A Day at Arches National Park

By Sydney Tong on June 16, 2017. Read time: 2 min.

Arches National Park is known for it's delicately formed rock formations. It is one the first national parks in southern Utah. Sandstone arches carved from centuries of water erosion stand proudly against the desert backdrop.

If you only have one day to dedicate to this national park, you will be happy to hear that Arches is full of day hikes easy enough for families, inexperienced hikers, or the elderly. Photogenic landscapes and rock formations will keep you in awe all day long. Grab your favorite hat, sunscreen, a camera, plenty of water, and you're ready to go.

Quick facts

Here are some helpful tips and facts about Arches National Park to help you out on your journey.

  • ANP (Arches National Park) has one campground, Devil’s Garden Campground at $25/night.
  • The park is open 365 days a year; the visitors center is open daily except for Christmas.
  • The park is open 365 days a year, but it gets super hot during the summer months.
  • Entrance to the park is $25/vehicle and is good for seven days.
  • As of 2017, there is major construction going on, visit their website to get up-to-date information on the status.
  • Four hours drive from Salt Lake City, SLC airport.
  • A fifteen-minute drive from Moab, CNY airport.
  • Six and a half hour drive from Las Vegas, LAS airport.

A mother and child taking a break on the trail. A mother and child taking a break on the trail.

Stop by the visitors center to learn about the Arches, use the restroom, fill up on water or get a map. They play a video inside the center throughout the day and have many resources filled with information about the park.

If it is your first time to the Arches, then you need to make your way over to the Delicate Arch first. The trailhead is a 30-minute drive from the Visitors Center. The scenic drive will take you past La Sal Viewpoint, The Organ, Courthouse Towers Viewpoint, the Towers of Babel, the Petrified Dunes Viewpoint, Balanced Rock, and Panorama Point.

Gabe in all his hiking glory. Gabe in all his hiking glory.

The hike to the Delicate Arch is an easy 3-mile roundtrip. The trail tends to get busy during high season and is well marked. It does get steep in some areas so wear comfy shoes with a good sole. Near the beginning of the trail, there is the Wolfe Ranch and a wall of petroglyphs left by the Ute Indians.

Bring lots of water and salty snacks.

It gets busy here because the hike is so easy It gets busy here because the hike is so easy

Beautiful landscapes

Sydney is a pro hiker Sydney is a pro hiker

Tourist picture at the Delicate Arch. Tourist picture at the Delicate Arch.

After the hike and lunch, drive back towards the entrance of the park and turn left onto the road towards the Double Arch. On the way, you will pass the Pothole Arch, Garden of Eden, and the Elephant Butte. In this area, you will be able to take a 10-minute stroll to see the Double Arch, the Turret Arch, and the North and South Windows. Everything here is close together and easily walkable.

These look far from any life but the parking lot is right behind me. These look far from any life but the parking lot is right behind me.

Arches carved out from water thousands of years ago. Arches carved out from water thousands of years ago.

It is so beautiful here. Beautiful scenery and nice walkways.

The hikes here are easy The hikes here are easy

The North and South Windows. The North and South Windows.

On the ride out of the park, you will pass Sheep Rick, the Three Gossips, and Park Avenue Viewpoint and Trailhead. These are close to the road and have pullouts or parking lots for quick and easy access. Arches is a 15-minute drive from Moab which is loaded with tons of great places to eat, relax and enjoy a beer from a local brewery. Check out the Arches official website here

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