A Day Exploring Arches National Park
Did you know that Utah has five National Parks?
After visiting Zion National Park in Utah last spring, Ben and I decided to return and explore the other four parks. The National Parks in Utah are fairly close together, so it’s easy to plan a classic road trip to visit the parks. Road-tripping out west in the US has become one of my favorite adventures, and it’s easy to do on a budget.
Moab, Utah was our first stop. It’s the town closest to both Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, and about a four hour drive from Salt Lake City.
Arches is a great park to spend a day driving along the main park road and stopping for short hikes. We saw plenty of kids and people of all ages enjoying the park. The park website has a great list of hikes to choose from.
Balancing Rock, pictured on the left in the photo above, was the shortest hike we did, just 0.3 miles across the road.
North and South Windows
My favorite part of the park was the short “primitive trail” around the back of The Windows. We left the crowds behind and got to see a different viewpoint.
If I were to visit Arches again I’d make plans to do some more difficult hikes, like the ranger-guided Fiery Furnace hike.
April is the most popular time of year at Arches. The famous Delicate Arch (pictured above) was the most crowded hike we did on our whole trip. I’d certainly recommend getting an early start and hitting the Delicate Arch hike first if you want a peaceful experience!
Sand Dune Arch
My tips for spending a day in Arches National Park:
- Start early, especially if you are visiting during a popular time
- Pack lunch. There are no food services in the park.
- Bring plenty of water and sunscreen!
VisitUtah.com has published several itinerary options for visiting Utah’s “Mighty 5” National Parks.
See my pictures from:
- Canyonlands (coming soon!)
- Capitol Reef (coming soon!)
- Bryce Canyon (coming soon!)