I have visited many National Parks in the USA, and I found Arches National Park, one of the most beautiful ones I have seen. It is located an average elevation of 4868 feet (1484 m) above sea level home of natural sandstone arches, sandstone fins, rocks, spires, and salt domes. A park with the highest density of natural arches in the world formed 100 million years of erosion.
The park is in the southeast region of Utah, which is part of the Colorado Plateau. This high desert region encounters a wide range of temperature fluctuations, sometimes over 40º in a single day. Since every season adds something different to the experience, so it is always a great time to visit Arches NP. Still, the popular seasons is between April to May (spring) and mid-September to October (fall), when the daytime average high 60º F to 80º F and average lows are 30º F to 50º F.
Best Things To See and Do
There is one road that travels through the Arches National Park and that is Arches Scenic Drive and all the attractions are based surrounding it.
Cruise On The Arches Scenic Drive
The 19 miles Arches Scenic Drive running through the Park starts from the highway 191 to Devils Garden trailhead in the back of the park. The total drive would take about half an hour to cover the entire distance, but actually, it will take much longer than that as you would definitely stop in between, take detours to various viewpoints, and hiking the trails.
Get ready to pull over and over again to enjoy the breathtaking scenic surroundings and take beautiful shots of what the park has to offer and definitely the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the backdrop.
Stop at Park Avenue
The first major stop after the visitor center that you should not miss is checking out the Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers area. Past the viewpoint, the steep one mile (1.6 km) trail descends into the spectacular canyon to Courthouse Towers.
Take Pictures from La Sal Mountain Viewpoint
La Sal Mountains viewpoint is the second overlook you come across after entering the park. Outlook offers an excellent overview of red rock scenery with the snow-capped La Sal Mountains in the backdrop, an ideal sunrise and sunset spot. From here, visitors can also view the Courthouse Towers, impressive sandstone called the Organ, Sheep Rock, Three Gossips, the iconic Balanced Rock, and the Sand Dunes.
Visit Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock is located next to the park’s main road, about 9.2 miles from the park entrance. It is one of only a few prominent features visible from the road.
Hiking The Windows Loop
The Windows Section includes a large collection of arches and is one of the park’s most spectacular sections. As a result, it is one of the most visited loops that you should not miss while visiting Arches National Park. By doing so, you’ll enjoy the magnificent arches, the North and South Windows, Turret Arch, and the Double Arches.
Windows and Double Arches Trail
North Window and South Window trail, and Turret Arch trail are connected by one hiking trail is an easy hike of 1 mile from the parking area.
1St Stop North and South Windows Arches
The North and South Window arches were developed over the years by weathering and erosion from the same gigantic sandstone fin. The spectacular view is created with two iconic holes look like eyeglass lenses, and a nose like rock pokes out between them. Getting up close to the massive North Window is not only enjoying the colorful desert’s fantastic views but also a great photo opportunity for many park visitors.
Late afternoon is the best time to snap North and South Windows for the best colorful pictures. To avoid crowds, I would recommend to visit early or late afternoon.
2nd Stop Turret Arch
If you continue on the Widows Trail, you can’t miss the castle-like Turret Arch, which is a little further down. It is one of the smallest of the three arches lined up in the Windows Trail.
Finally At Double Arch
The Double Arch is another incredible formation of arches that you should not miss to visit while inside the Windows area. Double Arch is an easy walk, only 0.6 miles from the parking. It is well known for its two arches that are joined at the end. The 122 feet high spans were developed by downward water erosion from atop the sandstone.
Hike To The Famous Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch Trail is incredible and the most famous arch globally; the hike is considered as difficult, about 3 miles return trip that takes about 2.5 hours. The trail begins with the Wolfe Ranch and a long uphill hike. As you get closer to the main attraction, the iconic delicate arch, there is a short section that you need to pass with a drop-off on the side.
Visitors get rewarded with the beautiful view of the delicate arch and the snowcapped La Sal Mountains in the backdrop. It is a photographers dream to take a shot of a lifetime; the best time to visit Delicate Arch is sunrise and Sunset.
Visit Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint
This is an alternate viewpoint for those who have difficulties taking the strenuous 3 miles roundtrip and climbs 480 feet to Delicate Arch. The upper Delicate Arch viewpoint is about 10 to 15 minutes hike in addition to the short, easy trail, and another (medium strenuous) hiking trail climbs a half-mile towards Arch that ends at the rim of a steep canyon that separates the viewpoint from the arch. From the viewpoint, visitors can enjoy the Delicate Arch’s view from a different perspective and enjoy the beautiful canyon below.
Hiking in The Devils Garden
Devils Garden is located at the end of the park, about 18 miles north of the entrance. There is a vast collection of narrow rocks wall called ‘fins’ and plenty of arches and spires. Fins eventually erode and give way to the formation of arches. Here are a few arches that stand out in Devils Garden such as Landscape Arch, Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Navajo Arch, Partition Arch, Double O Arch, Private Arch,
See Landscape Arch
The landscape arch is one of the prominent arches in Deevils Garden. Whether you hike just a short area of the Devils Garden Trail or the complete loop, you are in for a surprise.
Take The Trail to Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch Trail is a short hike to the arch that worth visiting. The arch span is the second largest arch in the park, at 144 feet across, and rises 112 feet above the ground level. Either stand back and enjoy the arch’s view or climb up the rocks onto the nearby fin to get a better Skyline Arch perspective.
Where to stay in Arches National Park
Red Cliffs Lodge is on Scenic by Way 128 along the Colorado River and 15 miles from Arches National Park. It features a horse corral, Western film museum, and Castle Creek Winery. Rooms got private patios with a creek, or river views are featured in every suite.
Moab Gateway Inn at Arches Nat’l Park
Located in Moab, within 12 miles of Mesa Arch and 14 miles of Landscape Arch, Moab Gateway Inn at Arches Nat’l Park provides accommodations with a seasonal outdoor swimming pool as well as free private parking for guests who drive. The property is around 16 miles from Delicate Arch, 16 miles from North Window, and 23 miles from La Sal Mountain Loop.
My Opinion and Last Word
Have you been to Arches National Park? Any cool tips to share?
I loved being to this breathtaking National Park and want to go back again. Hope my story has motivated you to visit Arches NP.
Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge.
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