Tag Archives: national parks and monuments

Garden of Eden, Arches National Park

Photo shows a view of the rock formations at the Garden of Eden area in Arches National Park, Utah (1960-1980).

The Garden of Eden is located in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. With no designated trails it is more of an open hiking area where visitors can explore its various fins and geological structures including Serpentine Arch and Owl Rock. You can see medium sized arches and tiny baby arches just starting to form all over this area.

Digging for Fossils

Two workers digging around exposed fossils at Dinosaur National Monument.

Dinosaur National Monument is famous for its remarkable dinosaur quarry. Today, visitors have the opportunity to see the bones in-situ, which means that bones have been carefully exposed but left in the ground as they were found. However, in the early 1900s, the Carnegie Quarry was very active and many dinosaurs were removed, studied, and put on display. The Carnegie Quarry represents the one of the most ecologically complete assemblage of Late Jurassic dinosaurs in the entire world. Type specimens of distinct species of existing dinosaur genera first named by Edward Cope and Charles Marsh, originate from the Carnegie Quarry. Dinosaur fossils from Carnegie Quarry are housed in museum collections all over the world.

Rainbow Bridge National Park, Lake Powell

View of Rainbow Bridge across Lake Powell.

Spanning 275 feet, the Rainbow Bridge is the largest natural bridge in the world. It was formed by the action of Bridge Creek as it flowed down from the Navajo Mountain Gradually, an amazing sandstone arch was formed. The Paiute and Navajo tribes named the bridge Nonnezoshe which means “rainbow turned to stone.” For centuries, the Rainbow Bridge was considered a sacred spot by the Native American tribes who in habited the area.

After World War II, the popularity of river running in Glen Canyon made Rainbow Bridge more accessible to more people. By 1963, the gates on the Glen Canyon Dam were closed. This caused the waters of Lake Powell began to rise, which in turn facilitated more frequent motor boat access to Rainbow Bridge. As a result, thousands of people began to visit the Rainbow Bridge National Monument each year. Although this was great for tourism, the Native Americans who inhabited the outskirts of Rainbow Bridge Utah were not pleased. In an attempt to protect the religious sites against Lake Powell’s rising waters, in 1974 neighboring Navajo tribes filed suit in U.S. District Court against the Secretary of the Interior, the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation and the Director of the National Park Service. The Court ruled against the Navajo.