I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

Name one national park in your country and think about what makes it a unique place to visit (e.g., the scenic views, the wildlife, the flora, outdoor recreation, etc.).

HELPFUL TIP: Visiting national parks can be a wonderful way to discover the natural and historic beauty of the area that you are visiting. Just be sure to take any needed safety precautions before you travel.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

I. Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play Audio” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. What makes Arches National Park in Utah a unique sightseeing destination?

A. the wildlife

B. the desert climate

C. the geology
2. What is one reason given for hiking with a partner in the park?

A. It make the experience more enjoyable.

B. A partner can help you in case of emergency.

C. The entrance fee is less for two people or more.

3. According to the recording, you should wear ______________ while visiting the park in the summer.

A. light shoes

B. a hat

C. sturdy clothing

4. What is one item that might be part of the fifth point?

A. bandages

B. a flashlight

C. a lighter

5. Which item was NOT mentioned as a means of getting around in the park?

A. a GPS unit

B. a guidebook

C. a map

Score =
Correct answers:

Narrator: Arches National Park is located in the dry desert of Southeastern Utah just north of the city of Moab. This park is home to over 2,000 natural arches carved from sandstone layers by wind, water, and erosion. Local and international visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of these natural wonders throughout the year. Some formations are just off the road and are accessible to all people within a short distance on well-traveled trails; other arches can only be reached by driving distances on four-wheel drive roads or after long strenuous hikes along sandy washes.

Like any hike of this nature, you should be prepared for the adventure in the desert:

First, hike with a partner for safety and leave word where you will be traveling in case of an emergency. Personally, I enjoy hiking with family members and close friends.

Second, carry a cellphone with you. However, keep in mind that you might not get any reception, so don’t depend on it.

Third, be sure to have the right clothing and footwear for the hike. Light, breathable clothing is best during the summer, along with a hat and sturdy hiking shoes.

Fourth, carry plenty of water because you can become quickly dehydrated without it. Having a few snacks can give you energy, too.

Fifth, take a small first-aid kit with you, particularly on longer hikes in case you get injured.

Sixth, pack a detailed map of the area you are hiking, along with a compass and/or a GPS to locate your position. You might need them to navigate through unfamiliar terrain.

And finally, take nothing home with you except for pictures and memories. You can protect these areas by leaving all rocks, flowers, and other objects for future visitors.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • erosion (noun): wearing away of the soil by wind and water
    Erosion is often a natural process by which many geological formations are created.
  • breathtaking (adjective): incredible, awesome, amazing
    – The scenic views of the valley were breathtaking.
  • strenuous (adjective): physically difficult
    – We took a very strenuous hike that lasted all day, and I’m exhausted.
  • wash (noun): a dry stream bed
    – We followed the wash for about a mile until we reached the mouth of the canyon.
  • leave word (verb): notify or inform
    – She didn’t leave word where she would be traveling, and now her family is really worried.
  • sturdy (adjective): strong
    – You need to wear sturdy hiking boots for this trip because we will be going through some rough terrain.
  • dehydrated (adjective): suffer from lack of water
    – The lost hiker was extremely dehydrated when she was found wandering in the desert.
III. Post-Listening Exercises [Top]

Search for information on a national park in a country or city where you want to visit. Look up information about local hotels, park entrance fees, special tours, and specific points of interest in the park. What things do you consider when selecting a place to visit (e.g., location, things to see and do, cost, etc.). Share your results with a friend or classmate.