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Fiery Furnace

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, the images below are from the Arches National Park and specifically an area called the Fiery Furnace. The Fiery Furnace is a collection of narrow sandstone canyons and fins that were created through erosion which formed a natural labyrinth of narrow passages between towering sandstone walls. I did not hike the area but I intent to do so during my next visit. They say it is a very difficult but rewarding hike.

The Fiery Furnace was formed nearly 250-300 million years ago when geological forces and environmental changes took place in this region. A vast inland sea covered this area and eventually dried up leaving behind a massive deposit of salt several thousand feet thick. The sandstone rock that you see before you today is made from many layers of sediment and windblown sand that fused together from pressure and was once a solid mass. Today the fins and fractures, which developed over time, are what remain.

Fiery Furnace
Arches National Park – Fiery Furnace

Now for the question everyone is asking… “How did the Fiery Furnace get it’s name?” Well, its not because it is like a burning oven but because of the way the giant rock fins look on a clear day around sunset (see second photo). That said, hiking in the Fiery Furnace can actually provide a bit of a reprieve from the sun on a hot summer day in many of its shaded corridors. There are also many places though where the rock absorbs the full effects of the sun and radiates it right back to you.

Fiery Furnace
Arches National Park – Fiery Furnace Detail

This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5D Mark III using my Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 Lens set on 24 mm. The camera was set on Aperture Priority mode with the aperture set at f/11, shutter speed at 1/250th of a second and the ISO set at 100. All processing was done in Lightroom from a single image. Although this photograph was taken at sundown, I should have waited a bit longer to take it. The clouds were bright red at sunset. I’ve learned to be more patient since I took these photos.

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© 2015 T. Kahler Photography

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