In just two days, it’s possible to see the main attractions of Arches National Park – Delicate Arch, Double Arch, Landscape Arch, and more. With this in mind, here are two sample itineraries to guide you to the best experience in Arches National Park.
Arches National Park Itinerary – Option 1 (with sunset at Delicate Arch)
On your first day in Arches National Park, arrive early to avoid long lines at the entrance (around 8 am, but before 10 am).
Once inside the park, pay a visit to the Visitor Center to get the map and newspaper of the park, your park’s passport stamp, and learn about the trail conditions.
Then, head on to Double Arch, where a quick and easy walk (˜0.5 mile) will take you to this massive arch with alien aspect and impressive features. Once done with Double Arch, cross the parking lot to visit The Windows, an area with two arches forming the frame of two neighboring windows (North and South), and Turret Arch, the smaller arch in the area but still a remarkable free-standing arch.
Grab a snack for lunch (either in your car or picnic area) and, in the afternoon, make your way to Delicate Arch (˜3 miles) for sunset. Bring lots of water, a headlamp, and the offline GPS coordinates/map to help navigate the way back.
On your second day, go on an easy hike to Landscape Arch (˜2 miles) with the possibility to extend to a more strenuous one to Double O Arch (˜4 miles) if you feel adventurous to climb over sandstone fins.
Then, spend your afternoon cruising along the Scenic Drive and stopping off at its many lookouts. Along the Scenic Drive of Arches National Park, don’t forget to stop by, either for its short hikes or amazing views, at Balanced Rock, La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, Park Avenue Viewpoint, Sand Dune Arch, and Skyline Arch.
SUMMARY ITINERARY 1 – ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
- Arches Itinerary Day 1: Double Arch, The Windows, Turret Arch, and Delicate Arch.
- Arches Itinerary Day 2: Landscape Arch, Double O Arch, and Scenic Drive.
Arches National Park Itinerary – Option 2 (with sunrise at Delicate Arch)
Now here’s your itinerary if you’re an early bird and want to visit Delicate Arch for sunrise.
On your first day, like the previous itinerary, start by going to the visitor center to get the map and newspaper of the park, your park’s passport stamp, and learn about trail conditions.
Then, get used to the park’s scenery by going on an easy hike to Landscape Arch (˜2 miles) with the possibility to extend to a more strenuous one to Double O Arch (˜4 miles).
Next, spend your afternoon cruising along the Scenic Drive and stopping at its many lookouts, where a few must-see spots are Balanced Rock, La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, Park Avenue Viewpoint, Sand Dune Arch, and Skyline Arch.
Finally, start your second day in Arches by going on a moderate hike to Delicate Arch (˜3 miles). Any time between 3.30 am and 4 am should be good to start the hike. Be sure to carry plenty of water, a headlamp, and the offline GPS coordinates/map to help navigate your way along the trail before the sun comes up. Also, don’t rush – spend some time taking in the beautiful sunrise and surrounding landscape.
Then in the afternoon, visit the unique Double Arch on a quick short walk from the parking lot (˜0.5 mile). Once done with Double Arch, go to the other side of the road to look at The Windows and Turret Arch.
SUMMARY ITINERARY 2 – ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
- Arches Itinerary Day 1: Landscape Arch, Double O Arch, and Scenic Drive.
- Arches Itinerary Day 2: Delicate Arch Double Arch, The Windows, and Turret Arch.
Best tips for you Arches National Park Itinerary
- There are no restaurants inside the park, so pack a picnic for lunch.
- Bring sun protection.
- Plan on arriving at the park before 10 am.
Arches Itinerary FAQ
HOW MANY DAYS DO YOU NEED IN ARCHES NATIONAL PARK?
With one day in Arches, you can see the highlights of the park, but it’ll be busy, especially if you’re planning on seeing both Double O Arch and Delicate Arch that are longer hikes. One day and a half would be the minimum, and with two days you can fully enjoy the park.
If you want to visit Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse State Park, both attractions that are around 25 miles from Arches National Park, add one extra day to your itinerary.
IS DELICATE ARCH BETTER AT SUNRISE OR SUNSET?
The best time to photograph Delicate Arch is at sunset. However, sunset is also a busy time at the arch. So, if you want to beat the crowds and escape the “line” for photos, I strongly recommend sunrise.
I went to Delicate Arch for sunrise and I don’t regret waking up early to go.
ARCHES OR CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK?
Though Mesa Arch in Canyonlands reminds the arches found in Arches National Park, the view in Canyonlands is unique and worth a visit, even if just for a few hours.
Add at least half a day of your itinerary to pop by Canyonlands and see Mesa Arch and cruise along the Scenic Drive to see some of the viewpoints at the park.
Need a personalized National Parks’ Itinerary? Get in touch with me!
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