Arches National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Utah, let alone the country.
There are hoards of tourists that flock to Arches National Park every year, constantly creating the need for upgrades around the park.
It is rare to get a picture of the most popular arches without people in them. You’re likely not going to get a picture of Delicate Arch without people in them if you don’t know the different hard-to-reach angles.
With just over 1.5 million visitors a year, this makes Arches National Park one of the busiest parks in America.
I’m also convinced that if it wasn’t for it’s location, it’d be near the top of the list of the busiest parks in America.
Even though it’s incredibly busy, it’s still my favorite park. Even going during the off season is incredibly rewarding. Arches National Park was rated the most beautiful national park in the country during the winter from The Wilderness Society at wilderness.org. I completely agree with this, as you will likely be able to hike for hours while only seeing a few other people.
If this does not convince you, maybe this photo will:
Some of my favorite memories in the outdoors has been in my home state.
Criss-crossing the world to see penguins in Antarctica and getting to venture into the deepest caves in the world in Vietnam by motorbike has been a life-altering experience. Arches National Park still cannot be beaten, though.
The feeling you get when you round the corner to see Delicate Arch after climbing up the sandstone slick rock is still in my top five “Aha!” moments. It was the first time I really understood why people went on these hikes It ultimately led me to traveling the world.
I do not want to ruin the impressive view from rounding the corner but here is a photo from below the arch:
Anyway, enough about why I love this park. Here is some of the nitty-gritty you will likely need to know if you visit.
First off, don’t be afraid of going to one of the parks that is acclaimed for it’s outdoor prowess. The reason it has become so popular is because the trails are accessible to pretty much anyone. In fact, a lot of the best views are accessible by wheelchair.
If you are not someone that feels confident to scramble up the entire length of Devil’s Garden (7.2 miles or 11.6 km.), they have paved, easily walkable trails to Landscape Arch (the longest arch in the United States and fifth longest in the world) and many other natural arches along it’s 0.8 mile route. I have even seen people using walkers make it to Landscape Arch.
Here is a photo of a father and a son walking one of the easier walks:
You also have access to most of the park’s most memorable arches by vehicle.
Even the Windows Arches gives you a stunning picture from the car park. Even the trail through Windows Arches is considered easy.
Camping near Arches National Park is definitely something you should experience at least once. The last time I was at Arches, they were redoing the paved road system so the only campground inside the park was actually closed (through the end of November 2017). There are plenty of independent campground operators within a 5-10 minutes drive.
Hotels in Moab are incredibly expensive, especially in high-season. Campgrounds are usually reasonably priced. Unless you can go in January, you won’t be able to afford a hotel room. Expect to camp!
Hiking can be as hard or as easy as you want it to be. There are several hikes that take less than an hour with many stunning overlooks. There is also several difficult hikes, with one of them needing a permit to even attempt.
I will not dive too much into the individual hikes in this park. I will be writing a few posts about my favorites soon. Just know that Devil’s Garden and Delicate Arch are my two favorite. A little advice though, do not attempt both in the same day!