Arches National Park - Devil's Garden - Tunnel Arch

Tunnel Arch can be reached off the main Devil's Garden Trail, not long after you leave the parking area. The arch extends through a particularly thick rock fin, and is placed high up the wall. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description The base of Tunnel Arch is dominated by sand dunes: winds carry sand over the arch and deposit sand here into ramps and dunes. Large pinyon and juniper fill the lower-lying areas where water collects off the dunes and slickrock. The foreground dune vegetation is mostly sand sage and rabbitbrush with bare sand in between shrubs.
Date 1963
Photographer Canter
Photo Source

Description Every juniper and pinyon present in 1963 remain in this photo, except half the pinyon are dead and all show signs of branch dieback. Drought in the early 2000s killed many pinyon and some juniper across the region; this scene is likely showing effects of that drought. The foreground shows the sand dunes occupied by ephedra and sand sage, both well-adapted to this microenvironment.
Date 2006-07-21
Photographer Schelz, Charles
Photo Source NPS - SEUG

Description Recent pinyon death is even more strking in this 2013 photo than in 2006. The sand dunes have become sandier and sand sage is less extensive than in 2006. Ephedra patches have grown larger, but more sparse. The sand dune changes could be an effect of the recent drought, and/or a sign of more dust being deposited onto the dune.
Date 2013-05-10
Photographer Webb, R. H.
Photo Source USGS

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