Arches National Park is one of the 5 national parks in Utah and offers those who visit it a unique landscape – a red-rock heaven with more than 2,000 natural stone arches, huge balanced rocks, and gorgeous hiking trails. You can spend a few hours or a few days here. You can choose to enjoy sunrise or sunset, but you’ll definitely be amazed by the remarkable beauty of the surrounding scenery. Keep reading this guide to find all the information and tips you’ll need to plan a trip to visit Arches National Park.
Where is Arches National Park
Arches National Park is located in the southeast part of the state of Utah, 5 miles away from the city of Moab.
How to get to Arches National Park
The best way to get to Arches National Park is by car. If you are not in Utah, you can fly to Salt Lake City, rent a car, and then drive 230 miles to Moab.
Now, if you want to visit the park while on a road trip from other cities and locations in the Southwest, here are the main distances:
- Salt Lake City, UT to Arches National Park: 230 miles
- Phoenix, AZ to Arches National Park: 470 miles
- Las Vegas, NV to Arches National Park: 460 miles
- Grand Canyon National Park (south rim) to Arches National Park: 420 miles
- Zion National Park to Arches National Park: 340 miles
- Bryce Canyon National Park to Arches National Park: 245 miles
- Capitol Reef National Park to Arches National Park: 130 miles
- Denver, CO to Arches National Park: 360 miles
Places to stay near Arches National Park
You’ll find plenty of hotels near Arches National Park, all of them in the city of Moab. Here are a few options for consideration:
How much is the entrance to the park
The seven-day pass to the Arches National Park costs US$ 30 per vehicle, US$ 15 per person, and US$ 25 per motorcycle. It allows you to access the park for up to 7 consecutive days.
If you are planning on visiting other national parks in Utah or in the US in general, you should consider getting the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. This pass costs US$ 80 and allows you to visit all of the national parks you want during a 12-month period (starting from the date of purchase).
Things to do in Arches National Park
It’s not a coincidence as to how Arches National Park got its name: there are more than 2,000 natural arches in the park varying in size, length, and color. So, your day(s) here will be filled contemplating these marvelous nature’s creation.
If you want to do a moderate hike that will lead you to the most beautiful arch in the park, then you should definitely check out Delicate Arch (3 miles round-trip).
For an easier activity, but still allowing you to enjoy Arches National Park, you can drive along the scenic road and stop at the many viewpoints – some of them even have short hikes/stroll you can take. With time, make sure to check the Windows and Devil’s Garden areas where you’ll find the wonderful Double Arch and the impressive Landscape Arch, respectively.
Also, Arches National Park was certified as an international dark sky park, which makes it the perfect place for stargazing or astrophotography.
Want to know more about things to do in the park? Read a complete post with the best hikes in Arches National Park.
How long to stay in Arches National Park
If you are up for it, you can visit Arches National Park in one day – wake up early to hike Delicate Arch, return to complete the scenic drive, and stop to do the hikes at the Windows and Devil’s Garden areas.
However, if you want to have more time and see everything calmly, you can plan on spending 2 days at Arches National Park.
If you want to combine Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park (near one another), be sure to add extra time to visit both and take into account the drive between the parks.
Weather and best time to visit the park
Summer in Arches National Park can be pretty hot, with the thermometers reaching 1000 F, while Winter can be cold with highs averaging 30 to 500 F, and lows averaging 0 to 200 F. Given this, Spring and Fall are the best time to visit the park.
Although open year-round, Arches National Park can get pretty busy between March and October, especially between 8 am and 3 pm. I was in the park at the beginning of November and it was perfect – it was cold during the morning, but very warm throughout the day. Besides this, it wasn’t very crowded at all.
Places to eat in Moab
There are no restaurants inside Arches National Park, but you’ll find many places to eat in Moab.
My favorite places to eat in Moab are the wonderful Moab Dinner and the delicious food truck Quesadilla Mobilla. For a coffee break, try Moab Coffee Roaster or Love Muffin Café. Plus, if you want some beer, head to Moab Brewery.
Where to go from Arches National Park
Nearby Arches National Park, 26 miles from it to be more specific, you’ll find Canyonlands National Park, where you’ll also be able to hike and drive the scenic route, stopping at the various viewpoints along the way.
If you make your way to Canyonlands, then add Dead Horse Point State Park to your itinerary, since it is another attraction near Arches National Park.
You can also take the opportunity to visit Monument Valley from Arches National Park, as both are separated by (only) 160 miles.
If you want to visit another national park, Capitol Reef is a close alternative and is located 130 miles from Arches National Park.
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