The USA’s National Parks are some of the country’s greatest assets and today the National Park Service celebrates its birthday – when entry to every park across the country is free for the day. Each National Park has so much to see that you’d ideally want to spend at least a couple of days there – and hikers could easily spend a week in each. But what if you’ve only got a day to spare, or even less? My visits to five of the southwest’s National Parks earlier this year were all on a fairly tight timescale, with a day or sometimes only half a day to spend in each.
Arches National Park in Utah is one of those places where the name tells you exactly what you’ll see. This park contains over 2000 different arches carved out of its golden sandstone over hundreds of thousands of years. It has the greatest density of rock arches anywhere in the world. Some soar high above you – the biggest is Landscape Arch at 306 feet wide – and some are so small you could step right over them. The most famous is Delicate Arch (pictured above), which features on Utah’s license plates.