National Park Mystery Spot 28 Revealed: A Delicate Subject

You were given these clues to identify this month's mystery spot, which is located in a unit of the National Park System.

No keystone you'll find, nor any mortar.
This shape is part of the natural order.

Fine and fragile? Soft and faint?
These are things it certainly ain't!

You must climb up high to see it up close.

You can watch a raven change sides here, quick as a flash.

One of about 2,000 in this park.



The answer is Delicate Arch, the iconic sandstone arch that's one of the main attractions of Utah's Arches National Park.

Kudos to steve2, who was the first to identify the mystery spot. Also providing the correct answer to this puzzler were (in order received) Eric Nelson, dave, Tomp2, Richard Smith, RangerLady, Blackfeet Dreamer, Anon 4:05, ed-123, Rick Smith, Yellowstone Ed, y_p_w, Leanne Edwards, and RoadRanger. A good showing.

Here is how the clues lead you to the answer.

A keystone is an essential component of a site-built arch constructed of bricks, stones, or similar materials. The arch will collapse if the keystone is removed.

Fine, fragile, soft, and faint all refer to something that is delicate. Of course, that hardly seems an appropriate descriptor for the sturdy stone structure at the center of attention here.

The park's Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint and Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint offer vantage points from which to view the iconic landform from afar. However, if you want to see it up close, you must hike up a moderately strenuous trail that begins in the Delicate Arch parking lot and ascends by stages to the 4,829 foot level. There is a good bit of exposure on some parts of the trail and in the arch vicinity.

Ravens are commonly seen near the arch, and can now and then be seen to fly through it. When a bird does that, it changes sides, quick as a flash.

Arches National Park is thought to contain at least 2,000 arches of various sizes.