Arches National Park near Moab in Utah boasts the world’s largest concentration of sandstone arches featuring over 2,000 natural arches. Explore and hike on trails leading you through a park of balanced rocks, fins, ribbons of rocks and sandstone windows. You’ll be captivated by the stark contrast of red rocks against the snow-capped La Sal Mountains.
Hiking, Viewpoints and Famous Sights at Arches
Three short hikes, Balanced Rock, Windows and Park Avenue, each lead you to a stunning viewpoint within Arches.
Exploring Devils Garden in Arches National Park is full of phenomenal arches, trails and rock formations. Landscape Arch is the first spectacular destination with possibly the longest span of ribbon of rock in the world.
Short trails beyond lead to several more miracles of the desert: the Navajo Arch, Partition Arch, Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch. For stronger hikers up for an adventure, the trail continues to the Double Arch and Dark Angel.
The famous Delicate Arch is a must see when visiting Arches National Park. The 52 ft tall freestanding natural Arch is one of the most photographed destinations where you can view the majestic La Sal Mountains looking through the arch.
The Fiery Furnace is a maze of narrow canyons and sandstone fins. A permit is required to hike this terrain or sign up to join a Park Ranger for a guided hike.
Tips on Elevation, Heat, Pets & Hiking
Arches National Park is considered the high desert with a truly unique climate. The heat is intense, the climate is dry and the elevation is high.
- If you are hiking, I suggest a CamelBak to sip water easily and often. Monitor the amount of water you drink. It’s a good idea to bring salty snacks and electrolyte replacements for longer hikes.
- Keep as cool as possible by wearing breathable, light colors clothing and covering up from the sun. Wear a high SPF on skin exposed to the sun. Wear a broad rimmed hat and sunglasses.
- This is not a place for pets! The park does not allow pets on the trails, and it’s generally too hot for your pet to be left in the car for even a few minutes. There are a few doggie day cares in Moab, but they fill up quickly during busy months. There are dog-friendly trails for pets in Moab appropriate during cooler temperatures.
More Activities in Arches
Explore Arches at your own pace and style. Driving through the park allows you to view the different terrain and rock formations. There are pullouts providing spectacular views and photo opportunities.
You’ll find a choice of short, medium and long hikes along with different challenges in terrain. Road biking is a great way to explore the park; however, you’ll need to share the road with cars and the traffic can be heavy. There’s incredible rock climbing in the park for more advanced climbers.
Camping in Arches National Park
For those wanting to camp and spend a few days exploring the park, come early in the morning as camping sites at the Devils Garden Campground fill quickly. The campground is 18 miles into the park and the the 50 campsites back up next to red rocks for a unique desert camping experience.
The fee for camping is $20 nightly and spaces may be reserved no less than 4 days in advanced during busy months. The campground facilities provide grills, picnic tables, toilets and water (no showers).
Suggestions on Getting to Arches and Touring
- Moab is the town where you’ll want to start your adventure. Visit the Moab Visitor Center to learn about adventures and activities. Stock-up on snacks and water/drinks before you enter the park.
- The entrance to Arches is off Highway 191, 5 miles north of Moab.
- Once in Arches National Park, visit the tourist center. Pick up maps, learn about the park and how the forces of nature created this fascinating landscape, ask a ranger a question and get a permit if needed.