The 7 Best Attractions & Things to Do In Arches National Park
The best thing to do in Arches National Park, Utah, is hiking to see the park’s more than 2,000 famous arches.
Here, you will find multiple arches, mountain range views, and lovely desert scenery. Thus, if you love the heat, sunsets, and open landscapes, you should visit Arches National Park.
This park also has trails for everyone, ranging from easy paths to challenging treks and rock-climbing adventures. If hiking isn’t your thing, however, you can take an arches scenic drive instead.
The majority of the landmarks in Arches National Park are easy to access and promising to visit any time of year. So, you have a lot of flexibility when visiting this beautiful park.
Visiting Arches National Park is a must-do if you love desert landscapes and beautiful sunsets. Thus, here is a list of Arches National park things to do.
7 Top-Rated Things to Do in Arches National Park
1. Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch is the most famous and largest arch in the park. This arch is 52 feet tall and has an astounding 46-foot light opening.
To see this arch up close, you can take a 3-mile hike called Delicate Arch Trail, which rises to an elevation of 480 feet from the Windows parking lot. The trail winds around the arch, but you cannot see the actual structure until the end of the hike.
The beginning of the hike is difficult and can be uncomfortable because you will be hiking up slick rock, and there is no shade. Plus, the climate is arid, so be sure to drink plenty of water.
However, when you reach the end of the hike, you will turn a corner and see extraordinary views of Delicate Arch, the world’s most famous arch. So, it will be worth any incline you had to climb to get there.
At the trail’s end, there is a massive area called Delicate Arch Viewpoint, where you can sit and take in the view of the sun setting over the sandstone arch or the sun shining high above it. You can also walk up to the arch and take unforgettable photos standing under the largest arch in the park.
Just keep in mind that this hike is popular, and parking fills up quickly. The best time to visit Delicate Arch when little people are around is sunrise.
However, people love to go during the setting sun as well.
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2. Arches Scenic Drive
The 18-mile road through Arches National Park is the most efficient way to see the park. The drive will take you past beautiful arches, landmarks, and the ground’s main attractions.
You can drive to each landmark, get out of the car, walk around, take photos, and explore. Thus, this drive is the perfect thing to do in the park if you take a day trip and want to see everything the area offers.
Another great thing about the drive is that it is accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
3. Park Avenue Viewpoint
Park Avenue Viewpoint is one of the best views in Arches National Park. Also, the landscape colors change at certain times of the day based on the sun, so this is a fun viewpoint to keep going back to so you can see how the scene has changed.
Additionally, you can drive right up to the viewpoint and see it from your parking space.
Or, for more fun, you can hike the Park Avenue Trail to the Courthouse Towers and back. And, if you choose to walk, the towers are only a mile from the viewpoint, making it just a 2-mile hike.
4. Double Arch
If you want to see an arch up close but do not want to hike, Double Arch is just for you. This easy trail leads through only 0.3 miles of terrain.
Many people like to climb up to Double Arch to see the view from the top since it is the tallest arch in Arches. But, if you don’t have time to do the climb, you can always just stand under the arch to experience it up close.
5. Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock is a popular stop on the Arches Scenic Drive. This unique rock formation looks like a rock is balancing on top of a tower.
If you want, you can take the Balanced Rock Trail Loop to see the structure, which is just 0.3 miles away. Or, you can view it from the car park.
This rock is a central viewpoint of the park, and you can pass it many times throughout your journeys.
6. Windows Loop and Turret Arch
The Windows Section of the park allows you to see multiple impressive arches and sandstone walls through a window and take a short walk up to the arches along a hiking trail.
The Windows Loop Trail is an easy, one-mile trail that loops around the North and South Windows and ends back at the parking lot just after passing Turret Arch.
North Window Arch, in particular, has a beautiful view of Turret Arch and the surrounding landscape. However, the South Window Arch is where the Windows Trail begins.
7. Devils Garden
Devils Garden trail is the most challenging hike in Arches National Park due to the long and rugged terrain, similar to the Fiery Furnace hike. However, Devils Garden is one of the most famous sights in the park, and people travel from afar to experience it.
Past the Devils Garden Trailhead, you will first come across Landscape Arch, the park’s largest free-standing arch, when you take this trek. This path is the most accessible segment of the Devils Garden area.
After this part, the trail becomes more difficult as there are some rock scrambles you will have to traverse.
However, if you make it above Landscape Arch, you can visit Navajo Arch and Partition Arch to take a break in the shade. The area near Partition, on a side trail, is particularly relaxing since this spot is less populated.
Finally, you’ll hike past Landscape Arch to Double O Arch. But just remember that you need to be in good shape to take this primitive trail because the path is narrow and full of rock scrambles.
And if you are planning to stay the night after your challenging hike, there is Devils Garden Campground, where you can stargaze and watch the sunset.
Other Sights in Arches National Park
There are endless things to do in Arches National Park as well as plenty of great sights to see. Thus, here is a list of arches, hikes, and sights to see to expand your experience.
- Arches Visitor Center – Before exploring, you should always stop at the Visitor Center of national parks to pick up a map and speak to a park ranger about the trail conditions.
- Canyonlands National Park – Canyonlands National Park is another national park in Southern Utah. The Colorado River runs through this park and is excellent to add to your Utah adventure.
- Tower Arch
- Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint – One of the best ways to see the most famous natural arch.
- Pine Tree arch
- Fiery Furnace Hike
- La Sal Mountains
- Skyline Arch
- Sand Dune Arch
- Broken Arch
- Dune Arch
- Private Arch
- Petrified Dunes
- Tunnel Arch
- Devils Garden Campground – Devils Garden Campground is the most popular campground in the park, so you should check to make sure there are reservations open before you go.
What Time Should You Get To Arches National Park?
Arches National Park is one of the most popular national parks in the United States. So, the best time to enter the park is at 6 AM to avoid traffic and to get parking.
It is best to stay in Moab, which is five minutes from the park entrance, the night before you get to the park so you can get into Arches NP early in the morning.
However, if you are not a morning person and do not want to wake up early, you should know that the wait to get into the park dips in the evening after 5 PM.
Visiting Arches National Park is a must-do trip. The amazing arches are unlike any in the world since they are natural landmarks made of sandstone rocks.
So, get your friends and family together and visit Arches. This trip is perfect for every age group because you can drive up to most of the main attractions.
Also, remember that if you plan to attend multiple parks in Utah, you should purchase a Southeast Utah Parks Pass to save money on parking and park entrance fees. Utah National Parks are great family trips because you can camp, find easy hiking trails, and drive up to many locations.
Finally, once you visit Arches, stop in Moab for a bite to eat and admire the views on the way. And, overall, enjoy your visit to Arches National Park by planning ahead.
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