Monday, August 11, 2008
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK, Utah -- One of the largest and most photographed arches in this park collapsed last week.
Paul Henderson, the park's chief of interpretation, said Wall Arch was claimed by forces that will eventually destroy others in the park: gravity and erosion.
"They all let go after a while," he said Friday.
The arch is along Devils Garden Trail, one of the most popular in the park. For years, the arch has been a favorite stopping point for photographers.
Henderson said it was the first collapse of a major arch in the park in 17 years, since nearby Landscape Arch fell. No one has reported seeing Wall Arch fall.
Like others in the park, Wall Arch was formed by entrada sandstone that was whittled down over time into its distinctive and photogenic formation.
The arch, first reported and named in 1948, was more than 33 feet tall and 71 feet across. It ranked 12th in size among the park's estimated 2,000 arches.