Arches National Park has the world’s densest population of natural stone arches. With over 2,000 documented arches and endless fins, balanced rocks, and other geological features, Arches National Park is a must-see.
Over 1.8 million people visit Arches National Park annually. In this article, I’ll share 5 things you can do to ditch the crowds in Arches. From my personal experience, this busy park is full of unique, crowdless experiences.
5 Things You Can Do to Ditch the Crowds in Arches
1. Arrive Before 6 AM
Arches National Park now runs on a timed, ticketed entry system between 6 and 5 PM during the busy season (April-October). If you arrive before 6 AM, you’ll find parking at your favorite trailheads and significantly fewer crowds at your favorite Arches destination.
This is also a great way to get into Arches if you were unsuccessful in snagging a timed entry ticket. The early bird catches the worm and avoids Arches National Park Crowds.
2. Fiery Furnace Permit
Snag a Fiery Furnace Permit and get lost in a natural labyrinth of narrow passages among towering sandstone walls.
Choose from a ranger-led or self-guided permit. Ranger-led permits include about 20 park guests and one ranger. It is easy to get lost in the Fiery Furnace. If you are a beginner hiker, I recommend the ranger-led permit.
We chose a self-guided experience and had a blast climbing up sandstone fins, and through fallen rock crevices. We saw very few people on our adventure and felt as though we were a world away from society on a Fiery Furnace hike.
3. Take a Long Hike
The longer and more daunting the trail, the fewer people you’ll find on it. Ditch the crowds in Arches by planning more challenging hikes.
Here are a few hikes you can add to your arches plan that should provide you with some solitude.
- Klondike Bluff Trail to Tower Arch
5.7 Miles for the full loop with 600 feet of elevation gain
- Devil’s Garden Loop via the Primitive Trail
7.9 Miles with 1,085 feet of elevation gain
- Broken Arch Loop + Sand Dune Arch
2.8 Miles with 321 feet of elevation gain
If you’re looking for a full list of hikes, I’ve curated a detailed list of amazing hikes inside the park.
4. Travel to Arches During Low Season
Most Visitors come to Arches during the summer months and during holiday breaks. You can lower your chances of getting stuck in the crowds by traveling to Arches National Park opposite those times.
Traveling on the off-season is a great way to see the park from a different perspective while avoiding crowds. We do recommend you check out the weather in Arches for the time of year you plan to visit. Winter months mean freeze warnings and might require you to pack additional gear and layers.
5. Stay for Sunset
Stick around for a breathtaking sunset in Arches National Park. Ditch the crowds in Arches by finding a pullout with a clear view west for stunning views and very few people.
Pack dinner and set up for the evening. Arches is also an amazing place for astrophotography! We spent hours at the pull-off near the Garden of Eden. We set up our camp chairs, got out the photography gear, and took the most amazing golden hour and sunset photos with the red rocks are our canvas.
BONUS: The Arches Won’t Always Be There
What was once a shallow, inland sea is now the dry, desert landscape of Arches National Park. It might seem dry and desolate, but water continues to mold the landscape of Arches.
These temporary features will one day succumb to the forces of gravity and erosion. Plan your trip to Arches National Park and experience natural wonders before they collapse.
What’s One Thing I Want To Do Next Time?
I’ve pretty much done it all in Arches National Park, and let me tell you, it’s all worth it! But another great way to ditch the crowds in Arches is to stick around for some astrophotography.
This unique experience will provide you with gorgeous shots you’ll look back on for a lifetime. Double Arch would be a great place to snag some truly creative photos of the night sky.