Being an enthusiastic traveler, you would want to explore the best of every location that you visit, isn’t it? The world-famous Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, is known for its distinctive rock formations and phenomenal arch landscapes. It boasts of more than 2,000 natural stone arches that are so impressive that you just can’t miss any of them. The numerous stunning natural wonders make you want to explore more and more of the place. You would definitely find it difficult to choose among the spots when all of them are so alluring. So how do would you decide on what all to see and do in the park?
Must-See Attractions in the Arches National Park
At times, due to various reasons, it becomes quite difficult to see everything that the place has to offer. In such cases, having a must-see/must-do list comes handy. We have listed 12 things you can’t miss at the Arches National Park and cover the most important attractions.
The best time to visit Arches National Park is during summer when the place is ideal for hiking and exploring. However, weather can change quickly in the park. So before you start hiking, check the weather forecast for rains in order to avoid lightning and flash floods. Do carry sturdy and comfortable hiking shoes that provide good ankle protection while ascending the rocky terrain.
1. Watch Breathtaking Scenery at Delicate Arch
Hold your breath as you stand at this popular free-standing Delicate Arch and watch an amazing sunrise or sunset. To have a closer and stunning view of the arch, you must hike up three miles along tricky routes to reach the top. Do this only if you’re fit and ready to cross tricky paths with steep edges on one side. Make sure you carry enough water and liquids because hiking in the hot sun can dehydrate you.
Adventure-lovers should definitely go on this hike – it will be totally worth it. If you feel that hiking along this trail isn’t for you, you can opt to stay at the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint (on the road below the arch) and get a glimpse of the arch which is about one mile away.
Livingit Tip: To avoid the crowd and have some time to yourself at the Arch, it is best to go in the morning when there are fewer people, and shoot some beautiful pictures of the sunrise.
2. Explore the Sand Dune Arch
Want to have some fun in the cool sands under the arches? Then go on a wonderful trail up to the beautiful Sand Dune Arch. Walking through the arch and around, feels like you’re exploring a narrow canyon with very high walls. Enjoy the sand under your feet and sounds of the wind streaming through the walls around you.
Well, then go on a wonderful trail up to the beautiful Sand Dune Arch. Walking through the arch and around, feels like you’re exploring a narrow canyon with very high walls. Enjoy the sand under your feet and sounds of the wind streaming through the walls around you.
Needless to say, if you’re a keen photographer, you will have ample pictures of the Sand Dune Arch to look at when you get back home!
Livingit Tip: Avoid climbing up the arches as it is risky and strictly prohibited.
3. Enjoy the Park Avenue Trail
Are you in for another spectacular trail?Then you should go for the Park Avenue hike, which offers views of towering spires and cliffs right beside you. The trail gives you a better experience of the giant-sized rock formations when compared to seeing them from far. Enjoy beautiful sights of the surrounding areas as you go on the hike and return.
Then you should go for the Park Avenue hike, which offers views of towering spires and cliffs right beside you. The trail gives you a better experience of the giant-sized rock formations when compared to seeing them from far. Enjoy beautiful sights of the surrounding areas as you go on the hike and return.
Livingit Tip: The Park Avenue hike is about a mile long and if shuttle service isn’t available, you will have to walk back, adding another mile to your trail. However, you will not be disappointed if you return walking on the same route because the views are breathtaking and different from every angle!
4. Hike the Windows Arch
You cannot miss the Windows Arch, which is one of the most popular and easily accessible areas in the park. North Window and South Window are the two main arches here that are also known as the Spectacles. They further extend up to the Turret Arch.
Explore all three arches on an easy and fun trail and behold the giant arches right next to you. Wait till the hues of sunrise and sunset fall on the arches and make them glow, leaving you spellbound.
Livingit Tip: Don’t forget your cameras – you can’t afford to miss capturing pictures of such an awe-inspiring photographic location.
5. Go Horseback Riding
If you enjoy horse-riding, gear up for a unique riding experience at the Arches National Park! Nothing compares to the feeling of going around the park on a horseback, amidst the spectacular rock formations and scenic views. It will be worth the effort.
Livingit Tip: Make sure you’re aware of the rules and guidelines of horseback riding at Arches National Park before you get on with it. This will help you ride safe and enjoy the activity without any trouble.
6. A Mesmerizing Scenic Drive
Are you short of time in the park?
Don’t be disappointed.
You can see the best of the park on a scenic drive along the 18-Mile Scenic Road and spend some time at every viewpoint. So, plan a four to five hours drive and get a glimpse of the major attractions in the Arches National Park.
Livingit Tip: Though you have limited time, do not miss the most impressive Windows area and the Delicate Arch.
7. Explore the Fiery Furnace
The Fiery Furnace hike takes you on an exciting tour of the red rock formations much closely. You can hike in this area either with a ranger or on your own and behold the scenic views. So explore this maze of giant rocks and find yourself mesmerized by the natural spires.
Livingit Tip: There are water refill stations installed at the Arches Visitor Center, Devil’s Garden trailhead, and Devil’s Garden campground where you can re-fill your bottles with clean drinking water.
8. Hike the Devil’s Garden Trail
If you are an adventure enthusiast who loves to hike the most challenging trails, then you’ll definitely enjoy the Devil’s Garden Trail. The longest trail in Arches (7.2-mile trail), it comprises of eight other arches and incredible rock scenery along the trail. Walking and scrambling over the rocks and steep edges will give you the most exhilarating hiking experience.
Livingit Tip: Those of you who are afraid of heights and do not want to hike up this trail, can take a 1.6-mile easy hike that will cover the Partition Arch, Landscape Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O Arch, and Skyline Arch. Landscape Arch is the longest arch in the park, which opens up to 306 feet and a must-take easy 1-mile hike.
9. Spend a Night Stargazing
Isn’t it a magical feeling to lay back and watch the shining stars in the clear sky?
The Arches National Park offers you just that!
Have an amazing stargazing experience in its quiet surroundings like nowhere else. The weather and altitude of the place makes it most ideal for watching the stars in the night sky.
Livingit Tip: Visit the Windows area, Panorama Point, Balanced Rock Picnic Area and Garden of Eden Viewpoint to get the best stargazing experience.
10. Visit the Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is full of distinctive spires and rock formations. Take a stroll in this area to explore the beauty of these natural wonders. If you’re interested, you may even try climbing one of the tall spires to satisfy the adventure buff in you.
And the surprise element here?
It offers splendid views of the stunning La Sal Mountains that appear like a beautiful painting at the backdrop.
Livingit Tip: When visiting the Garden of Eden (and the other arches), it is best to go hiking in the morning or evening in order to avoid the extreme heat.
11. Go Rock-Climbing
Arches National Park is known for some amazing, challenging rock climbing routes. So, if you are a rock-climbing enthusiast, you’re in for a real treat! The Great Wall (70 feet), Elephant Butte (1,100 feet), Off Balanced Rock (120 feet), Argon Tower (250 feet), Devil’s Golf Ball (400 feet), and Tower of Babel (450 feet) are some of the popular climbing routes and areas in Arches.
Livingit Tip: Make sure you know the important techniques of rock climbing and follow the rules and regulations.
Canyoneering in Arches National Park is another adventure activity you cannot miss. Some of the popular canyoneering routes include – Tierdrop (3 to 4 hours) in Park Avenue, Elephant Butte (3 to 5 hours, 83 feet) at The Windows, Krill at the Fiery Furnace, Lost and Found (4 to 6 hours, 132 feet) at Lost Spring Canyon, Bighorn (3 to 5 hours, 197 feet) at the Great Wall, and Dragonfly (3 to 5 hours, 66 feet and 132 feet) at Petrified Dunes.
Livingit Tip: You must get a self-registration permit for canyoneering in Arches, in areas other than the Fiery Furnace. Follow the rules and regulations when taking up canyoneering. Also, some routes may have been closed temporarily or permanently, so check with the rangers before you head to the areas.
Nature has a beautiful way of telling its story through the varying landscapes, rock formations, and other such natural wonders. To be able to see and experience the true beauty of nature is a gift that we all are lucky to possess. So, make the best use of it. Follow the above tips and plan your trip accordingly so that you don’t miss out on the top attractions. Go on a ranger-led program to explore the most beautiful places in the park and make memories to last forever.
Do share your adventure story here for the world to see!