The Birth: From Wikipedia:
Designation of the area as a national monument was supported by the Park Service from 1926, but was resisted by President Calvin Coolidge’s Interior Secretary, Hubert Work. Finally in April 1929, shortly after his inauguration, President Herbert Hoover signed a presidential proclamation creating Arches National Monument, consisting of two comparatively small, disconnected sections. The purpose of the reservation under the 1906 Antiquities Act was to protect the arches, spires, balanced rocks, and other sandstone formations for their scientific and educational value. The name “Arches” was suggested by Frank Pinkely, superintendent of the Park Service’s southwestern national monuments, following a visit to the Windows section in 1925.
In late 1938, President Franklin D Roosevelt signed a proclamation which enlarged Arches to protect additional scenic features and permit development of facilities to promote tourism. A small adjustment was made by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1960 to accommodate a new road alignment.
In early 1969, just before leaving office, President Lyndon B Johnson signed a proclamation substantially enlarging Arches. Two years later, President Richard Nixon signed legislation enacted by Congress which significantly reduced the total area enclosed, but changed its status to a National Park.
It Happened Here: From NationalGeographic.com:
There are more than 2,000 arches in the park; to be classified as an arch, the opening must measure at least three feet across. The largest arch in the park, Landscape Arch, spans 306 feet (longer than a football field) base to base. New arches are constantly forming, while old ones occasionally collapse—most recently Wall Arch, which fell in 2008.
Size: 76,679 acres
# Visitors: 1,082,866 visitors in 2013. Attendance peaks in June/July, and is at a minimum in January.
Fees: $5 for individuals for 7 days; $10 for vehicles for 7 days. $20 for campsites at the Devils Garden campsite, per nite.
Staying There: There is only one campsite in the Park, and it’s located well for exploration of the Park. There is no backcountry camping allowed.
Contact Info:PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532-0907(435) 719-2299
Current Issues: From Wikipedia:
Climbing on named arches within the park has long been banned by park regulations. Following Dean Potter’s successful free climb on the Delicate Arch in May 2006, however, the wording of the regulations was deemed unenforceable by the park attorney. The park revised its regulations as follows in response:
All rock climbing or similar activities on any arch or natural bridge named on the United States Geological Survey 7.5 minute topographical maps covering Arches National Park are prohibited.
Climbing on other features in the park is allowed, but regulated. The revised regulations also prohibit slacklining parkwide. Approved recreational activities include auto touring, backpacking, biking, camping, and hiking, some of which require permits. Guided commercial tours and ranger programs are also available.