Originally Posted by Ford_Prefect
In the first photo.
That is new, it has only been there for a couple years. Prior to that you could drive right down to the Arch, indeed people drove right across the arch. I never had it in me to try that in my jeep, but I saw a quad do it once.
The second photo you may have found, but if not trust me it is there, a memorial to a jeeper who went over the cliff. He was the uncle of a friend of mine. As it turned out he had neglected to put on his parking brake and the vehicle started to roll off the cliff. In an effort to save the valuable jeep he jumped back in, sadly failing to stop the jeep he and the jeep went over and it killed him (obviously).
I am not sure now, but you can see a road at the bottom of the canyon, you used to be able to drive right up to the base of the arch. LOTS of sand, but a very nice drive/ride as well. Someone told me that road was closed as well, so I have not been back to find out for sure since. The blockade of the top (first photo) was such a disappointment that we have not been back often at all. Just so you know beyond where the sign now is the road went over several large steps to get down to the arch, and it was a lot of fun to enjoy getting down there. Also when you are coming in from Moab there are several large steps that have been ground down my heavy equipment, presumably in an effort to make it more accessible to people who would then have to walk to the arch.
My buddies were telling me about that as we hiked in and walked around. Sorry for you loss. I can see why they closed the area. Even walking up to it you don't notice the "hole". Same with that other cliff run where literally, if you take a bad bounce on the one step you're going down the canyon 500+ feet. Forget the name of that one. Starts off with a whole bunch of rock ledges though just west of town (very vague, I know)
Moab is a magical place, but it does require some wits and common sense. Sometimes people get a little carried away. My friends and I are guilty of it. I won't deny that.