Dean M. Chriss
Turret Arch and LaSalle Mountains, Winter

Turret Arch and La Sal Mountains, Winter

(Click image to enlarge)

Turret Arch is one of the most unique arches in Arches National Park, Utah, but it is far from the largest. Its opening measures 64 feet high and 39 feet wide and it is located a short distance from other famous arches like Double Arch, North Window Arch, and South Window Arch. In recent years this area has become very heavily visited resulting in wide destruction of the cryptobiotic soil crust from trampling. That, in turn, results in wind erosion and a loss of this "living soil" in the desert ecosystem. There are signs everywhere telling visitors to stay on designated trails, and why this is important, but they are mostly ignored and the area continues to deteriorate.