Moab History: Lopez Arch is named for a Chicano cowboy

If you’re driving south of town on Highway 191, you’ll have the opportunity to spot a very small arch on the left side of the road near mile marker 98. This tiny arch, which looks like a hole cutter mark through the rock, is called “Lopez Arch.” 

Insignificant in stature—especially in comparison to the larger, grander arches in its vicinity, such as Looking Glass and Wilson—Lopez Arch has an interesting naming derivative that highlights the presence of Mexican cowboys in the area during the beginning of the 20th century. 

According to a Times Independent article from September 9, 1976, the arch was named in memory of “a Chicano cattle foreman who rode Utah’s La Sal range for more than 40 years.” The small arch had been called “Baby Arch” by local residents, according to Hardy C. Redd, owner of Redd Ranches, son of Charles Redd, and employer of Fermin R. Lopez, for whom the arch is now named. 

Lopez was born in New Mexico and began working for Charles Redd and the Redd Family Ranches in 1915. He was employed by the Redds for 40 years before retirement at the age of 75; during that time, he fathered eleven children. Lopez passed away in 1962. 

At the time of the naming, Lopez Arch became the first geographic dedication related to the Chicano community in over 100 years.  

This article was originally published in the Moab Sun News on June 9, 2023.