Arches National Park lies north of Moab in the state of Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, it’s known as the site of more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches
Address : Utah, United States
Arches National Park is a wonderland of desert vistas, short hiking trails, strange rock formations, and you guessed it, arches.
Hours : Open 24 hour
Not only will you find over 2,000 arches here, but you will also see hoodoos, fins of sandstone rocks, massive mesas, and balanced rocks. Here are the best things to do in Arches National Park.
Phone : +1 435-719-2299
The first time I visited Arches was in 1996. I was only 22 years old and it was my first visit out west. I was literally awestruck by the beauty here.
Established : 12 April 1929
One year later, in 1997, I returned with Tim…I just had to share this magical place with him. We day tripped out to Arches, taking a break from skiing in Colorado.
Area : 310.3 km²
It was the last week in December and Arches NP was a very quiet spot. In fact, we had Delicate Arch all to ourselves. How times have changed.
Visitors : 1,238,083 (in 2020)
Management : National Park Service
ARCHES SCENIC DRIVE
There is one road that travels through Arches National Park and that is Arches Scenic Drive. It is 19 miles in length, from Highway 191 to the Devils Garden trailhead in the back of the park.
This short, easy hike wanders past massive rock formations such as the Three Gossips and the Courthouse Towers. There are no arches but it is still a wonderful walk.
LA SAL MOUNTAINS VIEWPOINT
This is the first viewpoint you will come to as you drive into Arches NP. Again, there are no arches in view but you do get a 360° panoramic view not only of the park but also of the La Sal Mountains off in the distance.
This famous rock formation is a must-see. You drive right past it on the main road but it is worth pulling over for a quick visit. There is a small parking lot and from here you can walk around Balanced Rock for an up-close view.
THE WINDOWS AND TURRET ARCH
On this short hike you get to see three very cool arches: North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. These arches are connected by one hiking trail. To get to Turret Arch, take the spur trail just a short distance.
It may look small from a distance but these arches are massive. In fact, Double Arch is the tallest arch in the park. It is a short walk to get here and this is one of the few places where you can climb on the rocks under the arch.
GARDEN OF EDEN
This is worth the quick stop to see these knobby hoodoos and sandstone rock formations. Just before you reach the Garden of Eden, there is a pull-out for a panoramic view of the Windows and Turret Arches against the backdrop of the La Sal Mountains.