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The Ultimate Guide to Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a beautiful natural wonder north of Moab, Utah which covers just above 76,500 acres of land.

Over a million visitors flock to this national park each year to see the 2,000 natural red-rock arches that dot the sprawling landscape.

Check out this travel guide so you’re ready for your next trip to Arches National Park. 

Arches National Park Travel Guide

How expensive is visiting Arches National Park? 

Arches National Park requires a standard entrance pass which costs $30 for a private vehicle, $25 for a motorcycle and $15 if you are entering without a car.

Hikers, bikers and pedestrians usually use this last option. If you live nearby and plan to visit Arches often, consider buying the $55 annual park entrance pass, which gives access to Arches and Canyonlands national parks as well as two local national monuments. 

If you’re planning to visit during spring, summer or early fall 2024, check out Arches’ timed entry system  for more logistical information about visiting the park. 

What Gear do you need for Arches National Park? 

In summer, be prepared for bright sunlight and high temperatures at Arches.

Have at least two liters of water on hand to stay hydrated while exploring and bring a hat, sunscreen and loose-fitting clothing to avoid sunburn.

You’ll encounter rough terrain on some trails, so pack your hiking boots as well. Finally, since bears have been known to enter the park, bring along a bear-proof canister to keep your food safe. 

When is the best time to go to Arches National Park? 

To avoid the heat, the best times to go to Arches are in April and May. If you’d prefer an autumn vacation with cool temperatures and few crowds, visit in September or October.

How to Get to Arches National Park 

If you’re driving to Arches from Moab, Utah, drive north on US 191 for five miles.

If you’re approaching from Interstate 70 (Crescent Junction), drive south on US 191 for 22 miles.

You can also fly into Canyonlands Field Airport, which is just 11 miles from the park entrance. 

Visit the Arches National Park website for more information about entering the park by train, bus, shuttle or taxi. 

The 5 Best Places to See in Arches National Park

1: Double Arch

Start your trip with a hike to Double Arch, the tallest arch in this national park with a height of 112 feet.

The easy, 0.6-mile Double Arch Trail is a mildly sloping path that takes you directly to the base of two giant arches connected at one end.

You can scramble up the rock between the arches, but keep in mind that it’s easier to ascend than climb back down.

If you’d like to see more arches nearby, walk to the upper parking lot and the Windows trailhead. Here, you can see North Window and Turret Arch along with other massive rock formations. 

2: Balanced Rock

At Balanced Rock, a 3,600-ton boulder perches atop a mudstone base.

To reach this natural wonder, whose precarious position makes it one of Arches’ most popular attractions, take a short 0.3-mi roundtrip walk with breathtaking views of Balanced Rock, The Windows and the far-off La Sal Mountains.

Keep in mind that it is forbidden to climb on this rare rock formation, which stands an impressive 128 feet tall. 

3: Delicate Arch

The main attraction along Arches Scenic Drive, which passes an abundance of natural rock formations, is the prominent Delicate Arch.

To glimpse the graceful Delicate Arch up close, park and walk along a 3-mile uphill trail that passes a wall of Ute Indian petroglyphs. 

While on this trail, you’ll pass by Wolfe Ranch, a one-room log cabin that rancher John Wolfe built in 1906.

This solitary cabin has remained standing for over a century and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

After visiting Wolfe Ranch, continue to the Delicate Arch viewpoint. While there, soak in the sight of the largest free-standing arch in the world with a light opening that stands 46 feet high and 32 feet wide. 

4: Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers

Continue your trip at Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers, an overlook with an impressive panorama of the La Sal Mountains.

Here, walk alongside enormous rock walls and take in the view of a massive canyon. The Park Avenue viewpoint leads to a steep, downhill path with stony and uneven slopes which descends into the canyon and continues one mile to the stunning Courthouse Towers.

To see the Courthouse Towers rock formation from a different angle, head to the nearby La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.

5: Devils Garden

Head to Devils Garden, a popular location at Arches National Park with abundant spires and narrow rock walls known as “fins.” One of Devils Garden’s key attractions is Landscape Arch, the longest arch in North America with a massive span of 306 feet.

Devils Garden is also an ideal place to go stargazing. According to the National Park Service, there will be eight meteor showers between April 2024 and early January 2025, and the natural outdoor amphitheater of Devils Garden is a great spot to watch these natural phenomena.

Devils Garden Campground is the only campground in Arches National Park, so check out the open campsites and make reservations early to secure a spot.

Devils Garden Campground has 51 sites and two group sites. The nightly fee is $25 for an individual site, $75-$160 for the Canyon Wren group site and $100-$250 for a Juniper group site, depending on the size of your group. 

The Bottom Line: Arches National Park Travel Guide 

After seeing remarkable rock formations from afar, experienced rock climbers can explore Arches up close via designated climbing routes.

Register with the park to obtain a free climbing permit, then plan out your route and use high-quality gear for a safe and enjoyable climb. 

Make the most of your time at Arches National Park when you visit these scenic attractions. 


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