Arches National Park is the wonderland of rock formations, Martian landscapes, giant monoliths, and natural arches found nowhere else on earth.
In this guide, we’ll share some of the best things to do in the Arches National Park, the best places to visit around, entry charges, etc.
Let’s get started!
|Park||Arches National Park|
|Best Time To Visit||April-May, September, October|
|Camping Location||Devils Garden Campground|
|Things To Do||Explore, Discover, Hike|
|Lodges Near||Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn, etc|
Where Is Arches National Park?
You can visit the Arches National Park just outside the Utah adventure capital of Moab. Most tourists prefer to land at Salt Lake City International Airport, followed by a four-hour drive to Arches National Park.
If you want to avoid the four-hour drive, then you can fly to Colorado’s Grand Junction Regional Airport, in fact just two-hour drive away from the park.
Other nearby airports include Moab (CNY) Airport, Grand Junction (GJT), etc.
A Brief Intro to Arches National Park
Arches National Park is the geological wonder containing the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches on the planet.
There are more than 2000 arches in the park that look like someone has sculpted them purposefully.
But you’ll find more than just arches, canyons, and Slickrock here.
The Arches National Park is also famous for its stunning high desert landscape, views from the Lasalle mountains, and scenic hiking trails.
Arches National Park receives the greatest number of visitors from all around the globe due to its unparalleled beauty and multitude of outdoor adventures in one place.
Read: Banff National Park
Read: Sequoia National Park
History of Arches National Park
The human history in the Arches National Park dates back to 10,000 years ago when hunter-gatherers came to the area now called “Courthouse Wash” to find rocks and stones suitable to work as tools and weapons.
In the 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a civil war veteran settled near the Salt Wash trailhead to Delicate Arch and started operating a cattle ranch in the area.
Arches National Park came into the limelight in 1923, when Alexander Ringhoffer made efforts to publicize the area and turn it into a national park.
The government sent a team of researchers to investigate and gather evidence and finally, on April 12, 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed the legislation to establish Arches National Monument to protect the arches, spins, and other rock formations.
Things to do in Arches National Park
One of the most iconic structures of Arches National Park absolutely worth visiting is the Delicate Arch.
Pullover at the Delicate Arch viewpoint to see this geological marvel stride like a pair of cowboy chaps across the far-off mesa. But to fully experience its beauty, you’ll have to hike there through a one-and-a-half-mile trail.
The hike has some challenging sections, so come prepared with some sturdy hiking shoes, and don’t forget to bring water with you and it will be a hike you’ll remember forever.
Devil’s Garden Trail
It is one of the premier locations in the Arches National Park that features the largest concentration arches, spires, and fins in the entire park.
The 8,000-mile round trip hike offers mind-blowing views and a vast array of adventures activities including hiking, backpacking, camping, and stargazing.
To get to this hiking trail you’ll need to take the scenic road from the park entrance to the Northern end of the park.
If you could do only one hiking route and want to see the maximum number of arches, Devil’s Garden Trail is the one to do.
The Landscape Arch is the longest and the coolest Arch in North America as well as the entire park.
With a light opening of 306 feet, this amazing arch is 6 feet in diameter at its narrowest. Large parts of the arch came crashing down in the 1990s and it’s still hanging on by a very thin thread.
Geologically speaking, see it as soon as you can, as it can collapse any day now. To view the arch, you can take a 50-minute hike from the Devil’s Garden trailhead.
The hike is really what makes it perfect for kids and people with different skill levels.
Another well-known rock formation you must see in the Arches National Park is the Balanced Rock.
As you enter the park, you’ll drive past it on the main road so make sure to pull over and give this beauty a tribute it deserves.
This awe-inspiring giant stands a staggering 128 feet tall, this rock formation looks like an epic balancing act.
However, as the erosion process continues to shape up the landscape, this 3000-ton boulder may come tumbling down any day, that is why there’s no better time to see it than the present.
The windows and Turret Arch
The windows section is considered as one of the most scenic locations in the Arches National Park that people from all around the world specially come to see.
The area features a huge concentration of arches including a North window, Turret Arch, and Double arch in just 2-square miles surroundings.
Other notable highlights of this area include Elephant Butte, Garden of Eden, and Parade of Elephants.
Windows section offers both breathtaking views and a wide range of outdoor activities like sightseeing stargazing, hiking, and picnicking with a whole family.
Read: Zion National Park
Best Time to Visit
April through May and September and October are the best times to visit Arches National Park.
During these months, temperatures are around 60 to 80 degrees so you can explore the park comfortably.
Winter is also a pretty good time to explore the park if you want to avoid crowds and enjoy occasional snow.
Overall, it’s always a great time to visit Arches National Park because every season has its own pros and cons.
Visit the park each season and decide which season works best for you.
Arches National Park map is an absolutely essential tool to plan your vacation in this popular and remote tourist destination.
Make sure you know the routes for all the main attractions, roads, trailheads, and visitor centers of the park before deciding where you’ll spend most of your time.
Download the PDF map for Arches National Park here, or if you need a detailed topographic map, buy it at REI.com.
Best Hotels Near Arches National Park
Here are some best hotels near Arches National Park advised by TripAdvisor along with reservation links.
All these hotels offer top-class amenities and facilities to make our stay as comfortable as possible.
- Best Western Plus Canyonlands Inn
- Comfort Suites Moab Near Arches National Park
- Hampton Inn Moab
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites Moab
- Big Horn Lodge
Arches National Park has only one campground inside the park, which is Devils Garden Campground located 18 miles from the park entrance.
Reservations can be made 6-months in advance via recreation.gov between March 1st and October 31st.
Campsites are available on a first-come-first-served basis and include amenities like drinking water, flush toilets, grills, picnic tables, etc.
Arches National Park is situated in Southwest Utah, a high desert region with a wide range of temperature variations, sometimes over 40 degrees a day.
The most popular seasons are Spring and Fall when the highest temperature averages 60° to 80° F and the lowest between 30 ° to 50°F.
Winters are cold in Arches National Park with high temp averaging 30° to 50°F and lows averaging 0° to 20°F.
Read: Acadia National Park
Entry Fee & Reservations
The entry fee for Arches National Park is $30 per vehicle, valid for one week.
You can also purchase a $70 annual pass to just Arches National Park or purchase America the Beautiful pass, for $80, and get free access to all the national parks in the United States.
For more information about the weather forecast, visit nps.gov.
Here are some complete fundamentals you should bring with your while visiting the Arches National Park:
- Comfortable clothes
- Hiking Backpack
- Sun hat & Sunscreen
- Sturdy Hiking Shoes
- Water bottles or hydration Reservoir
- Pocket knife ad Firestarter
- Ready to Eat Foods
- First-aid kit
Which animals can I spot in Arches National Park?
Arches National Park is home to an array of small animals including mountain lions, bobcats, lizards, and a number of small mammals.
Does the Aches National Park have any shuttle service?
No, there’s no public transportation service inside the park, however, commercial tours of the park are offered by companies in Moab Utah.
What are the operation hours of Arches National Park?
Arches National Park operates all year round, 24-hours and 7-days a week.
Amit Gupta is the founder of National Planning Cycles, a company that helps startups, individuals, and small businesses with their financial planning. He has a vast amount of experience in the finance sector, having managed Google Play accounts for some of the world’s most successful unicorns. Amit is an expert in his field, and he uses his knowledge to help others achieve their individual goals.