Arches National Park - Petrified Dunes

The petrified sand dunes can be viewed from a pullout on the main road into Arches National Park. These dunes were once loose sand before being buried by other sediments and hardening into rock. Eventually, the layers of soil and rock atop them were worn away and left the harder sandstone behind, still frozen into the shape of the shifting dunes they once were. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description This view, with the La Sal Mountains in the right background, shows an assemblage of Coleogyne ramosissima with scattered Ephedra viridis on loose sandy soil. One individual of Atriplex canescens appears in the left foreground. The line of taller plants in the midground consists of taller junipers and shorter Purshia mexicana.
Date 1972
Photographer Taylor, W.
Photo Source NPS - SEUG

Description The framework of Coleogyne generally is unchanged, although several new individuals appear in the foreground. The Atriplex in the foreground persists and is larger. Drought has caused dieback, but not mortality, in the line of junipers and Purshia.
Date 2013-05-11
Photographer Lemke, W.
Photo Source USGS

Back to top