that Nefertiti looks like she might lose her head at any moment, poor thing… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Sharon Bonin-Pratt / Oct 27 2018 7:56 pm

    Thanks, Peggy, for the extensive background info for all the photos. Since I rarely get to travel, I appreciate knowing about these places, especially the geographical history. This park is truly gorgeous, an iconic exhibit of the American southwestern landscape. It’s so different from the densely and darkly wooded and very green geology of the east coast. Seeing the tiny people near these massive formations gives an idea not only of their size, but of the amount of time that nature invested in developing this area. It’s like seeing the raw bones of the earth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 27 2018 8:28 pm

      I’m so glad you noticed the tiny people in the first pic. They really do give you a sense of how huge these rock ‘skyscrapers’ really are. Also glad you like knowing more about the geographical history of places. The old teacher and newspaper reporter in me just has to add these bits.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. pvcann / Oct 27 2018 9:00 pm

    How amazing, sandstone is the sculptors friend I see, and I love the Park Avenue line. Beautiful scenes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 27 2018 9:15 pm

      Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s a very scenic avenue.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pvcann / Oct 27 2018 9:57 pm

        My pleasure – you always have such wonderful material to enjoy

        Liked by 1 person

      • leggypeggy / Oct 27 2018 10:02 pm

        Thanks again.

        Like

  23. Lynette d'Arty-Cross / Oct 27 2018 10:00 pm

    That landscape is truly amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 27 2018 10:01 pm

      You’re so right. We were very lucky to see it.

      Like

  24. barkinginthedark / Oct 28 2018 9:03 am

    wow! breathtaking! continue…

    Liked by 1 person

  25. kkessler833 / Oct 28 2018 10:15 am

    Beautiful photographs!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. alexraphael / Oct 29 2018 9:16 pm

    Wow. So striking.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. DRF / Oct 29 2018 9:47 pm

    I took a motorcycle trip here a couple years ago. I pitched my tent at the campground inside the park. What a beautiful place.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Lynz Real Cooking / Oct 30 2018 9:21 am

    Wow truly amazing! Awesome photos Peggy

    Liked by 1 person

  29. shawnthompsonart / Oct 30 2018 2:13 pm

    The eroded rock towers really do look like New York City!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Oct 30 2018 5:54 pm

      That’s good to know. It’s been so long since I’ve been to New York, I couldn’t compare.

      Like

      • shawnthompsonart / Oct 31 2018 9:39 am

        lol… I’ve never been to New York, so I can’t really compare. I just think it reminds me of the skyscrapper canyons I’ve seen in Montreal and Toronto.

        Like

      • leggypeggy / Oct 31 2018 2:34 pm

        Great description—skyscraper canyons!

        Like

  30. Phil Huston / Nov 2 2018 4:28 am

    Ever wonder who will be standing under it when Nefertiti loses her head? And that 150 million year thing is so easy to say, but when you stand in the midst of 150 to 300 million years and know “Well, that was beach and that was giant redwood and then that mountain twenty miles away blew up…” Kind of puts a lot of things in perspective.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 3 2018 9:36 pm

      The perspective is mind-blowing. Equally amazing is that we have managed to get this far.

      Liked by 1 person

  31. America On Coffee / Nov 3 2018 9:15 pm

    Nature is so marvelous. How nice it is to have remote areas like these… Safe from an influx of people and urban idealists.

    Liked by 1 person

    • leggypeggy / Nov 3 2018 9:39 pm

      Sadly, these places aren’t completely safe from the influx of people. We were surprised by the number of people who ignored signs not to go off the path.

      Like

  32. jeanleesworld / Nov 3 2018 10:18 pm

    The otherworldliness of our world never ceases to amaze me. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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