Wilson Arch was named after Joe Wilson, a local pioneer who had a cabin nearby in dry valley. This formation is known as Entrada Sandstone. Over time the superficial cracks, joints, and folds of these layers were saturated with water. Ice formed in the fissures, melted under extreme desert heat, and winds cleaned out the loose particles. A series of free standing fins remained. Wind and water attacked these fins until, in some, the cementing material give way and chunks if rock tumbled out. Many damaged fins collapsed like the one to the right of Wilson Arch. Others, with the right degree of harness survived despite their missing middles like Wilson Arch.