Arches National Park in Utah is a stunning natural landscape that is home to over 2,000 sandstone arches. Located near the Colorado River, Arches offers visitors an array of activities such as hiking, camping, and rock climbing. The park also features numerous trails for exploring its unique geology including fins, pinnacles, balanced rocks and more.

In addition to these outdoor recreational opportunities, Arches National Park provides educational programs about its history and wildlife. Visitors can learn about the area’s ancient Native American cultures as well as the desert plants and animals that inhabit it today.

The arches come in all shapes and sizes, from towering pillars to delicate curved spans. The most iconic arch in the park is Delicate Arch, a 65-foot tall rocky span that towers over the desert landscape. Other notable arches include;

  • Landscape Arch, which spans 306 feet across the landscape
  • Double Arch, two graceful curves side by side
  • Broken Arch, an arch within an arch.

Aside from its stunning arches, visitors can explore plenty of other features such as rock formations, canyons cut by rivers and streams, small caves and more. The park is also home to a wide variety of wildlife species such as coyotes, bobcats, foxes and mule deer.

Arches National Park Reservations

Visitors do not need reservations for most areas of Arches National Park in Utah. However, due to high demand during peak season, it is recommended to make reservations at the campgrounds or backcountry sites. Additionally, certain areas like The Windows and Double Arch require timed-entry tickets for access. It’s also worth noting that during summer months park roads can become congested and parking lots may fill up quickly, so visitors are encouraged to arrive early to avoid delays.

Getting to Arches Utah

Where is Arches located?

Arches National Park is located in the heart of Utah’s red-rock country, just outside of Moab.

  • The park spans over 76,000 acres of beautiful desert landscapes.
  • Its highest point is 5,653 feet above sea level.

Salt Lake City to Arches National Park

Getting to Arches National Park is relatively easy from Salt Lake City, Utah. The drive takes approximately 4 hours and 48 minutes and covers a total distance of just over 270 miles. There are several routes that allow travelers to take in the area’s unique landscape:

  • State Route 24
  • US Highway 191
  • State Route 128 – which follows the Colorado River for 44 miles.

Zion National Park to Arches National Park

Getting to Arches National Park from Zion National Park is a scenic drive of around 3 and a half hours. Many visitors choose to take State Route 128 which follows the Colorado River. For those who prefer a more leisurely route, US Highway 191 provides a slower-paced experience that includes endless opportunities for sightseeing in the beautiful canyon country surrounding Moab.

Drive to Moab from Arches NP

Getting to Arches National Park from Moab is a short drive of around 45 minutes. The route follows State Route 279, which will take you through some stunningly beautiful canyon country dotted with red-rock formations and dramatic mesas. Along the way, you’ll pass by the breathtaking Fisher Towers, as well as Dead Horse Point State Park and Lockhart Basin.

Best things to do in Arches National Park

1. Hike to Delicate Arch

One of the most iconic sights in Arches National Park, the majestic Delicate Arch stands tall as a symbol of the park’s beauty and grandeur. The hike up offers stunning views of the surrounding area and is considered an easy to moderate 3-mile round trip trail.

2. Take in panoramic views from Balanced Rock

balanced rock, arches national park

You won’t want to miss this iconic formation located just off the main road in Arches National Park. As you take in the amazing view, be sure to snap a few photos and marvel at how this remarkable formation has been able to remain balanced for so long.

3. Walk beneath Landscape Arch

It may not get as much attention as Delicate Arch, but Landscape Arch is no less impressive! This impressive span of rock measures 306 feet across and is one of the longest natural sandstone arches in the world!

4. Climb atop Petrified Dunes Viewpoint

Petrified Dunes Viewpoint at arches national park

Offering stunning views over Arches National Park and its surrounding red rocks, Petrified Dunes Viewpoint offers mesmerising sunsets that are too good to miss!

5. Explore Windows Section

If you’re looking for more arches, then don’t miss out on a visit to Windows Section! Here you’ll find three incredible arches known as North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch – all offering spectacular views of the surroundings after a short hike up from the parking area.

6. Go stargazing at night

stargazing at arches national park

Beat the heat by heading up to Arches National Park after dark for some stargazing! With no light pollution around, you can enjoy breathtaking views of our galaxy twinkling above the desert landscape below – it’s an experience you won’t soon forget!

7. Marvel at Double O arch

As with many formations in Arches National Park, Double O arch is best admired from below – making it an ideal spot for capturing breathtaking photos that will make your friends jealous!

8. Take a dip in Moab Canyon

Moab Canyon

For those looking for a refreshing dip during their visit to Arches National Park, head over to Moab Canyon where you’ll find crystal clear pools that are perfect for swimming or cooling off on hot summer days!

9. Go off-road exploring

With its rugged terrain and dramatic landscapes, there’s plenty of opportunity for getting off-the-beaten track within Arches National Park. Be sure to check out any rules before heading out on your own adventure!

10. Try your hand at photography

Whether you’re passionate about photography or simply want some great shots of your time here, pop your camera into your bag and head out into the park with an eye for capturing some beautiful moments amidst its stunning scenery!

Frequently Asked Questions about Arches National Park

When is the best time of year to visit Arches National Park?

The best time to visit Arches National Park is between September and October. The weather is much more mild than during the previous hot summer months. Temperatures will typically be between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is Arches National Park a good place to bring kids?

The abundance of easy hiking makes Arches National Park a good place to bring kids. With thousands of spectacular arches to see, there is almost endless sightseeing.

Potential Risks:

  • Summer months are extremely hot and therefore can be hazardous if you are not properly hydrated.
  • There are snakes and other dangers around the park. Be sure to keep a close eye on your kids and always stay on the trails.

Learn more about some of the other United States national parks… View a Complete List of US National Parks here.

Looking for running trails nearby? Check out our list of Running Routes by State here.