Arches National Park, world-famous for its natural sandstone arches, is a great place to visit year-round due to the warm desert climate. Arches National Park offers visitors a variety of outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, camping, and rock climbing. When planning your next United States National Park adventure, consider exploring the unique desert landscapes in the red-rock wonderland of Arches National Park.
Listed in this article are the top reasons to visit Arches National Park.
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Whether you are an experienced hiker or looking to hit the trails for the first time, Arches National Park has a hiking trail for you. Hiking is not only a great outdoor activity, but it also provides visitors with the best opportunity to get up close to the unique landscape that makes Arches National Park so beautiful. Here are a few of our preferred hikes in the park.
- Park Avenue Trail: This one-mile trail follows through the bottom of a canyon, along the base of some of the park’s most well-known and massive monoliths, including Courthouse Towers, The Organ, and the Tower of Babel.
- Delicate Arch Trail: This moderate hike does include a steady climb from the trailhead but the end result is one of Utah’s iconic symbols, Delicate Arch. Hike this trail during sunrise or sunset to capture the incredible desert colors dominating the landscape along the way.
Discover more Top Hikes in Arches National Park.
Arches Scenic Drive
If hiking isn’t your thing, you can still discover the beauty of Arches National Park from the comforts of your car on one of Utah’s best scenic drives.
Travel through Arches National Park on the park’s only road: Arches Scenic Drive. The road is 19 miles in length but it can take all day to drive when combined with all the pull-offs to view the park’s iconic arches and other geologic formations. Along the way, you can also get out of your car for short hikes to get up and close to these unique features.
Additional reading: 27 Must-See Parks in the Western United States
Perhaps one of the most rewarding ways to fully embrace your Arches National Park experience is to pitch a tent and camp overnight. Devils Garden Campground is the only developed campground in Arches National Park and it is conveniently located with close proximity to hiking trails and rock climbing areas. There are also numerous backcountry campsites within the park that you will need to obtain a backcountry camping permit for.
Camping at Arches National Park also allows visitors to experience the wonders of the night sky when the canopy above is filled with stars. The night sky over Arches National Park is one of the darkest in the United States, meaning you may have the chance to see more stars than you ever have before if the skies are clear.
Further reading: Camping Tips: A Beginner’s Guide to Their First Trip
Whether you’re an amateur photographer or an experienced professional, Arches National Park is a great place to hone your skills with photography. The colors, light, and landscape of the desert blend together creating surreal images to capture with your lens. Sunrise and sunset are perfect times of day to capture memorable photographs but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to snap amazing photos all day long during your visit to Arche National Park.
Just because it’s the desert, doesn’t mean that there isn’t an abundance of vegetation. Arches National Park is actually home to a wide variety of wildflowers. Visitors can find wildflowers blooming every month from late February through October, though April and May are generally the best months. There are also several different species of cactus found in the park.
A trip to Arches National Park is not complete without hanging out in Moab, Utah as well. This tiny town is located within close proximity to both Arches and Canyonlands National Park, making it a sought-after destination for any adventurer. Moab is home to several areas for mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and a variety of options for camping. Moab serves as a great base camp for those who are exploring Arches National Park.
If all of these reasons are not enough to persuade you to visit Arches National Park, then maybe consider this: Arches National Park contains the world’s largest concentration of natural sandstone arches! Whether you’re hiking or driving through the park, you will be amazed at not only these natural sandstone arches but also the wide variety of geological formations such as pinnacles, spires, and fins. When you are planning your next United States National Park adventure, consider adding Arches National Park as a must-visit destination.
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