Contrasting Colors: Pinnacles & Mountains

Contrasting Colors: Pinnacles & Mountains

by Lukas Hörtnagl, ETH Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland

Rock pinnacles in front of the La Sal mountains, USA
Despite its rugged appearance, the ecosystem of the Arches National Park is very fragile. Therefore, it is important to keep visitor damage at a minimum, which is challenging due to increasing visitor numbers since the area became a national monument in 1929 (back then with 500 visitors per year) and later in 1971 a national park (with already 200 000 visitors the same year). In 2017, 1.5 million visitors marveled at the natural beauty of the park, most of them visiting in summer. In winter, when this photo was taken, the park is relatively empty.

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