Delicate Arch is a 52-foot-tall (16 m) freestanding natural arch located in Arches National Park, near Moab in Grand County, Utah, United States. The arch is the most widely recognized landmark in Arches National Park and is depicted on Utah license plates and a postage stamp commemorating Utah's centennial anniversary of admission to the Union in 1886. The Olympic torch relay for the 2002 Winter Olympics passed through the arch.

 Delicate Arch and adjacent large panhole at sunset, February 2011

Because of its distinctive shape, the arch was known as "the Chaps" and "the Schoolmarm's Bloomers" by local cowboys.[1] Many other names have been applied to this arch including "Bloomers Arch", "Marys Bloomers", "Old Maids Bloomers", "Pants Crotch", "Salt Wash Arch", and "School Marms Pants".[2] The arch was given its current name by Frank Beckwith, leader of the Arches National Monument Scientific Expedition, who explored the area in the winter of 1933–1934. Although there is a rumor that the names of Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch were inadvertently exchanged due to a signage mixup by the National Park Service (NPS), this is false.[3]

This arch played no part in the original designation of the area as a national monument (Arches National Monument) in 1929 and was not included within the original boundaries; it was added when the monument was enlarged in 1938.

In the 1950s, the NPS investigated the possibility of applying a clear plastic coating to the arch to protect it from further erosion and eventual destruction. The idea was ultimately abandoned as impractical and contrary to NPS principles.[3]

Nature photographer Michael Fatali started a fire under the arch in September 2000 to demonstrate nighttime photography techniques to a group of amateur photographers. The fire discolored portions of the sandstone near the arch.[4][5] Fatali was placed on probation and fined $10,900 in restitution to the NPS for the cost of cleanup efforts.[6]

In 2017, the United Utah Party was founded, and chose Delicate Arch as its official party logo.

^ Green, Stewart M. (2011). Best Easy Day Hikes Moab. Guilford, Connecticut: Globe Pequot Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0762767830. Retrieved March 10, 2019. ^ Cite error: The named reference gnis was invoked but never defined (see the help page). ^ a b Hoffman, John F., Arches National Park ^ Vigh, Michael (December 8, 2001). "Fatali Pleads Guilty to All Charges". The Salt Lake Tribune. Salt Lake City. Retrieved March 10, 2019 – via photo.net. ^ Welling, Angie (December 7, 2001). "Photographer admits fire role". Deseret News. Salt Lake City: Deseret Digital Media. Retrieved March 10, 2019. ^ "National Briefing: Rockies: Utah: Sentence For Burning Arch". The New York Times. New York City. Associated Press. February 2, 2002. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
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