The arch-to-visit for on-the-clock vacationers. Conveniently located right next to the highway, it’s a quick stop to add to your I-did-this check list. Kick the kids out of the minivan, frog-march the surly lot up the couple hundred feet to the arch, snap a quick set of photos to bore the relatives, then it’s down the hill, into the van, and zip! – back on the road. No food or tchotchke vendors, no bathrooms, nothing to trigger any “want” whines from your progeny. One more check mark on the list, and it’s on to the next 15-minute sightseeing stop.
From the BLM roadside sign:
Wilson Arch was named after Joe Wilson, a local pioneer who had a cabin nearby in Dry Valley. This formation is known as entrada sandstone. Over time the superficial cracks, joints, and folds of these layers were saturated with water. Ice formed in the fissures, melted under extreme desert heat, and winds cleaned out the loose particles. A series of freestanding fins remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, the cementing material gave way and chunks of rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed like the one to the right of Wilson Arch. Others, with the right degree of hardness survived despite their missing middles like Wilson Arch.
July 31, 2010. Wilson Arch, US191 north of Monticello, Utah.