In order to hike Fiery Furnace within Arches National Park we had to watch an informational video at the visitor center, and take a short verbal quiz (to make sure we were paying attention). The rangers would prefer that you paid 6 dollars more per person to be accompanied by them, but we managed to make our way around without stepping on their precious cryptobiotic soil.
At the age of 3 Ruby was too young to come with us, and so the whole family explored other areas of the park, but at the age of 7 Elle was a bit too young as well. There were some challenging parts to the hike.
Cryptobiotic soil crust is made of cyanobacteria, lichen, and moss. The soil is sensitive, and so cannot be disturbed, yet it is vital for the ecosystem. It can be recognized by its bumpy texture and darker appearance. Plus it makes a crunchy sound when you step on it...
We spent over two hours in this adult playground hiking, navigating through a labrinth of massive rocks, and enjoying the scenery.
Our special use permit- pinned to Fred's backpack.
Even with ZERO guidance from park rangers we were able to find our way around the area.
We saw some amazing things but I can't help but wonder what else was waiting to be explored by us.