1. Interesting fact: Cryptobiotic crust, a living soil comprised of algae, lichens, and bacteria, is found throughout Arches.
2. Random fact: Cheatgrass is a European invader that arrived in the 1800s. It now covers over 100 million acres of Western U.S. lands, including Arches.
3. Historical fact: The Old Spanish Trail, a trade route between Santa Fe and Los Angeles, was traveled for centuries. Its route went directly past what is today's Arches visitor center.
4. Humans first left sign in Arches about 10,000 years ago. Ancient hunter-gatherers used local rocks such as chert to make hunting tools.
5. Interesting fact: Naturally-occurring small depressions in sandstone called "potholes" collect water, which is a vital resource for animals in this extremely dry climate.
6. Science fact: A natural arch is only considered as such if it has an opening at least three feet wide.
7. Random fact: Wall Arch, the 12th largest in Arches, collapsed overnight in 2008. No one saw it happen. All natural arches will one day fall.
8. Fun fact: Whoever discovers a new natural arch gets to name it!
9. Eerie fact: Nearby Moab's popular breakfast spot the Jailhouse Café used to be an actual jail. In the late 1800s the building was the area's first county courthouse, complete with jail cells.
10. Local pinyon pines produce delicious pine nuts, which can only be harvested every three to seven years.
11. Fun fact: Edward Abbey was a seasonal ranger at Arches in the 1950s. His book Desert Solitaire is now classic desert literature.
12. Weird fact: Intense summer rainstorms known as "monsoons" are very common in this area.