Arches National Park
Arches National Park is a wonderland of contrasting colors, land formations and texture unlike any other in the world. The guided tours, many trails and the amazing formations around Arches National Park will keep you busy for hours, maybe even days.
This park has many different attractions but is most famous for Delicate Arch. Let’s take a tour through the park to the different attractions that are located in the park.
Arches Visitor Center
When you first enter the park you will see the Arches Visitor Center on the right-hand side. At the Visitor Center, you will find information about the park, exhibits, restrooms, drinking water, a park film, and a bookstore.
La Sal Mountain View Point
As you continue up into the park your first Lookout Point will be the La Sal Mountains viewpoint. From this point, you will get a 360-degree view of the La Sal mountains and also a beautiful view of the distinctive formations found throughout the park.
The next stop on this tour will take you to Balanced Rock. A huge Sandstone boulder perched on a narrow pedestal that seems to defy gravity. You can view the formation from the parking lot or take a short hike around its base.
Also, this is a good place to have a picnic as there are picnic tables located across the road from the parking area.
Windows Section of Arches National Park
After leaving Balanced Rock you will want to travel to the Windows Section where you will see some of the largest Arches in the park. In the Windows Section, you will find trails leading to North Window, South Window, Turret Arch, and Double Arch. Most trails are rated easy that lead to these Arches. Also, there is a slightly longer primitive trail that leads around to the North and South Windows.
This leads us to Delicate Arch, the parks most iconic Arch. You can view the Arch from the Delicate Arch parking lot or if you choose you can hike all the way to the Arch itself. The trail that leads to Delicate Arch is rated a difficult trail and can be very crowded at times.
If you choose to hike the trail to the Arch you will pass by the historic Wolfe Ranch as well as the Rock Art Panels located nearby. Also, you will want to remember to take plenty of water as this is a long hike and you could become dehydrated.
The next stop would be The Fiery Furnace which is a natural labyrinth of narrow passages between towering sandstone walls. You must accompany a ranger-guided tour, or obtain a hiking permit at the visitor center.
Although there are small markers for one counter-clockwise route in the Fiery Furnace, there are many paths to take and it is possible you could get lost. Do not rely on GPS. It does not work properly in the park which could cause you to become lost.
If you are a first-time visitor it is recommended you join the ranger-guided tour or go with someone that has been there before and knows there way around the Fiery Furnace.
The last stop on the tour will take you to The Devil’s Garden. You will find the Parking lot as well as the Devil’s Garden Campground. Both are centralized among the many trails.
Landscape Arch, the longest Arch in North America, is the first Arch you will come to. This is the easiest trail. You can continue on a longer, more strenuous hike that will take you to five more Arches.
Other trails that lead off from the parking area will take you to Sand Dune Arch and Skyline Arch.
You can see all the attractions in one day but, If you want to hike the different trails offered in the park you will want to plan for a longer stay. The Devil’s Garden Campground has several sites available. Below you will find more information on the campsites.
The campsites are available upon reservation within the park’s boundary. You could not find a better place to watch the most amazingly beautiful sunsets or gaze at the nighttime skies while camping under the stars.
If planning to camp in the Park you should make reservations ahead of time. Camping sites fill up fast for the year. It is recommended that you reserve your site up to six months in advance.
The Park offers Ranger Programs, free guided walks, free evening programs and a day hike through Fiery Furnace. For the daily hike through Fiery Furnace, you will need to purchase a ticket in advance. You can purchase your ticket at the Arches National Park Information Center.
Traffic congestion in the Park can be heavy at times. Holiday’s and weekends are the busiest. Please plan on adjusting your time accordingly. For your trip to the Park, you will travel on a newly reconstructed road through the Park. Included are better outlets to view sites in the Park as well as improved parking areas.
Always remember that it is your responsibility to know the Park regulations when you visit. Please obey the signs and stay on the trails. And please, always pack your trash out with you or find a container within the park. Leave the Park as you found it, so the beauty can be enjoyed by all.
Bring Enough Water
Note this very important tip—-ALWAYS TAKE ENOUGH WATER WITH YOU! The Utah High Desert where Arches National Park is located is very HOT and DRY. YOU CAN DEHYDRATE QUICKLY! It is recommended that you take one gallon of water per person per day.
Also, if you are visiting Arches National Park in the Winter, use caution when hiking the trails, they can be slippery when snowy and icy (That’s why it’s called ‘Slickrock’).
Open Year Round
Arches National Park is open year-round, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. When traveling to Arches National Park from Moab, Utah, you will travel 4 miles North on Hwy 191. The Park Entrance is located on the right side of the Hwy where you will find the Entrance Gate with payment booth. Past this on the right side is the Visitor Center where you will find information, souvenirs, restrooms, and history of the Park.
If traveling to the Devil’s Garden Campground it is located 18 miles from the entrance to the Park.
The Devil’s Garden Campground is open year-round. Between the months of November to February, 25 sites are available on a first come first served basis.
There are bathrooms and drinking water at the campground.
You can reserve standard campsites up to 6 months in advance for stays starting March 1 through October 31. All sites are usually reserved months in advance so please plan accordingly so you can be sure to get your site.
Standard Individual sites, limited to 10 people and 2 vehicles $25.00
Canyon Wren Group Site 11-16 campers $75.00
Juniper Group Site 11-22 campers $100.00
Reservations can be made online through www.recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777. You can make reservations no fewer than 4 days and no more than 6 months in advance. Reserve group sites up to 12 months in advance.
Arches National Park provides trash and recycling bins at the campground in the picnic area. Please recycle everything you can and place the rest in trash bins.
Firewood is sold seasonally. There is no collecting firewood in the Park. You can purchase wood at Arches Visitor Center bookstore.
Also, there are no showers available although, toilets are provided year-round.
The temperatures in the park fluctuate during the year so be prepared for higher day temperatures, around 60° to 80° degrees and then lower temperatures at night during the Spring and Fall seasons. Summer temperatures can sometimes reach 100° degrees during the day and drop down into the 70°-80°-degree nights. Winter temperatures reach highs around 30°-50° degrees and lows around 0° to 20°F.
So, come to Arches National Park prepared for the temperature changes no matter the time of year. Also, in the summer months don’t forget your hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Essentials if you will be spending the day hiking the trails.
Park Entrance Fee’s
You can pay when entering Arches National Park at the Park Entrance Station or you can pay ahead online at pay.gov. Print your receipt and show it at the Park Entrance Station upon arrival. Your pass is
good for up to 7 days from the day of purchase.
Private Vehicle Fee 15 people or less $30.00
Motorcycle Fee $25.00
Per Person $15.00
Fiery Furnace Activity Fees
Children (ages 5-12) $8.00
Just a Note: Children under 5 years of age are not permitted.
Children (ages 5-12) $3.00
Just a Note: Children under 5 years of age are not permitted.
Annual Permit $15.00
Annual and Lifetime Passes
The Annual and Lifetime Passes are available at the entrance station. Also, you can purchase annual and lifetime passes for parks in southeast Utah as well as for all federal lands at the entrance station. Your pass will admit one private vehicle or its pass holder.
Lifetime Pass will also provide a 50 percent discount on camping fees at Devils Garden Campground.
Southeast Utah Parks Pass $55.00
Your pass is valid for one year through the month of purchase. And, it will admit 1 private vehicle or its pass holder to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks and Natural Bridges National Monument.
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL-The NATIONAL PARKS and FEDERAL RECREATIONAL LANDS PASSES
The America the Beautiful-The National Parks and Federal Recreational lands pass Series is your ticket to more than 2000 recreational sites across the United States.
· 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
· Your pass would cover the fees listed above for a driver and all passengers in a personal vehicle at per-vehicle fees areas or up to four adults at sites that charge per person.
· Children 15 or under are admitted free
· Some passes provide benefits, such as a 50-percent discount on camping at some sites for Senior or Access Passes. For more information check with the site, you are visiting.
There are several passes available. Below is a list to choose from.
Annual Pass $80.00
And the Annual Pass for U.S. Military Free
4th Grade Pass Free To every 4th grader (including home-schooled and free choice learners 10 years of age) with a valid Every kid in a Park Paper Pass. You can get a paper pass at Every Kid in a Park.
Senior Pass Lifetime $80.00 Available to U.S. citizens age 62 and older.
Access Pass Free Available to U.S. citizens or permanent residents with permanent disabilities. Visit U.S.G.S. website for more information.
To learn more about the Passes you can visit Learn More About National Parks and Federal Lands Passes
2020 FREE DAYS
The National Parks Service provides five free days per year. Holiday and dates are provided for your convenience below
January 20 Martin Luther King Day
April 18 Start of National Park Week
National Junior Ranger Day
August 25 National Park Service Birthday
September 26 National Public Lands Day
November 11 Veterans Day
Here are the websites for reservations or park fees once again.
Reservations at www.recreation.gov or call 1-877-444-6777
Park entrance fees at www.pay.gov or pay at the Park entrance station.
I hope I have provided you with the information you need to plan your vacation and to enjoy the most amazing red-rock formations on earth. There is nothing else like it.
While visiting Moab and Arches National Park, you may like to visit the other parks in the area. Learn more about Canyonlands National Park, Dead Horse Point State Park, and Goblin Valley State Park so you can make the most of your vacation in Utah.
Just a note before I go, DON’T FORGET TO BRING WATER. The seasonal temperatures get extremely high, especially in the summer months. If you plan to spend any time at all in the park you will need water. It is recommended that you bring one gallon of water per person, per day.
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For more information on Parks in the area, you may also enjoy my post about Dead Horse Point State Park.
Thanks for checking out the article and Have a Great Time at Arches National Park.