Arches is an iconic national park in Utah, known for its unique arched rock formations and narrow canyons. The park lies atop an underground salt bed that is responsible for the many structures found in the park, like arches, spires and balanced rocks. Similar to many of the famous Utah national parks, Arches is crowded, but the sites are bucket list worthy.
The only entrance to the park is located 6 miles northwest of Moab, Utah on U.S. Highway 191. The roads are narrow and windy so expect slow drive times throughout the park and only park in designated areas. Bicyclists are advised to ride only on roads and single file if in a group.
The hike to the impressive Delicate Arch shouldn't be missed with views of the La Sal Mountains on the distant horizon. Take the road to its end to reach Devils Garden where a loop hike takes you past several arches.
Devils Garden Campground is open all year. Depending on the time of year, you can make reservations. During the fall and winter months, campsite are first-come, first serve.
Due to the fragile geological structures, be familiar with the regulations to protect the park for future generations.
When to Go
March through May or September through November are the best times of year to visit. The desert summer temperatures can be unbearable for those unprepared. Don't forget extra water!
Similar to most national parks, pay the entrance fee as you enter the park. Backcountry overnight hikers must get permits at the visitor center.
Pets are allowed on park roads, in parking lots, and campsites but must be leashed at all times. Pets aren't allowed on trails and shouldn't be unattended in vehicles due to the hot desert temperatures. Check out the NPS page for more information.
I did this with my boyfriend in the winter, and it was perfect. Clear skies, a light dusting of snow, and not too many people. Really beautiful! Just wish we'd been able to hang out for the stars to come out.