Your Guide To The Arches National Park

Balanced Rock The Arches National Park

Arches National Park: General Summary

The Arches National Park is a wonderland and a slice of pure heaven located in Utah, United States. Bordered by the breathtaking Colorado River towards the southeast, the place is home to more than 1500 naturally eye-catch sandstone arches. The Landscape Arch and the Delicate Arch are spectacular landscapes that locals and tourists are ever-ready to visit throughout the year. Some other famous attractions include the Balanced Rock, the Turret Arch, and the Double Arch towards the Windows Section.


Date of Establishment

The park was established on the 12th November, 1971. Originally a national monument regulated by the National Park Service, the area was later designated as an official national park on the given date. Now, the area receives nearly 1.6 million visitors each year, and they’re certainly growing annually.


Popular Season

According to the National Park Service, the best time to travel to this stunningly rare park starts from April all the way through May. While mid-September and the late October are also good periods, April actually marks the time when harsh winters have toned down and springtime arrives. The temperatures slowly begin to warm up and rather become pleasant in May, which is the perfect time to visit this red-rock wonder-world.


The Visitor’s Center

Open all-year round, the Arches Visitor Center is a wonderful building inviting locals, tourists, and travelers from all over the world to learn the geological and national history of the park. Every day of the week, the center is open to visitors from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The park is home to natural arches that have the highest density in the entire world. With so much to offer, let’s explore this spectacular red-rock magical land!


Introduction

The Arches National Park, located in eastern Utah, is known for its dark red rocks that make up most of the landscape. The park is nearly 76,679 acres of desert over the Colorado Plateau and is bordered by the river. While the lowest elevation is around 4,085 feet at the visitor’s center, the highest peak rises up to 5,653 feet right at Elephant Butte.

With only ten inches of rain annually, the national park doesn’t receive much rain. However, the initial months of the year, especially April and May, are ideal times to enjoy the arches and capture beautiful sunsets against the azure sky.

If you think the Rocky Mountain National Park was nature’s best wonder in Colorado, then it’s time to re-think. Anyone who has been to the Arches National Park even once certifies that they’ve seen nothing like it. If you’re a fan of miraculously formed geological wonders and peaks with exotic hues, then this is the place to visit for a memorable vacation.

Since most of the park’s landscape is actually a desert, you can’t enjoy the spirit of the national heritage during extreme winters and summers. During summers, it is difficult to hike and climb as the temperature can reach to scorching extremes – as high as 100 degrees. On the other hand, severe winters, usually in the beginning of the year, are the least visited times because the temperature falls dramatically low. It is best to visit the park in the middle of the year.

Arches National Park is also known for its gorgeous plant life that engulfs the entire landscape. You can find Utah junipers, verdant-green moss, prickly pear cacti, and pinyon pine here. There are also many different kinds of grasses that simply can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, so if you’re a plant lover, you will definitely fall for this place. As mentioned before, the region is known for its unique colors and light snow showers. The snow resting over the bright red mountains is extremely picturesque.

With naturally occurring and rare arches, giant balanced rocks, soaring pinnacles, and humongous fins, the Arches National Park is a magnificent sight to behold. The sunsets have been a popular reason why so many tourists flock to this park to catch glimpses of the intense amber beams of the sun. The picturesque scenery is sure to inspire you. But wait! That’s not all there is.

This park offers delightful opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, rock-climbing, and of course, star-gazing. With endless attractions to offer, your visit to the Arches national park might just be the life-giving, inspiring, and refreshing trip you’ve been looking for all this time.

Let’s delve into the world of unique rock formations and see how they add to the great heritage sites of our world!


A Brief History

Home to more than 2,000 naturally-occurring sandstone arches, the Arches National Park is a beautiful mesh of pinnacles, red-rock canyons, and giant stone bluffs that will simply take your breath away. The national park has exciting sporting activities that allow you to travel through these rock formations, and marvel at its history.

The park was initially a national monument and was officially declared as a national park on 12th November 1971 by none other than President Nixon. Since then it has been free to access for the public and has received millions of tourists each year. But, its history is more interesting than you think.

The landscape was home to Native American groups who lived here thousands of years ago. In fact, Homosapiens have inhabited the region since the last Ice Age. Once occupied by ancestral Puebloans, Ute and Paiute tribes, and European Americans, the park has a rich history. Eventually, during the mid-1800s, farmers, ranchers, and prospectors settled in, and soon enough, everyone found out about red-rock’s magnificent beauty. For this reason, the Arches National Park has been a popular tourist attraction since ages.

It was Frank A. Wadleigh – traffic manager of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad – who shed light on preserving the rock formations as a national heritage site. Accompanied by his companions, Wadleigh visited the park in 1923 with the intent to explore the rock formations as a tourist attraction. He had discovered the scenic area, which he later named the Devils Garden. His intention was later suggested to the Park Service director – Stephen T. Mather, and the national park was signed off as a national monument. The name “Arches” was given by Frank Pinkely, who was inspired after he visited the Windows Section during 1925.

By 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed a proclamation, marking all the rock formations falling under the Arches National monument. The intent behind this was to protect and preserve the giant balanced rocks, arches, and spires that were too beautiful and stunning to be wasted away. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed another declaration that expanded the area, specifically the huge Arches, within the national park zone. Fast forward to 1971, President Nixon signed the official legislation, declaring the monument as the official Arches National Park.


Geological Formation

The park actually sits on top of a unique salt bed that went through severe climate changes centuries ago. All the debris carried with the ocean, floods, and naturally-occurring streams joined to form rock formations. These big rocks eventually pushed the land upwards into dome-shaped formations as well as downwards, resembling hollow pockets. The place also shows geological evidence of petrified lakes that once existed but now have dried up. As a result, the landscape changed into vertical arches. The rock layers that stood the test of the time are, in fact, the ones we see today.

One of the most popular arches in the region is the Delicate Arch. Known for its exotic beauty, the arch is quite safely the most well-known symbol of Utah. It’s actually inscribed on the license plates and the U.S. Postage stamps. Another famous spot is the Landscape Arch – a delicately woven rocky landscape running as long as 290 ft. Other firm rocky formations like the Fiery Furnace, tail sandstone fins, and the Courthouse Towers are all attention-grabbing, stunning landscapes to admire. The Colorado Plateau is a blessed place that should definitely be on your bucket list.

The park is full of popular hikes that are the perfect vacation spots during spring-time. Whether it’s the sandstone fins in the Devil’s Garden or a pleasant walk exploring the Broken Arch, the place is over-flowing with gorgeous and scenic views. With so much left to explore at the Arches National Park, let’s talk about how you should plan your itinerary.


Planning Your Itinerary

We’ve already discussed above that the Arches National Park is known for its humongous arches, sandstone tails, and solid rock formations. Hence, there’s no doubt that the major chunk of the itinerary will involve touring and exploring these landscapes.


Visit during Popular Seasons

As a vacation spot that is laden with stunning geology, the best time to appreciate its natural beauty is when the sky is clear.

Hence, before sorting out the places you should be visiting, you need to make sure the weather doesn’t betray you. The best time to visit the park is during April May, Mid-September, and late October, which are the times the park receives the biggest crowds from all around the world. Over one million people –locals and tourists – visit the park annually and almost everyone wishes to see the huge arches and major views, especially the Delicate Arch. Hence, the most temperate seasons to visit are fall and spring. Make sure you visit the place somewhere around this time to truly enjoy the geological wonders of Arches national park.


The Delicate Arch

The park is an incredibly popular place that will leave a lasting impression on you. If the weather cooperates, there is so much to see and enjoy, especially the breathtaking night sky over the Delicate Arch. However you plan your trip, make sure the Delicate Arch is the highlight of your time spent there. This might just be one of your most memorable experiences as you tread through the Utah road trip.

Now here’s another thing you ought to know about your national park vacation. The place welcomes scores of tourists, avid travelers, and vacationers every single year. So, there’s a huge chance that you might not get a chance to visit most of it in your plan.

The crowds at the national park can be thick and difficult to avoid. Tens of thousands of people come here with their iconic selfie-sticks and cameras to take pictures. The park is a natural habitat and a heritage site, which can only be enjoyed with the surrounding environment. However, amongst the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to navigate your way and find a desirable spot to admire the arches and the rocky formations.

Hence, a quick tip is to take extra time out on a few days to stay well past the sunset. This is when enthusiastic crowds start leaving and the place clears up for the latecomers to enjoy. This is especially helpful if you’re visiting in the Summers.

The heat in the Moab area can be intolerably scorching during the day— hence, colder periods in the night are a good choice. Plus, you and your family can enjoy the magnificent stargazing that tourists rave about. If you’re planning for a hiking trip, schedule it for the early morning hours, ideally before 10 am or during the evening to avoid the searing heat during mid-day.


How Long Should You Spend at the Arches?

Visitors are allowed to spend the entire day at the park. However, if you’re short on time, spending 2-3 hours is good enough to cover most of the popular arches. Although the national park is open 24/7, the ideal time to visit is between 7 am – 7 pm. You can also schedule a day-long trip during the weekends.


The Best Hikes and Arches to See

You don’t get to experience the spectacular ranges and arches every day when you wake up. So, when you do, make sure you have your camera with you. Photography is one of the most popular hobbies in this region because the scenery is simply breathtaking. The first attraction that you should ideally start your trip with is:


The Delicate Arch

There are three ways to view the arch, which makes it possible for people of all ages and conditions to enjoy the view. You can see the arch from the Lower Viewpoint, which is located about 100 yards from the main parking lot or the Upper View Point, which is a short, steady climb to the Arch. However, these viewpoints may not produce the best pictures of the symbol of Utah. So, the third way to view the arch is through the Delicate Arch hike that begins at Wolfe Ranch. No matter how you see it, hiking is the best way to recognize and capture the beauty of the arches. Although it will be a challenging 3-mile roundtrip, once you reach the top, all your efforts will be worth it. Plus, if you get out during the evening, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the endearing sunsets and the stargazing. If you really want to make the most of the trip, hiking on the arch is the way to go. If you’re climbing with kids, it’ll take about an hour to reach the top at a steady pace. If you think you can do it quicker, you might reach it even quicker.


Windows Section

The Windows Section will take you around 30-60 minutes, depending on your medium of travel and what time you get out. It’s only a mile-long road trip that will land you at the most picturesque views of the Arches National park.

Travel through the Turret Arch and taste the salty air towards the North Window arch. Make sure to explore both the south and north areas as much as you can, but do not skip the Double Arch. You can actually sit underneath the arches and gaze at the stars once night falls. The view is simply breathtaking.


Landscape Arch

Your hike trip to this arch will last around an hour as it is fairly long (about 1.6 miles). Initially, there was a flat trail that led straight up to the Landscape Arch, but it crumbled in 1992. A major chunk of the section had fallen off, nearly toppling the whole arch. Hence, you should plan a trip to the Landscape arch only if you are a professional hiker or have guides with you. It will be a tough journey.


Balanced Rock

The Balanced Rock is a massive piece of rock that teeters over a pillar. From the parking lot, the roundtrip is 0.3 miles long and will take you 15-20 minutes to reach the destination.


Park Avenue Viewpoint

For this gorgeous place, you won’t need to hike any trail here. You can easily enjoy the best scenery from the paved viewpoint. A good time to visit is during the afternoon or evening as there are fewer crowds.

So, now that we’ve covered the most important places to cover in your trip, let’s go tick off some essentials you simply can’t do without. When visiting the Arches, make sure you have:

  • A camera
  • A tripod
  • Water and snacks (Make sure you do get plenty of water because the facility is only available at Devils Garden Trailhead and Visitor Center)
  • Lots of sunscreen
  • Hats and sunglasses for shades
  • Picnic essentials
  • Flood Lights (to enjoy night photography)

With that out of the way, it’s time to discuss the top vacation spots to visit at the Arches National Park.


The Top Attractions at Arches National Park

You probably have a fair idea of the famous places you need to cover in your trip. However, the Delicate Arch and the Window Sections were just the tip of the iceberg. Arches National Park is a heavenly place that hides some of nature’s toughest rock formations that will simply leave you in awe. It’s the ideal place for an adventurer to survey and make memories at. Before actually exploring a national park, we always advise our avid readers and travelers to pay a visit to the Visitor Center so that they are well-informed about all the famous landmarks. Here too, your journey should ideally begin from the same place.

1. Arches Visitor Center

The Arches Visitor Center is open every day of the week, except on the 25th of December. Although the hours vary by season, during the day is a safe time to visit no matter what month it is. However, the park is extremely crowded in March and October from 8 am to 3 pm. So, if you want to enjoy a peaceful time at the Visitor Center, then you can choose a time during early morning or after 3 pm.

The place is fully supplied with state-of-the-art restroom facilities, water, and outdoor exhibits. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about the history, political facts, and well-known sites about the Arches National Park. The exhibits display photographs and souvenirs that you can carry back home as memories. It will give you a great overview of the park and you can even spend some time at the famous gift shop. For people who are anxious about hiking or exploring the Arches, the Visitor Center offers a great ice-breaking session to help you ease into the environment. This is also the right place to fill up all your water bottles as the road trip will be strenuous. You will find at your disposal a team of extremely helpful and hospitable Rangers who will brief you about your road trip. All in all, the Visitor Center is the ideal place to start this journey.

2. Balanced Rock

Also referred to as the “teetering giant” or “precarious boulder”, the Balanced Rock is one of the most iconic geological formations at the Arches National Park. Standing tall and beautiful at a striking height of 128 ft, the rock boulder sits on the eroding pedestal of Dewey Bridge mudstone. You might think that this rock formation defies gravity, but soon enough, the 4 million kg boulder is going to come crashing down as part of the natural erosion process. But until then, this is the best time to witness this astonishing giant rock.

3. Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers

A major attraction at the Arches National Park, the Park Avenue trail is a beloved spot for avid hikers. It is a one-mile trail that hides some gigantic monoliths in its path. You might have also heard of the Courthouse towers that are a part of this mysteriously beautiful strip. The Three Gossips, Queen Victoria Rock, Queen Nefertiti, the Organ, and the Tower of Babel are also other life-size wonders that are often photographed. All of these rock formations begin to appear during your drive up towards the Delicate Arch and the Balanced Rock.

However, viewing that from afar will not do justice to these natural wonders. You must pack a bag and hike through them to relish their magnificent beauty. About 2.5 miles north from the Arches Visitor Center is the lower trailhead. This is a perfect spot for beginners to practice their hiking skills and flex a little for the harder trails ahead.

From the parking lot, you will find a paved walkway that leads to a Viewpoint, which is located 320 feet away. From there onwards, you will find a solid trail that heads straight down to the Courthouse Towers Parking Lot. These are massive towers made of sandstone that will take your breath away at first glance. The Arches National Park is certainly a place for the adventurer. The Courthouse towers have spires that resemble soaring sky-scrapers

– some of them are around 600 feet tall. You will definitely not want to miss this on your trip!

4. Devil’s Garden

The real adventure awaits here. Devil’ Garden is God’s ode to the wild beauty of nature. For thrill-seekers, hikers, and trailers looking to take their expedition up a notch, here you’ll find spectacular spires, arches, and endless narrow rock walls referred to as “fins”. The Devil’s Garden is an ideal place for stargazing, backpacking, camping, and of course, hiking for every skill level.

The place is located about 18 miles north from the Visitor Center – a drive that will take you at least 40-45 minutes. If you think you’ve seen just about every rock formation, then you are in for a treat. The Devil’s Garden has the most enchanting geology.

The Landscape Arch, also known as the crown jewel of Devil’s Garden, is the longest of its kind in all of North America. With an opening of 93.3 meters and an expanse that is 6 ft. in diameter, this arch is the narrowest and the tallest arch in the region.

It was in the late 1990s, when huge segments of the arch fell off, leaving behind the remaining rock formation that we know now. This arch is proof that nature is incredibly volatile, unpredictable, and breathtakingly beautiful.

The Landscape Arch is actually one of the easiest hikes to cover. So, if you’re looking for something more challenging, then head beyond towards the Double O Arch known for its steep climbs and humongous sandstone fins. The footing gets rocky, so only someone with decent hiking skills should attempt at climbing this one. The ledges are narrow and end towards steep drop-offs. However, the journey is unrivaled in its excitement and thrill. All in all, the place is a great spot for some adventures with your friends and family!

5. Delicate Arche and Wolf Ranch

Now, let’s discuss the most-awaited natural wonder; the Delicate Arche is known as the visual symbol of Utah. A brief glance at this unique rock formation will leave you in awe of the delicate balance and fragility with which the rock remains erect. Towering as high as 80 ft., this arch will certainly remain the highlight of your trip.

As the most photographed arch in the world, it delicately rests on top of the humongous Entrada Sandstone formation. Offering a dramatic view of the entire park, the arch is located 11.7 miles from the entrance of the park. Once you reach the Delicate Arch and Wolfe Ranch turn-off, turn right and continue for another 1.2 miles towards the trailhead parking area. You will have to come in early as the parking lot quickly fills up by afternoon. If you’re planning a day-long picnic and hiking activities, then we’d advise you to arrive before 9 am.

At the beginning of the Delicate Arch sits the famous Wolfe Ranch. If the traces of ancient human civilizations intrigue you, then the Wolfe Ranch is the best spot to explore. Also called the Turnbow Cabin, as this is where the old one bedroom cabin is located, the place has an interesting history. A man named John Wolfe suffered from a nagging leg injury from the Civil war after which he left his family back in Ohio to look for a drier climate. He set out with his oldest son and together, they found a property here, which came to be known as the humble Wolfe’s cabin. And, to witness some more historical incidents beyond Wolfe Ranch, you can easily find one of the earliest human activities in the region. There is a modern bridge that crosses the Salt Wash, where you will see the Ute rock art portraying a stylized horse with a rider, dog-like animals, and a bighorn sheep. These figures can actually be dated back to somewhere between 1650 and 1850 BC.

Of course, this panel is extremely integral to the Native Americans in the area, as it was carved by their esteemed ancestors. Moving beyond the Utel Panel, you will find yourself on a trail that leads you straight to the Delicate Arch.

However, if you don’t plan on hiking, you can still enjoy the arch view by returning to the Wolfe Ranch parking lot and by heading a mile down to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint.

6. The Windows Section

According to the National Park Service, the Windows Section is the “beating heart” of the Arches National Park. Here you will find the largest concentration of breathtaking arches, including the North Window, Double Arch, and the Turret Arch. You can easily locate all these rocky formations just beyond two square miles of your journey.

Other notable features here are the Parade of Elephants, Garden of Eden, and the Elephant Butte. The arches are extremely detailed and intricate in their beauty, impelling the viewer to wonder about the mysterious precision in nature. Formed by the cutting action of aggressive wind-blown sand, the arches at Windows Section are beautiful yet mind-boggling.

Here, you can enjoy sightseeing, hiking, day-long picnics, and of course, aesthetic photography. Start your journey by strolling to the Double Arch, which is a brief walk that lasts around 20-30 minutes. These arches are massive in size and join together at one end, leading to their well-known title. In fact, the Double Arch is the second largest arch over here. If you want to skip the walk, you can also enjoy its view right from the parking lot. From the Windows Trailhead, you can easily navigate your way towards the Turret Arch and the North and South Window. It is truly a scenic and intriguing sight to behold.

In order to get there, you will have to drive 9.2 miles towards the Arches Entrance Road. After passing by Balanced Rock, the road will lead you to the Windows Section of the park. Follow the route for another 2.7 miles to reach the Windows Trail, from where you can access the Turret Arch and North and South Windows. Don’t forget to take pictures of the Parade of Elephants rock spires!

7. Horseback Riding at Seven Mile Canyon

Looking for something that is as exhilarating as hiking? It’s time for some horseback riding at the Seven Mile Canyon. Yes, horses are permitted in the Arches, and if your wildest plans include exploring a city on the back of a horse, then this is your moment! The South Fork of Seven Mile Canyon is located off of Highway 313 near Moab, Utah. Here you will find many pictograph and petroglyph sites that can be traced back to the Archaic Period. The canyon is an easy hike and a great place to enjoy some horse riding. However, horses can only be ridden in a few areas and during certain times of the day only.

You can ride at the Seven Mile Canyon, the Delicate Arch road, and the Courthouse Wash because of their roadless areas. According to management, only the use of pack animals is allowed here, which includes horses, burros, and mules. The maximum group size that can travel at one time is 10 persons and 10 pack animals.

Circle round the canyon strip and feel the pleasant winds caress your face at this spot. However, be careful not to litter and pick up horse manure before leaving the place. You may only stall your horse at a specific place where there is no vegetation so that no damage is done to the environment. As long as you’re careful about a few rules, horse riding up and down these rocky routes is nothing short of an escapade.

8. Fun-Ranger Led Programs

Throughout spring and fall, the Arches National Park offers a variety of Ranger-led programs with exciting and fun adventures. The good thing about accompanying rangers is that they make for excellent guides and can help you navigate your way without getting lost. This way, you’re less likely to get lost and can enjoy your trip to the hilt.

The schedule kicks off with a short, interactive program that explains the history of the Arches National Park. If you have curious kids who are in for some learning, then totally include this on your list! This is then followed by a ‘Guided Walk,’ which starts from the Windows Trailhead and lasts about an hour.

By evening, the team will begin the tour of the Devil’s Garden amphitheater. At this point, if you stay a bit longer, you can catch the glorious sky and enjoy some stargazing. The program also includes Fiery Furnace Hikes, which are a wonderful sport for kids who are 5 years and older.

And throughout the tour, the team entertains the visitors with art activities and fun games. If you’re looking for a comprehensive tour of the area and some fact-learning, then hop on to the ranger’s program!


Best Accommodations

The Arches National Park is huge, and you can easily find many lodgings that offer a scenic view of the arches while you sip your breakfast tea. While many are located in Moab town, you can always choose a hotel on the outskirts for the best view.

1. Farfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Moab

This is one of the best places to explore the Arches National Park. The hotel is only 5 minutes away. You might not want to leave this comfy and home-like hotel because of its endless amenities. This hotel offers an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi in every room, and a flat-screen TV to kill time before you head out to the park. It also offers a decent view of the rocks.

There’s also a fitness and business center that guests can use along with free parking. This place is an absolute favorite for solo travelers and is ideal for smaller families. With reasonable rates and quality customer service, the hotel is a wonderful place to stay away from home.

2. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab

If you’re looking for grander and more spacious lodgings, then head to the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab, which is located 19.3 km from the Landscape Arch. For a 3-star property, the hotel offers impressive facilities, including an outdoor pool, 24-hour front desk, and fitness center. The guests also have access to a hot tub and can enjoy scenic views from the comfort of their rooms. You can enjoy cycling, hiking, and horseback riding in and around Moab during your stay here. For tourists who are looking to visit the Delicate Arch and the Windows Section, this hotel is a great choice as all the rock formations are within a very short distance.

3. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab

This hotel is located in Moab, about 20.9 km from Landscape Arch and 17.7 km from Mesa Arch. The guests will always find a 24/7 help desk for any questions or guidance. The hotel features spacious family rooms that are ideal for 4-5 people at one time. All the guest rooms are air-conditioned and have a coffee machine, fridge, and flat-screen TV.

The area is incredibly popular for bike rental and cycling activities. You can also visit the Delicate Arch from here, which is 24.1 km from the hotel.

4. Moab Under Canvas

This is one of the closest hotels and is located only 8 miles from the Arches National Park. The place offers luxury tents for camping and stargazing, or you can also just opt for a basic tent to enjoy camp night. If you want to see the beauty of the desert once darkness falls, then this place is perfect. Enjoy smoky barbecues in your private patio and venture out to explore the trails on a rented bike! Moab Under Canvas also offers an unrivaled view of the arches and the rock formations.

While there are many lodgings to stay at, these were the 4 best recommendations that are super-reasonable and perfect for both solo travelers and families!


Safety Travelling Tips


Safety is a big concern when you are traveling. Trailing hikes as high as 600 feet is no joke, and it’s incredibly important to come prepared, or at best, with a professional guide. We’re not scaring you, but every year, the rangers rush to rescue individuals from accidents in the park.

You can expect a few minor scratches if you’ve set your mind on hiking the Arches. However, injuries are a big no-no and if you’re traveling with kids, then you need to abide by these safety precautions.

  • Wear Proper Footwear
  • The major part of your trip is going to involve lots of walking for miles on end. If you’re planning on hiking, then it’s even more important to put on well-crafted, stout sneakers. Never hike in boots or smooth-soled shoes as they can get stuck in the terrain, and that can cause an injurious fall. If you’re hiking during the colder months, then you should ideally wear traction devices on the shoes as the trails tend to get icy.
  • Rock Climbing
  • As adventurous as the sound of trekking the Delicate Arch is, these rocks are not meant for climbing. You shouldn’t be walking or scrambling directly on the arches or major rock formations, especially the Balanced Rock as they’re situated in a very dangerous place.
  • While hiking, it’s always easier to climb up. Therefore, during your climb, always make sure that you retrace the steps so that you don’t get lost. Avoid the hikes during rainy days as the sandstone can get super-slippery and dangerous when it is wet.
  • Protection from the Heat and Sun
  • The summers at the Arches National Park can be excruciatingly hot, so you should wear sun protection. Make sure you have plenty of water during your hikes as the climate gets drier the higher you climb.
  • Always wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing with sunshades and a hat for extra protection. Hiking should always be done in the evening or early morning. Mid-day is one of the worst times to climb up the rocks as the sun may burn your skin.
  • Stay Vary of Storms
  • Always study the weather forecasts before planning your trip. If the news says there might be a storm in the region, then stay in your hotel until the extreme weather subsides. You certainly don’t want to catch yourself hiking in the middle of a sudden storm. Some flash floods are also powerful and rather sudden. No matter what you encounter at the venue, your first call of action should be to return to your vehicle and drive back to the hotel.



Parting Words

The Arches National Park is a gift from God to the state of Utah. Herein you will discover arches in different color contrasts and gravity-defying rock formations that will take your breath away. Head over to the national park for an unforgettable experience. It is a great place to make wonderful memories and admire the best of what nature has to offer.

And, while you’re at it, make sure to take this guide with you in your escapade to make the most of your trip and to visit the best places. So what are you waiting for; it’s time to pack your bags and head out.

Safe Travels!

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Your Guide To The Arches National Park

Book AuthorGoglides
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Your Guide To The Arches National Park

Arches National Park: General Summary

The Arches National Park is a wonderland and a slice of pure heaven located in Utah, United States. Bordered by the breathtaking Colorado River towards the southeast, the place is home to more than 1500 naturally eye-catch sandstone arches. The Landscape Arch and the Delicate Arch are spectacular landscapes that locals and tourists are ever-ready to visit throughout the year. Some other famous attractions include the Balanced Rock, the Turret Arch, and the Double Arch towards the Windows Section.


Date of Establishment

The park was established on the 12th November, 1971. Originally a national monument regulated by the National Park Service, the area was later designated as an official national park on the given date. Now, the area receives nearly 1.6 million visitors each year, and they’re certainly growing annually.


Popular Season

According to the National Park Service, the best time to travel to this stunningly rare park starts from April all the way through May. While mid-September and the late October are also good periods, April actually marks the time when harsh winters have toned down and springtime arrives. The temperatures slowly begin to warm up and rather become pleasant in May, which is the perfect time to visit this red-rock wonder-world.


The Visitor’s Center

Open all-year round, the Arches Visitor Center is a wonderful building inviting locals, tourists, and travelers from all over the world to learn the geological and national history of the park. Every day of the week, the center is open to visitors from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The park is home to natural arches that have the highest density in the entire world. With so much to offer, let’s explore this spectacular red-rock magical land!


Introduction

The Arches National Park, located in eastern Utah, is known for its dark red rocks that make up most of the landscape. The park is nearly 76,679 acres of desert over the Colorado Plateau and is bordered by the river. While the lowest elevation is around 4,085 feet at the visitor’s center, the highest peak rises up to 5,653 feet right at Elephant Butte.

With only ten inches of rain annually, the national park doesn’t receive much rain. However, the initial months of the year, especially April and May, are ideal times to enjoy the arches and capture beautiful sunsets against the azure sky.

If you think the Rocky Mountain National Park was nature’s best wonder in Colorado, then it’s time to re-think. Anyone who has been to the Arches National Park even once certifies that they’ve seen nothing like it. If you’re a fan of miraculously formed geological wonders and peaks with exotic hues, then this is the place to visit for a memorable vacation.

Since most of the park’s landscape is actually a desert, you can’t enjoy the spirit of the national heritage during extreme winters and summers. During summers, it is difficult to hike and climb as the temperature can reach to scorching extremes – as high as 100 degrees. On the other hand, severe winters, usually in the beginning of the year, are the least visited times because the temperature falls dramatically low. It is best to visit the park in the middle of the year.

Arches National Park is also known for its gorgeous plant life that engulfs the entire landscape. You can find Utah junipers, verdant-green moss, prickly pear cacti, and pinyon pine here. There are also many different kinds of grasses that simply can’t be seen anywhere else in the world, so if you’re a plant lover, you will definitely fall for this place. As mentioned before, the region is known for its unique colors and light snow showers. The snow resting over the bright red mountains is extremely picturesque.

With naturally occurring and rare arches, giant balanced rocks, soaring pinnacles, and humongous fins, the Arches National Park is a magnificent sight to behold. The sunsets have been a popular reason why so many tourists flock to this park to catch glimpses of the intense amber beams of the sun. The picturesque scenery is sure to inspire you. But wait! That’s not all there is.

This park offers delightful opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, camping, rock-climbing, and of course, star-gazing. With endless attractions to offer, your visit to the Arches national park might just be the life-giving, inspiring, and refreshing trip you’ve been looking for all this time.

Let’s delve into the world of unique rock formations and see how they add to the great heritage sites of our world!


A Brief History

Home to more than 2,000 naturally-occurring sandstone arches, the Arches National Park is a beautiful mesh of pinnacles, red-rock canyons, and giant stone bluffs that will simply take your breath away. The national park has exciting sporting activities that allow you to travel through these rock formations, and marvel at its history.

The park was initially a national monument and was officially declared as a national park on 12th November 1971 by none other than President Nixon. Since then it has been free to access for the public and has received millions of tourists each year. But, its history is more interesting than you think.

The landscape was home to Native American groups who lived here thousands of years ago. In fact, Homosapiens have inhabited the region since the last Ice Age. Once occupied by ancestral Puebloans, Ute and Paiute tribes, and European Americans, the park has a rich history. Eventually, during the mid-1800s, farmers, ranchers, and prospectors settled in, and soon enough, everyone found out about red-rock’s magnificent beauty. For this reason, the Arches National Park has been a popular tourist attraction since ages.

It was Frank A. Wadleigh – traffic manager of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad – who shed light on preserving the rock formations as a national heritage site. Accompanied by his companions, Wadleigh visited the park in 1923 with the intent to explore the rock formations as a tourist attraction. He had discovered the scenic area, which he later named the Devils Garden. His intention was later suggested to the Park Service director – Stephen T. Mather, and the national park was signed off as a national monument. The name “Arches” was given by Frank Pinkely, who was inspired after he visited the Windows Section during 1925.

By 1929, President Herbert Hoover signed a proclamation, marking all the rock formations falling under the Arches National monument. The intent behind this was to protect and preserve the giant balanced rocks, arches, and spires that were too beautiful and stunning to be wasted away. In 1938, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed another declaration that expanded the area, specifically the huge Arches, within the national park zone. Fast forward to 1971, President Nixon signed the official legislation, declaring the monument as the official Arches National Park.


Geological Formation

The park actually sits on top of a unique salt bed that went through severe climate changes centuries ago. All the debris carried with the ocean, floods, and naturally-occurring streams joined to form rock formations. These big rocks eventually pushed the land upwards into dome-shaped formations as well as downwards, resembling hollow pockets. The place also shows geological evidence of petrified lakes that once existed but now have dried up. As a result, the landscape changed into vertical arches. The rock layers that stood the test of the time are, in fact, the ones we see today.

One of the most popular arches in the region is the Delicate Arch. Known for its exotic beauty, the arch is quite safely the most well-known symbol of Utah. It’s actually inscribed on the license plates and the U.S. Postage stamps. Another famous spot is the Landscape Arch – a delicately woven rocky landscape running as long as 290 ft. Other firm rocky formations like the Fiery Furnace, tail sandstone fins, and the Courthouse Towers are all attention-grabbing, stunning landscapes to admire. The Colorado Plateau is a blessed place that should definitely be on your bucket list.

The park is full of popular hikes that are the perfect vacation spots during spring-time. Whether it’s the sandstone fins in the Devil’s Garden or a pleasant walk exploring the Broken Arch, the place is over-flowing with gorgeous and scenic views. With so much left to explore at the Arches National Park, let’s talk about how you should plan your itinerary.


Planning Your Itinerary

We’ve already discussed above that the Arches National Park is known for its humongous arches, sandstone tails, and solid rock formations. Hence, there’s no doubt that the major chunk of the itinerary will involve touring and exploring these landscapes.


Visit during Popular Seasons

As a vacation spot that is laden with stunning geology, the best time to appreciate its natural beauty is when the sky is clear.

Hence, before sorting out the places you should be visiting, you need to make sure the weather doesn’t betray you. The best time to visit the park is during April May, Mid-September, and late October, which are the times the park receives the biggest crowds from all around the world. Over one million people –locals and tourists – visit the park annually and almost everyone wishes to see the huge arches and major views, especially the Delicate Arch. Hence, the most temperate seasons to visit are fall and spring. Make sure you visit the place somewhere around this time to truly enjoy the geological wonders of Arches national park.


The Delicate Arch

The park is an incredibly popular place that will leave a lasting impression on you. If the weather cooperates, there is so much to see and enjoy, especially the breathtaking night sky over the Delicate Arch. However you plan your trip, make sure the Delicate Arch is the highlight of your time spent there. This might just be one of your most memorable experiences as you tread through the Utah road trip.

Now here’s another thing you ought to know about your national park vacation. The place welcomes scores of tourists, avid travelers, and vacationers every single year. So, there’s a huge chance that you might not get a chance to visit most of it in your plan.

The crowds at the national park can be thick and difficult to avoid. Tens of thousands of people come here with their iconic selfie-sticks and cameras to take pictures. The park is a natural habitat and a heritage site, which can only be enjoyed with the surrounding environment. However, amongst the hustle and bustle, it can be hard to navigate your way and find a desirable spot to admire the arches and the rocky formations.

Hence, a quick tip is to take extra time out on a few days to stay well past the sunset. This is when enthusiastic crowds start leaving and the place clears up for the latecomers to enjoy. This is especially helpful if you’re visiting in the Summers.

The heat in the Moab area can be intolerably scorching during the day— hence, colder periods in the night are a good choice. Plus, you and your family can enjoy the magnificent stargazing that tourists rave about. If you’re planning for a hiking trip, schedule it for the early morning hours, ideally before 10 am or during the evening to avoid the searing heat during mid-day.


How Long Should You Spend at the Arches?

Visitors are allowed to spend the entire day at the park. However, if you’re short on time, spending 2-3 hours is good enough to cover most of the popular arches. Although the national park is open 24/7, the ideal time to visit is between 7 am – 7 pm. You can also schedule a day-long trip during the weekends.


The Best Hikes and Arches to See

You don’t get to experience the spectacular ranges and arches every day when you wake up. So, when you do, make sure you have your camera with you. Photography is one of the most popular hobbies in this region because the scenery is simply breathtaking. The first attraction that you should ideally start your trip with is:


The Delicate Arch

There are three ways to view the arch, which makes it possible for people of all ages and conditions to enjoy the view. You can see the arch from the Lower Viewpoint, which is located about 100 yards from the main parking lot or the Upper View Point, which is a short, steady climb to the Arch. However, these viewpoints may not produce the best pictures of the symbol of Utah. So, the third way to view the arch is through the Delicate Arch hike that begins at Wolfe Ranch. No matter how you see it, hiking is the best way to recognize and capture the beauty of the arches. Although it will be a challenging 3-mile roundtrip, once you reach the top, all your efforts will be worth it. Plus, if you get out during the evening, you’ll get a chance to enjoy the endearing sunsets and the stargazing. If you really want to make the most of the trip, hiking on the arch is the way to go. If you’re climbing with kids, it’ll take about an hour to reach the top at a steady pace. If you think you can do it quicker, you might reach it even quicker.


Windows Section

The Windows Section will take you around 30-60 minutes, depending on your medium of travel and what time you get out. It’s only a mile-long road trip that will land you at the most picturesque views of the Arches National park.

Travel through the Turret Arch and taste the salty air towards the North Window arch. Make sure to explore both the south and north areas as much as you can, but do not skip the Double Arch. You can actually sit underneath the arches and gaze at the stars once night falls. The view is simply breathtaking.


Landscape Arch

Your hike trip to this arch will last around an hour as it is fairly long (about 1.6 miles). Initially, there was a flat trail that led straight up to the Landscape Arch, but it crumbled in 1992. A major chunk of the section had fallen off, nearly toppling the whole arch. Hence, you should plan a trip to the Landscape arch only if you are a professional hiker or have guides with you. It will be a tough journey.


Balanced Rock

The Balanced Rock is a massive piece of rock that teeters over a pillar. From the parking lot, the roundtrip is 0.3 miles long and will take you 15-20 minutes to reach the destination.


Park Avenue Viewpoint

For this gorgeous place, you won’t need to hike any trail here. You can easily enjoy the best scenery from the paved viewpoint. A good time to visit is during the afternoon or evening as there are fewer crowds.

So, now that we’ve covered the most important places to cover in your trip, let’s go tick off some essentials you simply can’t do without. When visiting the Arches, make sure you have:

  • A camera
  • A tripod
  • Water and snacks (Make sure you do get plenty of water because the facility is only available at Devils Garden Trailhead and Visitor Center)
  • Lots of sunscreen
  • Hats and sunglasses for shades
  • Picnic essentials
  • Flood Lights (to enjoy night photography)

With that out of the way, it’s time to discuss the top vacation spots to visit at the Arches National Park.


The Top Attractions at Arches National Park

You probably have a fair idea of the famous places you need to cover in your trip. However, the Delicate Arch and the Window Sections were just the tip of the iceberg. Arches National Park is a heavenly place that hides some of nature’s toughest rock formations that will simply leave you in awe. It’s the ideal place for an adventurer to survey and make memories at. Before actually exploring a national park, we always advise our avid readers and travelers to pay a visit to the Visitor Center so that they are well-informed about all the famous landmarks. Here too, your journey should ideally begin from the same place.

1. Arches Visitor Center

The Arches Visitor Center is open every day of the week, except on the 25th of December. Although the hours vary by season, during the day is a safe time to visit no matter what month it is. However, the park is extremely crowded in March and October from 8 am to 3 pm. So, if you want to enjoy a peaceful time at the Visitor Center, then you can choose a time during early morning or after 3 pm.

The place is fully supplied with state-of-the-art restroom facilities, water, and outdoor exhibits. This is a great opportunity for you to learn about the history, political facts, and well-known sites about the Arches National Park. The exhibits display photographs and souvenirs that you can carry back home as memories. It will give you a great overview of the park and you can even spend some time at the famous gift shop. For people who are anxious about hiking or exploring the Arches, the Visitor Center offers a great ice-breaking session to help you ease into the environment. This is also the right place to fill up all your water bottles as the road trip will be strenuous. You will find at your disposal a team of extremely helpful and hospitable Rangers who will brief you about your road trip. All in all, the Visitor Center is the ideal place to start this journey.

2. Balanced Rock

Also referred to as the “teetering giant” or “precarious boulder”, the Balanced Rock is one of the most iconic geological formations at the Arches National Park. Standing tall and beautiful at a striking height of 128 ft, the rock boulder sits on the eroding pedestal of Dewey Bridge mudstone. You might think that this rock formation defies gravity, but soon enough, the 4 million kg boulder is going to come crashing down as part of the natural erosion process. But until then, this is the best time to witness this astonishing giant rock.

3. Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers

A major attraction at the Arches National Park, the Park Avenue trail is a beloved spot for avid hikers. It is a one-mile trail that hides some gigantic monoliths in its path. You might have also heard of the Courthouse towers that are a part of this mysteriously beautiful strip. The Three Gossips, Queen Victoria Rock, Queen Nefertiti, the Organ, and the Tower of Babel are also other life-size wonders that are often photographed. All of these rock formations begin to appear during your drive up towards the Delicate Arch and the Balanced Rock.

However, viewing that from afar will not do justice to these natural wonders. You must pack a bag and hike through them to relish their magnificent beauty. About 2.5 miles north from the Arches Visitor Center is the lower trailhead. This is a perfect spot for beginners to practice their hiking skills and flex a little for the harder trails ahead.

From the parking lot, you will find a paved walkway that leads to a Viewpoint, which is located 320 feet away. From there onwards, you will find a solid trail that heads straight down to the Courthouse Towers Parking Lot. These are massive towers made of sandstone that will take your breath away at first glance. The Arches National Park is certainly a place for the adventurer. The Courthouse towers have spires that resemble soaring sky-scrapers

– some of them are around 600 feet tall. You will definitely not want to miss this on your trip!

4. Devil’s Garden

The real adventure awaits here. Devil’ Garden is God’s ode to the wild beauty of nature. For thrill-seekers, hikers, and trailers looking to take their expedition up a notch, here you’ll find spectacular spires, arches, and endless narrow rock walls referred to as “fins”. The Devil’s Garden is an ideal place for stargazing, backpacking, camping, and of course, hiking for every skill level.

The place is located about 18 miles north from the Visitor Center – a drive that will take you at least 40-45 minutes. If you think you’ve seen just about every rock formation, then you are in for a treat. The Devil’s Garden has the most enchanting geology.

The Landscape Arch, also known as the crown jewel of Devil’s Garden, is the longest of its kind in all of North America. With an opening of 93.3 meters and an expanse that is 6 ft. in diameter, this arch is the narrowest and the tallest arch in the region.

It was in the late 1990s, when huge segments of the arch fell off, leaving behind the remaining rock formation that we know now. This arch is proof that nature is incredibly volatile, unpredictable, and breathtakingly beautiful.

The Landscape Arch is actually one of the easiest hikes to cover. So, if you’re looking for something more challenging, then head beyond towards the Double O Arch known for its steep climbs and humongous sandstone fins. The footing gets rocky, so only someone with decent hiking skills should attempt at climbing this one. The ledges are narrow and end towards steep drop-offs. However, the journey is unrivaled in its excitement and thrill. All in all, the place is a great spot for some adventures with your friends and family!

5. Delicate Arche and Wolf Ranch

Now, let’s discuss the most-awaited natural wonder; the Delicate Arche is known as the visual symbol of Utah. A brief glance at this unique rock formation will leave you in awe of the delicate balance and fragility with which the rock remains erect. Towering as high as 80 ft., this arch will certainly remain the highlight of your trip.

As the most photographed arch in the world, it delicately rests on top of the humongous Entrada Sandstone formation. Offering a dramatic view of the entire park, the arch is located 11.7 miles from the entrance of the park. Once you reach the Delicate Arch and Wolfe Ranch turn-off, turn right and continue for another 1.2 miles towards the trailhead parking area. You will have to come in early as the parking lot quickly fills up by afternoon. If you’re planning a day-long picnic and hiking activities, then we’d advise you to arrive before 9 am.

At the beginning of the Delicate Arch sits the famous Wolfe Ranch. If the traces of ancient human civilizations intrigue you, then the Wolfe Ranch is the best spot to explore. Also called the Turnbow Cabin, as this is where the old one bedroom cabin is located, the place has an interesting history. A man named John Wolfe suffered from a nagging leg injury from the Civil war after which he left his family back in Ohio to look for a drier climate. He set out with his oldest son and together, they found a property here, which came to be known as the humble Wolfe’s cabin. And, to witness some more historical incidents beyond Wolfe Ranch, you can easily find one of the earliest human activities in the region. There is a modern bridge that crosses the Salt Wash, where you will see the Ute rock art portraying a stylized horse with a rider, dog-like animals, and a bighorn sheep. These figures can actually be dated back to somewhere between 1650 and 1850 BC.

Of course, this panel is extremely integral to the Native Americans in the area, as it was carved by their esteemed ancestors. Moving beyond the Utel Panel, you will find yourself on a trail that leads you straight to the Delicate Arch.

However, if you don’t plan on hiking, you can still enjoy the arch view by returning to the Wolfe Ranch parking lot and by heading a mile down to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint.

6. The Windows Section

According to the National Park Service, the Windows Section is the “beating heart” of the Arches National Park. Here you will find the largest concentration of breathtaking arches, including the North Window, Double Arch, and the Turret Arch. You can easily locate all these rocky formations just beyond two square miles of your journey.

Other notable features here are the Parade of Elephants, Garden of Eden, and the Elephant Butte. The arches are extremely detailed and intricate in their beauty, impelling the viewer to wonder about the mysterious precision in nature. Formed by the cutting action of aggressive wind-blown sand, the arches at Windows Section are beautiful yet mind-boggling.

Here, you can enjoy sightseeing, hiking, day-long picnics, and of course, aesthetic photography. Start your journey by strolling to the Double Arch, which is a brief walk that lasts around 20-30 minutes. These arches are massive in size and join together at one end, leading to their well-known title. In fact, the Double Arch is the second largest arch over here. If you want to skip the walk, you can also enjoy its view right from the parking lot. From the Windows Trailhead, you can easily navigate your way towards the Turret Arch and the North and South Window. It is truly a scenic and intriguing sight to behold.

In order to get there, you will have to drive 9.2 miles towards the Arches Entrance Road. After passing by Balanced Rock, the road will lead you to the Windows Section of the park. Follow the route for another 2.7 miles to reach the Windows Trail, from where you can access the Turret Arch and North and South Windows. Don’t forget to take pictures of the Parade of Elephants rock spires!

7. Horseback Riding at Seven Mile Canyon

Looking for something that is as exhilarating as hiking? It’s time for some horseback riding at the Seven Mile Canyon. Yes, horses are permitted in the Arches, and if your wildest plans include exploring a city on the back of a horse, then this is your moment! The South Fork of Seven Mile Canyon is located off of Highway 313 near Moab, Utah. Here you will find many pictograph and petroglyph sites that can be traced back to the Archaic Period. The canyon is an easy hike and a great place to enjoy some horse riding. However, horses can only be ridden in a few areas and during certain times of the day only.

You can ride at the Seven Mile Canyon, the Delicate Arch road, and the Courthouse Wash because of their roadless areas. According to management, only the use of pack animals is allowed here, which includes horses, burros, and mules. The maximum group size that can travel at one time is 10 persons and 10 pack animals.

Circle round the canyon strip and feel the pleasant winds caress your face at this spot. However, be careful not to litter and pick up horse manure before leaving the place. You may only stall your horse at a specific place where there is no vegetation so that no damage is done to the environment. As long as you’re careful about a few rules, horse riding up and down these rocky routes is nothing short of an escapade.

8. Fun-Ranger Led Programs

Throughout spring and fall, the Arches National Park offers a variety of Ranger-led programs with exciting and fun adventures. The good thing about accompanying rangers is that they make for excellent guides and can help you navigate your way without getting lost. This way, you’re less likely to get lost and can enjoy your trip to the hilt.

The schedule kicks off with a short, interactive program that explains the history of the Arches National Park. If you have curious kids who are in for some learning, then totally include this on your list! This is then followed by a ‘Guided Walk,’ which starts from the Windows Trailhead and lasts about an hour.

By evening, the team will begin the tour of the Devil’s Garden amphitheater. At this point, if you stay a bit longer, you can catch the glorious sky and enjoy some stargazing. The program also includes Fiery Furnace Hikes, which are a wonderful sport for kids who are 5 years and older.

And throughout the tour, the team entertains the visitors with art activities and fun games. If you’re looking for a comprehensive tour of the area and some fact-learning, then hop on to the ranger’s program!


Best Accommodations

The Arches National Park is huge, and you can easily find many lodgings that offer a scenic view of the arches while you sip your breakfast tea. While many are located in Moab town, you can always choose a hotel on the outskirts for the best view.

1. Farfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Moab

This is one of the best places to explore the Arches National Park. The hotel is only 5 minutes away. You might not want to leave this comfy and home-like hotel because of its endless amenities. This hotel offers an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi in every room, and a flat-screen TV to kill time before you head out to the park. It also offers a decent view of the rocks.

There’s also a fitness and business center that guests can use along with free parking. This place is an absolute favorite for solo travelers and is ideal for smaller families. With reasonable rates and quality customer service, the hotel is a wonderful place to stay away from home.

2. SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab

If you’re looking for grander and more spacious lodgings, then head to the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Moab, which is located 19.3 km from the Landscape Arch. For a 3-star property, the hotel offers impressive facilities, including an outdoor pool, 24-hour front desk, and fitness center. The guests also have access to a hot tub and can enjoy scenic views from the comfort of their rooms. You can enjoy cycling, hiking, and horseback riding in and around Moab during your stay here. For tourists who are looking to visit the Delicate Arch and the Windows Section, this hotel is a great choice as all the rock formations are within a very short distance.

3. Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab

This hotel is located in Moab, about 20.9 km from Landscape Arch and 17.7 km from Mesa Arch. The guests will always find a 24/7 help desk for any questions or guidance. The hotel features spacious family rooms that are ideal for 4-5 people at one time. All the guest rooms are air-conditioned and have a coffee machine, fridge, and flat-screen TV.

The area is incredibly popular for bike rental and cycling activities. You can also visit the Delicate Arch from here, which is 24.1 km from the hotel.

4. Moab Under Canvas

This is one of the closest hotels and is located only 8 miles from the Arches National Park. The place offers luxury tents for camping and stargazing, or you can also just opt for a basic tent to enjoy camp night. If you want to see the beauty of the desert once darkness falls, then this place is perfect. Enjoy smoky barbecues in your private patio and venture out to explore the trails on a rented bike! Moab Under Canvas also offers an unrivaled view of the arches and the rock formations.

While there are many lodgings to stay at, these were the 4 best recommendations that are super-reasonable and perfect for both solo travelers and families!


Safety Travelling Tips


Safety is a big concern when you are traveling. Trailing hikes as high as 600 feet is no joke, and it’s incredibly important to come prepared, or at best, with a professional guide. We’re not scaring you, but every year, the rangers rush to rescue individuals from accidents in the park.

You can expect a few minor scratches if you’ve set your mind on hiking the Arches. However, injuries are a big no-no and if you’re traveling with kids, then you need to abide by these safety precautions.

  • Wear Proper Footwear
  • The major part of your trip is going to involve lots of walking for miles on end. If you’re planning on hiking, then it’s even more important to put on well-crafted, stout sneakers. Never hike in boots or smooth-soled shoes as they can get stuck in the terrain, and that can cause an injurious fall. If you’re hiking during the colder months, then you should ideally wear traction devices on the shoes as the trails tend to get icy.
  • Rock Climbing
  • As adventurous as the sound of trekking the Delicate Arch is, these rocks are not meant for climbing. You shouldn’t be walking or scrambling directly on the arches or major rock formations, especially the Balanced Rock as they’re situated in a very dangerous place.
  • While hiking, it’s always easier to climb up. Therefore, during your climb, always make sure that you retrace the steps so that you don’t get lost. Avoid the hikes during rainy days as the sandstone can get super-slippery and dangerous when it is wet.
  • Protection from the Heat and Sun
  • The summers at the Arches National Park can be excruciatingly hot, so you should wear sun protection. Make sure you have plenty of water during your hikes as the climate gets drier the higher you climb.
  • Always wear light colored, loose-fitting clothing with sunshades and a hat for extra protection. Hiking should always be done in the evening or early morning. Mid-day is one of the worst times to climb up the rocks as the sun may burn your skin.
  • Stay Vary of Storms
  • Always study the weather forecasts before planning your trip. If the news says there might be a storm in the region, then stay in your hotel until the extreme weather subsides. You certainly don’t want to catch yourself hiking in the middle of a sudden storm. Some flash floods are also powerful and rather sudden. No matter what you encounter at the venue, your first call of action should be to return to your vehicle and drive back to the hotel.



Parting Words

The Arches National Park is a gift from God to the state of Utah. Herein you will discover arches in different color contrasts and gravity-defying rock formations that will take your breath away. Head over to the national park for an unforgettable experience. It is a great place to make wonderful memories and admire the best of what nature has to offer.

And, while you’re at it, make sure to take this guide with you in your escapade to make the most of your trip and to visit the best places. So what are you waiting for; it’s time to pack your bags and head out.

Safe Travels!