Dean M. Chriss
Sandstone Fins, Arches National Park, Landscape Photograph by Dean M. Chriss

Sandstone Fins, Arches National Park

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There are literally thousands of sandstone fins in Arches National Park and most are not named. Those in this photograph are exceptions because they are so impressive and dominate the landscape. It is impossible to get a sense of their scale until you stand next to one, which is an awesome experience.

A fin formation known as Sheep Rock is the leftmost in this photograph. The Tower of Babble is seen in the center, and The Organ is seen on the right. The two rightmost fins are roughly 435 feet (133 meters) high, but very thin. All arches start as fins, and depending on hardness variations within the rock and erosion, some fins turn into arches. Arches National Park contains the highest concentration of natural stone arches on earth, and thousands of fins that will eventually become arches.