HANK SCHMIDT’S MONTHLY REPORT: Arches National Monument, April 1941

Hank Schmidt Arches Custodian
Hank Schmidt. Arches National Monument. c/o NPS

April 22, 1941

Dear Hugh:

This report is going to be a bit brief because I am at present confined to bed with a severe cold, and am attempting to think and write clearly while lying almost flat on my back. Rita is in California so I am going to call on Burt Redd to type the reports for me. I should be on my feet in two or three days, but the Dr. insists I stay in bed until all traces of the head cold and sinus infection are absent.


Travel this month, 461; travel to date, 1362.


We can not truthfully, even at this late date, announce the arrival of Spring in Southeastern Utah. April has continued cold and wet from frequent rain and snow storms. The average annual precipitation in Moab is listed at 9 inches. Official records for the first seven months of the “weather year” show 13.7 inches of precipitation in Moab Valley. The heavy summer cloudbursts will raise this figure by at least 4 inches. If this rate of rainfall continues, we will have a hay crop in Courthouse Towers this fall.

CCC Camp at Arches National Monument. c/o NPS
CCC Camp at Arches National Monument. c/o NPS


The CCC maintenance crew has been on the job the entire month, and the road from Highway 160 to the Windows section is in good condition in spite of the rain and snow.

The road down Salt Valley to the Devil’s Garden and Delicate Arch is impassable at present.

Harry Goulding, founder of Goulding's Trading Post in Monument Valley, driving at Arches in the early 40s. Photo by Harry Reed.
Harry Goulding, founder of Goulding’s Trading Post in Monument Valley, driving at Arches in the early 40s. Photo by Harry Reed.


The Grand County High School of Moab elected to use the Windows Section as the objective on their annual “Ditch-day” hike, and the 209 students and faculty members who participated helped to keep the visitors count for the month with April of 1940. It is a problem to handle such a large number of visitors in a single day and I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the faculty members in guiding the students through the area. The students were transported to the end of the road in trucks, and a picnic lunch was served prior to a 4 hour visit of the area.

Fourteen parties with a total of 114 people were guided through the Windows section, while 7 parties with 84 people were contacted at Willow Springs and on the entrance road.

Park Service visitors included Hugh M. Miller and C.A. Richey, Headquarters, Coolidge, Arizona. Horace Miller, Fruita, Colorado. George Norgard and Willard Armstrong, Santa Fe, New Mexico, and A. Van V. Dunn, San Francisco, California.

Arches Contact Station. Photo by Harry Reed
Arches Contact Station. Photo by Harry Reed

Project Progress for the Month

Continuation of maintenance work on the Windows Section road. Severe weather conditions handicapped us somewhat, but we were able to save all past improvements and to continue with new maintenance on the other sections of the road.

Patrols were made in the Windows Section and Courthouse Towers.

Assisted Associate Engineer Horace Miller in flagging two miles of the spur road from Balanced Rock into the heart of the Windows Section.

Obtained water from the headquarters well for testing by the Utah State Board of Health.

Road conditions in Salt Valley made it impracticable for attempt any work on boundary posting.

Our spring flowers are two weeks behind schedule, and collecting and pressing of them was accordingly set ahead for next month.

Project for the Ensuing Month

Continued maintenance of Windows Section road.

Collection and pressing of flowers for identification at the University of Utah.

Patrol of all sections of the monument.

Placement of boundary markers on east boundary of the monument.

Arches National Monument. c/o NPS
Arches National Monument. c/o NPS

Notes of Interest

Arch #83 was discovered by Horace Miller and the custodian while on road reconnaissance trip in Windows section. This arch, located on the north side of Windows Section, ½ mile from the Balanced Rock, is approximately 100 feet long and 60 feet high.

Respectfully submitted,

Henry G Schmidt, Custodian


* NOTE: Thanks to former Arches NP superintendent Paul D. Guraedy, who gave me access in 1988 to the old monthly reports…JS

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