ARCHES AT A GLANCE:
Arches is a very ‘wild west’ looking park with red rock outcroppings all over the 76 acres. This National Park is pretty self explanatory. The main thing you will see? Arches. Lots of them. In fact, there are more than 2,000 natural stone arches in this park!
The great thing about this park is that it is all pretty accessible. There are many scenic drives and viewpoints that you can drive up to. If you don’t want to hike a lot, you don’t have to. It’s a nice reprieve from hiking if you are seeing a lot of the parks in one trip. But don’t get me wrong, you can definitely still hike here.
How long do I need here?
1/2 day-1 day. We spent half a day here and managed to get to most of the viewpoint that were open and go on a few short hikes.
WHAT TO SEE:
PARK AVENUE VIEWPOINT
This is kind of like the money shot of viewpoints at Arches. This viewpoint is easy to walk up to and snap a shot before moving onwards. You can also take the steps down and hike into the valley between the rocks.
DEVIL’S GARDEN (LANDSCAPE ARCH)
This was the longest hike that we went on and it was only about 1.5 miles. It’s a moderately easy hike through beautiful rocks and landscape until you reach the landscape arch. The landscape arch is North America’s longest arch and I’d say get here soon before something happens to it. At one point you were allowed to walk up to it, but as of now, you can only admire it from a distance.
This is one of the most popular sections as it is easy to drive up to and walk around the rocks. However, it was closed when we were here and we were only able to look from afar. Here you can see some of the largest arches and the double arch.
The Delicate Arch is one of the most famous and there are several ways to see it. The Lower Viewpoint lets you view it from afar–the walkway is 100 yards away, flat and wheel chair accessible. The Upper Viewpoint gets you a little closer–the trail is a half mile moderately difficult, uphill hike. To get up close and personal, take the 3 mile hike right up to the arch–the trail is marked ‘difficult’ with elevation, no shade and slick rock. (My picture is from the Upper Viewpoint.)
I didn’t really remember seeing this but apparently I took a picture from the road as it is only .3 miles away. It’s an easy walk and you can walk right up to the base.
LA SAL MOUNTAINS VIEWPOINT
This is another spot that you can pull right up to and walk right up to the viewpoint–which is a large flat rock with 360° views of the area around it, which includes the La Sal Mountains and the Courthouse Towers.
WHAT TO BRING:
Water, snacks, sunscreen and good hiking shoes!
THINGS TO KNOW:
Arches is open 24/7 year round.
Entrance Fee: $25 (Or use the America the Beautiful Pass)
Water is available at the Visitor’s Center, The Devil’s Garden Campground and the Devil’s Garden Trailhead (seasonally).
Camping: Arches has one campground: The Devil’s Garden Campground ($25/night). It has 50 sites and has water, tables, grills and toilets. OR you can camp in Moab, where there are many options (and AMAZING Mexican restaurants nearby. Seriously, it was some of the best Mexican food I have had). We stayed at the Sandflats Campground ($15/night), which was a great place to camp!
For more information and park updates, check out NPS.