Park Avenue Viewpoint Arches National Park

The first major stopping area once you have entered Arches National Park is at Park Avenue. There is a short walk to the Park Avenue viewpoint (accessible to all) which gives a spectacular view that you don’t want to miss. While other areas of Arches National Park are more famous, I found this to be one of my favorite spots. The view gives you a wide enough perspective to take in a number of large formations, but the valley limits what you can see so it’s not overwhelming. I also found that because there are no major arches along Park Avenue, it’s less crowded than other areas of the park:

Park Avenue at Arches National Park, Utah

view from Park Avenue Viewpoint down canyon at Arches

The information sign at park Avenue viewpoint gives the following information:

The sheer walls of this narrow canyon reminded early visitors of buildings lining a big city street. Rising majestically, these geological “skyscrapers” tell the story of three important rock layers.

These layers began forming more than 150 million years ago as tidal flats, desert, and beach deposits. Over time, more layers of rock, perhaps a mile thick, covered these deposits. Tremendous pressure from this rock compressed the buried sand into sandstone and cracked it. As erosion removed the overlying rock, the layers now exposed began to weather.

Within the past two million years, erosion of the cracks in the Entrada has left vertical slabs like the rock wall to your right. These slabs, called fins, are the first step in arch formation.

Here is a beautiful night sky timelapse video taken at Park Avenue viewpoint: