Arches National Park in Utah is one of the five national parks in the state. The parks are commonly referred to as the Utah “Mighty Five” and are all located in the southern part of the state. There are many cool things to do in the park including seeing the unique arches and rock formations. Keep reading for my Arches National Park guide and for all the best arches to see in the park.
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Arches National Park Guide
Where is Arches National Park?
Arches National Park is located in Moab, Utah. It’s nearby Canyonlands National Park, which is only a 45-minute drive away. There are plenty of adventurous things to do in Moab but no trip is complete without a visit to Arches. The drive from Arches to Moab is only 10-minutes so it makes for an ideal location to stay.
Arches National Park Hours
The park is open 24 hours however the Arches National Park “gate” or entrance is usually manned from around 8 am – 5 pm. This will vary by season so do check the Arches National Park hours here.
You can still come in and out of the park outside these hours. If you have an “America The Beautiful” annual national parks pass keep it on display inside your car. And if you don’t have a pass you can pay the entry fee at the visitor center.
Arches National Park Tips
Many of the arches will require a short to a longer hike. Plan out which points of interest you’d like to visit ahead of time or consult with a park ranger at the visitor center. Cell service is spotty in the park so make sure to have an Arches National Park Map on hand.
Best Arches in the Park
Arches National Park has the largest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world. Not only is it home to some of the famous arches in Utah it has some cool rock formations as well. Here are some of the coolest Utah arches to see at the park.
Which arch is the Arches National Park famous arch? It’s Delicate Arch. This iconic sandstone arch is a 3-mile, out and back hike. The Delicate Arch hike is popular so get there early to get a parking spot and avoid the crowds. Take plenty of water especially on hot days and wear sunscreen and a hat as there is no shade.
The best time to go to Delicate arch is at sunrise, early morning, late afternoon, or sunset. As the sunrises, it casts a weird shadow. If you want to photograph the arch opt for making this your first stop or arriving later in the day.
If you’re short on time you can opt to do the Delicate Arch Viewpoint Trail which is only .7 miles. You’ll still be able to see the arch however it’ll be pretty far away. Below is a photo of this viewpoint.
Sand Dune Arch
Sand Dune Arch is one of the more underrated arches of Arches National Park. The Sand Dune Arch Trail is a short .3-mile hike and quite unique as the ground is covered with orange sand. It’s a quick hike that many can enjoy but due to the sand, it is not ADA accessible. And it’s well shaded so it’s great almost any time of the day. After seeing Sand Dune Arch, head to Broken Arch.
Tip: take your photo from the other side of the arch. Not only is it a different angle it’s the more picturesque side of the arch.
To get to Broken Arch you’ll park in the same parking lot as Sand Dune Arch. It’s a 1.7-mile loop hike and you’ll get to see two cool arches in one shot! Unlike Sand Dune Arch the trail leading to Broken Arch is very exposed. However, if you’re visiting in the spring there will be plenty of wildflowers along the trail. It’s also a great spot for birdwatching.
Double Arch is a popular arch to visit in the park. The Double Arch trail it’s just a .6-mile walk from the closest parking lot. These massive arches are cool to explore and photograph. Even though it’s a short hike the different angles will leave you in awe.
This is a great spot for anyone as it’s short but is visual one of the most interesting arches in the park. There are plenty of other arches to see in this general area such as the North and South Windows.
North and South Windows
The North and South Windows are located in the “Windows Area” or the park. The best way to view these windows and other arches are by following the Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail. It’s a short 1.2-mile hike and there are some stairs involved but is a relatively easy hike.
Landscape Arch is a unique arch at the park because it’s so long and thin. It’s one of the longest stone spans in the world, stretching 306 feet (93.3 m), and is only about 11 feet (3.4 m) thick at the center. The arch is located in the Devils Garden area of the park. If you want to see more cool arches you can continue your hike.
Tip: arrive early as the parking lot fills up quickly. It’s best to view in the early AM before the sun casts a strange shadow which isn’t ideal if you want to photograph the arch.
Arches National Park Hotels
Planning a trip to the Moab national park? There are plenty of hotels that fit any budget. For the best deals on hotels avoid the peak season of March through October. The weather will be cooler but you won’t have the crowds. Snow and rain can occur so do check the weather.
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I hope you enjoy your visit and seeing all these unique arches!
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