Arches National Park

Arches National Park
UTAH, USA

I’ve always seen the beautiful red rock formations of Arches National Park on social media and thought to myself, how am I going to see those? Well, I planned a 10-day Utah Roadtrip and made it happen. If you plan on visiting Arches, use this post as your guide. At the end of this post, I’ll share just how you could go about planning your trip to Utah.

Double Arch, Arches National Park 

This iconic park showcases the pure power of mother nature. Due to the nature of these landmarks, I would rush out to Arches National Park before the landscape changes for good. The fragile rock formations that make this park so special are truly a sight to see.  

Arches National Park Accommodations

There is one campground in Arches National Park, Devil’s Garden Campground, near the end of Park Road. Many people choose to stay in the nearby city of Moab and make the very short commute into the park from there. If you’re looking for additional car camping sites, there are plenty in the surrounding BLM land.

There are many accommodation options available in this adventure town, however, my party opted for the Lazy Lizard Hostel. This cheap option provided us with the opportunity to utilize a kitchen, cutting down on our food costs, laundry, showers, and air-conditioned sleeping arrangements. Since there were three of us we chose the private cabin option which can sleep 4-6 comfortably for an incredibly reasonable price ($46 a night); the cabins have an air conditioner, outlets, desk space and a personal parking space with a bench and picnic table. In that hot Moab heat, we were grateful for the opportunity to shower and sleep in a cool room each night.  

I found the visitors center to be an exceptionally beautiful (and busy) one.  You can fill up your water bottles at both the Visitor’s Center and Devil’s Garden. Take a look at the exhibits to learn more about the park’s history, geology, plants, and animals. You may also watch a park film that plays every 30 minutes in the visitor center.

Partition Arch, Arches National Park

Don’t Miss Out on These Trails and Sights

Double Arch, Arches National Park

TRAIL: Double Arch

DIFFICULTY: Easy

DESCRIPTION: This .5 mile, heavily trafficked out and back is great for the whole family. You may stop at the base of the arch and gaze up in wonder or do some light rock scrambling and get right up under double arch’s two, huge, intertwined arches.


Arches National Park

TRAIL: The Windows (North and South Window) & Turret Arch 

DIFFICULTY: Easy

DESCRIPTION: A 1-mile round trip gentle climb up a gravel trail leads to the massive North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. You can return to the parking lot via the same trail, or take the slightly longer primitive trail around the Windows by starting at South Window viewpoint. As a fairly easy trail, it is often a very busy viewpoint!


Balanced Rock, Arched National Park

TRAIL: Balanced Rock

DIFFICULTY: Very Easy

DESCRIPTION: You can’t miss this iconic landform from the road but if you want to get more up close and personal take the loop trail at the base of this fragile, picturesque rock formation. Part of the trail is paved and accessible to wheelchairs!
(Disclaimer: this photo is from a picnic table down the road)


TRAIL: Delicate Arch viewpoints

DIFFICULTY: Easy-Moderate

DESCRIPTION: Although I would not recommend either, if this is your ONLY opportunity to view Delicate Arch then please don’t miss out. There is one very easy viewpoint with a wheelchair-accessible view of the arch at a distance. Another mildly strenuous hiking trail climbs 0.5 mile (0.8 km) toward Delicate Arch, ending at a viewpoint separated from the arch by a steep canyon. You can’t reach Delicate Arch on this trail; to hike all the way to the arch, start from Wolfe Ranch.


TRAIL: Delicate Arch

DIFFICULTY: Moderate

DESCRIPTION: This free-standing arch has become widely accepted as the symbol of Utah. Begin this Hike at Wolfe Ranch which can be found off of the main park road on Wolfe Ranch Road.


TRAIL: Devil’s Garden (and Landscape Arch)

DIFFICULTY: Moderate-Difficult

DESCRIPTION: At the very end of Park Road, 18 miles from the visitors center, you will find the trailhead for Devil’s Garden.  You can hike this as an out and back or with a bit of a primitive loop thrown in there; either way, this trail will take you past 6-7 arches that you can only see along the trail.

The hike to Landscape Arch is fairly easy, however, the terrain becomes much more difficult beyond this point. If you choose the direct path from the parking lot out to Double O arch, you will come across two small spur trails that I highly suggest. If you choose to take the primitive trail you will still come across these spur trails, but know that you will be walking through soft sand, need basic trail navigation and rock scrambling skills with steep inclines and drop-offs. Round-trip, including all spur trails, this route will run you 7.2 miles; I suggest an early start in the heat of summer!

Landscape Arch, Arches National Park 

TRAIL: Fiery Furnace

DIFFICULTY: Moderate-Difficult

DESCRIPTION: This is a guided tour that you should sign up for AS SOON AS you know you will be exploring Arches National Park. This natural labyrinth requires a Ranger Guided Tour or a permit from the visitor center. A permit for the Fiery Furnace is $6 per adult and you must watch an orientation video before exploring.


If you begin your day early enough, you can fit in pretty much all of the above-mentioned sights in one day; this would mean starting your day at sunrise and ending it close to or after sunset (don’t forget your headlamp!). Hiking Devil’s garden in the cool of the early morning hours is definitely a good plan; I’ve also heard that Delicate Arch at sunset is the real deal. Show up prepared and you should have a great day!  

Utah Big 5 National Parks

Arches National Park is just one of Utah’s 5 National Parks. Plan your Utah road trip with a little help. Start by asking yourself what you want to see and when you plan on going. Use this guide to complete the begining stages of your planning!

 

Published by expeditioneducation

Hello! My name is Kati and I do all the writing, editing, and planning for Expedition Edu. I am a Middle School Teacher and athletics coach with a fiery passion for the outdoors and exploring new places. The purpose of this blog is to inspire others to connect with what's around them and provide resources to help them do just that. Challenge yourself every day and don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone, for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!

23 thoughts on “Arches National Park

  1. Places where I love to lose myself. Finding a contact with nature in such a direct way through the natural history of the place … I hope one day to visit this place too because I have dreamed it for some time!

  2. What a beautiful park. I need to get here one day. I just love your photos. This would be such a neat area to explore.

  3. Now this looks like such an incredible national park to visit those areas are absolutely stunning and the rock formations wow.

  4. Jasmine Wyrick – San Jose, CA – Jasmine is the founder and author of The Post-It Note, a blog that promotes self-love to reduce the impacts of depression, anxiety, and trauma while building confidence for women. She is a lover of all things fashion, food, and makeup. She is also extremely passionate about helping people and believes that you can improve the lives of others through daily small acts of kindness. When she is not writing, she is playing with her fur babies Rose and Harvey or cooking something bomb in the kitchen.
    Jasmine Wyrick says:

    My boyfriend and I want to go to Utah, I’m happy that I can suggest a good place to hike!

  5. TheSuperMomLife – Heather is the Mom of three and a marketing professional. She enjoys graphic design, writing, photography and going on new adventures and making new memories with her family.
    TheSuperMomLife says:

    What a gorgeous park! I would love to go there one day just to take pictures.

  6. I would love to visit this place, looks so beautiful. And you took gorgeous pictures as well.

  7. Arches National Park was so much more beautiful and amazing than I had imagined. We arrived rather late in the day, and only had 3-4 hours to spend here. There was no line to wait in when we arrived; we went straight through. We had to rush around between the different stops, and although we got to see much of it, you could really spend a lot more time here rather than just a few hours.
    The Visitor Center was very nice with great information about how the arches formed. Since we didn’t have a lot of time, we rushed through it, but you could easily spend an hour inside.
    The arches were interesting, but I was in awe of the area they call “Park Avenue.” I felt like I was standing among ancient ruins in Egypt. Another area I recommend visiting is Sand Dune Arch. You walk a little bit through a lot of sand (like a beach, and you will get sand in your shoes) and you arrive in this little-secluded hidey hole area with the arch. You have to experience it to understand how cool it is.

  8. Nandyz Soulshine – I help people looking for a more fulfilling life uncover untapped inner strength and reconnect with their true self. Life satisfaction comes from doing things that speak to your heart. So I am passionate about inspiring people to lead a no-regrets life challenging the beliefs that hold us back from reaching for what truly ignites us.
    Nandita says:

    Partition and Landscape arches look simply wonderful. I love hiking and this surely is going to my bucket list.
    – Nandita

  9. toastycritic – If anyone was to tell me what my life would look like at this age, I would have run away screaming. Well maybe laughing. OK, possibly in stunned silence. Has anyone run away in stunned silence before? I wonder what that would look like. But I digress. So who am I? I am a middle aged white guy who isn't balding. Wait . . . that describes half the white guy population? Hmmm. . . . In truth I am a single parent. This takes up a lot of who I am and it has to do with a lot of the decisions that I make. My daughter is my inspiration and motivation every day. I believe in a higher power. Not in the AA nebulous higher power, but in one that has a specific relationship with people. Despite that belief, I do not make my blogs about that. If anyone should ask I would love to talk about it. When it comes to being a person, I believe actions speak volumes and words can barely be heard. So when it comes to loving, it means that I love you by how I treat you, and not the words coming out of my mouth. In that vein I hope to be a person of my word. Finally I love life. So this means my profile will be stories about my adventures, tales from my daughter, recipes I've tried out, movies that I love, places that are amazing, food that's great, or beauty wherever I see it. I hope that this goes for my blog as well as my social media accounts. I think life is a grand adventure made for excitement and thrills and I want to live those out every day, not be stuck behind a computer (even though I do love writing). So from here on out my promise to you is that I will be fully me. I want you to be fully you. And let's engage in a discussion about life., and what it means to live it. What does a life worth living mean to you? Hope to hear from you soon.
    toastycritic says:

    That looks so very amazing. I am always amazed by the places with arches like that. It’s so incredible. I’ll have to plan a trip there.

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      well I suggest a field trip then! hahah it’s amazing

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