Arches National Park is an American National Park in the east of the state of Utah. The park is best known for its arches, unique rock formations in the shape of a bridge that have formed over millions of years. Arches National Park attracts around 1 million visitors annually.
Sightseeings & Trails
As it can be very hot in Arches in the summer, it is better to visit the park in the spring or autumn if you plan to walk there. The most recommended walk is Fiery Furnace.
Fiery Furnace is a three-hour walk that you can best do only under the supervision of a park ranger (you can also go without supervision, but then you run the risk of getting lost, especially if you have never done the walk before). You must therefore make a reservation at least 4 days in advance, which you can do via the NPS site. Early reservation is recommended as the tours fill up quickly.
The walk leads you through a labyrinth of sandstone rock walls. The ranger will give you a lot of information about the area during the walk. People who have done this tour call the walk “absolutely beautiful”, a “nice varied and funny climbing walk” and “an incredible recommendation”.
The Fiery Furnace walk is of medium difficulty; reversing is not possible once you walk, so make sure you know what you are starting. Children under 5 years old are not allowed to do the walk and children up to 12 years old must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Other longer walks that are recommended are Devils Garden Trail, Landscape Arch Trail, Double O Arch Trail and Delicate Arch Trail.
- Devils Garden Trail is a long walk (almost 12 km) where you also pass the Double O Arch. It is best to start it early in the morning to avoid the heat.
- Landscape Arch Trail is a shorter, 3 km long but very busy walking route that leads you to the 93 meter wide arch bridge; this is the largest arched ridge in the world, although the Kolob Arch in Zion National Park is only one meter shorter. Since parts of the arch have been broken down during the last few centuries, some think the famous arch ridge in Arches is about to collapse, but others think the arch will remain stable for several centuries. The walk towards it is largely flat.
- Delicate Arch is an almost 5-kilometer walk that leads you to the park’s most famous arch. There is little shade during this walk, so make sure you bring enough water. According to AllesAmerika.com members, Delicate Arch is an arch that you should see up close: “From far away it’s nice but it doesn’t do the gigantic thing justice.”
Short walks through Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a walking park, which means that you can often only see the most beautiful sights if you walk a shorter or longer stretch. However, you also have the option to limit yourself to short walks that you can start from your car. Drive the approximately 29 km long park road with many viewpoints along it to get a good overview of the park.
A few shorter walks that you can do from a parking lot along the park road are the following:
- Park Avenue Trail: A 1.6 kilometer walk to the Courthouse Towers Viewpoint. You can see different sights of this walk when you arrive (such as The Three Gossips, Queen Nefertiti, Queen Victoria Rock, Tower of Babel and the Courthouse Towers), but your experience will be very different if you actually take a closer look.
- Balanced Rock Trail: This attraction can also be seen from the road, but the walk to it from the parking lot is only 250 meters. The upper (balancing) part of the rock is the same size as three American school buses. You can see a photo of Balanced Rock on the left, but this one does not do justice to this special rock formation.
- Double Arch Trail: Not to be confused with the Double O Arch. This short, less than 800 meter long, easy walk leads you to a double rock with the same stone for both of their outer legs. You reach the footpath by turning right just after the Balanced Rock and following the side road for about 4 kilometers; the walk can be found in the far north of the parking lot. From here you can also reach other places of interest, such as Parade of Elephants, Turret Arch, Elephant Butte and Cove of Caves, including via the Windows Trail.
- Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch Trail: These two walks, the first just 600 meters and the second 2 to 3 kilometers, can be found a few kilometers past Fiery Furnace. The first walk is fun for children, the second connects to Sand Dune Arch if you want to continue afterwards. Sand Dune Arch is just a small bow and Broken Arch plays a game with your eyes: although the bow seems broken, this is not actually the case – what you will see as you get closer. You can choose to walk around the arc and add a kilometer to your walk, but you can also turn around and go back to the parking lot. If you opt for the Loop (the extra kilometer), you will pass the Devils Garden Campground.
- Skyline Arch Trail: This walk is located along a parking lot just one and a half kilometers after the Sand Dune and Broken Arch parking lot. This short, 300 meter long walk that leads you to the Skyline Arch, where you can shoot some nice atmospheric pictures. Because this parking lot is close to the Devils Garden Campground, this walk is popular with campers.
Travel to Arches National Park
Several providers offer group trips and individual round trips to Arches National Park. An organized trip offers the advantage that you do not have to worry about anything anymore. If you are interested in a group trip to, feel free to contact us with your wishes, and we will see which options are available for you… Or view below for travel deals and tips
Fly to Arches National Park
Salt Lake City is the largest airport in the area, but is a 4,5 -hour drive to Arches National Park. Canyonlands Field and Grand Junction is closer, but a plane ticket can then be more expensive.
If you do not want to compose a trip to Arches National Park yourself, take a look at our tips for organized tours with Arches National Park on the program.
Looking for a flight to Arches National Park
Spending the Night
If you want to spend the night in Arches National Park, you must be prepared to camp. You can camp at Devils Garden Campground at the end of the road (29 km from the entrance). This campsite has only 52 places and reservations are therefore recommended. Try preferably to find a place at the back of the campsite, the front spots are close to the (dead end) road.
Of the 52 camping places, 24 are available to book in advance (at least 4 days in advance), the other places are given away per day based on availability. For the best chance of a camping spot, it is best to approach the visitor center early in the morning when the park opens. Halfway through the morning the camping spots will certainly be forgiven during the high season.
There is no hotel in Arches, but the nearby town of Moab has plenty of choice. “If you are not camping, Moab is the place to stay,” says Dream Travel 2 America member. “Stay overnight without a doubt in Moab, there is everything to be found,” said another member.
Hotel options in Moab
This unique Moab, Utah inn is located on Highway 191, a 5-minute drive from Arches National Park Entrance Station. It offers an outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, fitness center, free Wi-Fi and free shuttle services.
Under Canvas Moab
These tents are located on an estate of over 16 hectares and offer a spectacular view of the Arches National Park, which is less than 5 km away. A number of tents have their own bathroom. Guests can use the barbecue facilities..
Moab Springs Ranch
Moab Springs Ranch is located in Moab, Utah, 10 km from Mesa Arch. It offers a seasonal outdoor pool and a hot tub. Each room has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. Some units feature a seating area. There is also a coffee maker in the rooms. The rooms have a private bathroom with a hairdryer and free toiletries.
Directions to Arches National Park
Arches has only one entrance in the south of the park on Route 191. This entrance is approximately 375 kilometers from Salt Lake City, 540 kilometers from St. George and 730 km from Las Vegas.
You can reach Arches via I-70 (exit 182, Crescent Junction). Then follow Route 191 to the park entrance.
Since there is no shuttle bus available in Arches National Park, you must explore this park with your own car. Only one road runs through the park that has a number of small side roads. In most cases you will follow this road and stop at viewpoints, where you can take small walks to places of interest.
Admission to Arches National Park is good for seven days. You can come and go any time with your seven-day pass.
You can pay your fee at the entrance station, at the self-pay station outside the visitor center, or online at pay.gov.
- Private Vehicle Fee – $30.00
Admits one private, non-commercial vehicle (15 passenger capacity or less) and all its occupants.
- Motorcycle Fee – $25.00
Admits a private, non-commercial motorcycle and its riders.
- Per Person – $15.00
Admits one individual with no car. Typically used for bicyclists, hikers, and pedestrians. Youth 15 and under are admitted free.
Save Time at the Entrance Station!
You can pay your entrance fee in advance online at pay.gov. Print your receipt and present it at the entrance gate when you arrive.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL – THE NATIONAL PARKS AND FEDERAL RECREATIONAL LANDS PASSES
- entrance fees at national parks and national wildlife refuges
- standard amenity fees (day-use fees) at national forests and grasslands and at lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and US Army Corps of Engineers
In general, one pass covers the fees listed above for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas or up to four adults at sites that charge per person. Children age 15 or under are admitted free. Some passes provide additional benefits, such as a 50-percent discount on camping at some sites for holders of Senior or Access Passes. Always check with individual sites for details.
Available passes include:
- Annual Pass
- Annual Pass for U.S. Military
- 4th Grade Pass
- Senior Pass: The price of the lifetime Senior Pass increased to $80. A $20 annual Senior Pass is also available. See more information about changes to the Senior Pass.
- Access Pass
- Volunteer Pass
More information about the America the Beautiful – The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series, including available passes, costs, benefits, and how and where they may be obtained, is available. Learn More About National Parks and Federal Lands Passes
2019 Fee Free Days
National parks across the country will waive park entrance fees on these dates in 2019. Mark your calendars for these fee-free days:
- Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 20 – Start of National Park Week / National Junior Ranger Day
- Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
- Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
- Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day
Read more about Devils Garden Campground.
Devils Garden Campground Individual Site
- 1-10 campers – $25/night
Canyon Wren Group Site
- 11-16 campers – $75/night
- 17-22 campers – $100/night
- 23-28 campers – $125/night
- 29-35 campers – $160/night
Juniper Group Site
- 11-22 campers – $100/night
- 23-33 campers – $150/night
- 33-44 campers – $200/night
- 45-55 campers – $250/night
Fiery Furnace Activity Fees
Adults – $16
Children (age 5-12) – $8
Children under 5 years of age are not permitted.
Read more about the ranger-led Fiery Furnace Hike.
Adults – $6
Children (age 5-12) – $3
Annual Permit – $15
Children under 5 years of age are not permitted.
Read more about hiking in the Fiery Furnace.
Southeast Utah is part of the Colorado Plateau, a “high desert” region that experiences wide temperature fluctuations, sometimes over 40 degrees in a single day. The temperate (and most popular) seasons are spring (April through May) and fall (mid-September through October), when daytime highs average 60º to 80º F and lows average 30º to 50º F.
Summer temperatures often exceed 100ºF, making strenuous exercise difficult. Late summer monsoon season brings violent storm cells which often cause flash floods. Roads can close following rain or snow.
Winters are cold, with highs averaging 30º to 50º F, and lows averaging 0º to 20º F. Though large snowfalls are uncommon (except in nearby mountains), even small amounts of snow or ice can make local trails and roads impassable.
Arches National Park / Plan Your Visit / Safety