Arches National Park contains one of the largest concentrations
sandstone arches in the world. The arches and numerous other extraordinary geologic features, such as spires, pinnacles, pedestals and balanced rocks, are highlighted in striking foreground and background views created by contrasting colors, landforms and textures. The park is 76,519 acres in size
You will find alot to do in the Park, from hiking to photography to just a driving tour through the park. It is important to remember your sunscreen and lots of water when you are in the park, especially during the summer. There is little if any shade through most of the park during the middle of the day.
PLANE - Commercial airlines serve Grand Junction, CO and Salt Lake City, UT. By car, these cities are roughly 2 and 4 hours (respectively) away from the park entrance.
CAR - The entrance to Arches is located 5 miles north of Moab along Highway 191.
BUS - Greyhound travels along Interstate 70, making stops at Grand Junction, CO and Green River, UT. Commercial van services operate between Moab and Salt Lake City as well as Grand Junction.
Weather & Climate
In summer, June through September, temperatures may exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit and winter, December through February, temperatures often drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures may range 50 degrees in a 24-hour period. Very dry! Carry drinking water at all times.
Visitors with mobility impairments can access the visitor center, restrooms throughout the park, Devils Garden Campground site #37, the Park Avenue Viewpoint and the Delicate Arch Viewpoint. For visitors with hearing impairments, a variety of publications may be obtained at the Visitor Center. Wayside exhibits with illustrations and text on natural and cultural features are situated throughout the Park and in the Vistitor Center. Park Information is also available by TDD phone at (435) 719-2319.
The only campground located in Arches National Park is located at the end of the 18 mile road into the park. The campground is nestled among some very short, and very sparsely located trees... but the closeness of the actual rock formations help to distract from the bleakness of the campground. The campground gets extremely hot during the typical summer day, but usually a breeze will blow in since it is slightly sitting up on a mesa on one side. The campground has roughly 50 sites, almost all of them will accomadate tents. A bigger drawback is for those who have large RV's... since there is very few spots to fit a rig that is more than 30 feet long (officially they have no sites able to accomadate rigs of this size, but I saw atleast one rig bigger than 30 feet fit in the campground.)
In order for the park service to keep some relative order, you must tell the entrance station (or when it is closed, the visitor center) that you are going to camp, and then you are asked to be in the campground in an hour. The road is 18 miles long, with the speed limit 45 most of the way, so plan on atleast 20 minutes without stopping to reach the campground.
The campground has two (maybe three) sets of flush toilets
that are open during the spring, summer and fall. The are a handful of
to accomadate those winter travelers. There is also running potable water, two campground hosts, and an emergency telephone (1.95 per minute non-911 calls!).
Popular activities include sightseeing by car, hiking, biking, picnicking and camping. Join a ranger March through October at an interpretive talk, walk, or campfire program. The basic road tour with stops at overlooks requires several hours to half a day.
The road system in Arches passes many outstanding natural features. As Arches' popularity has increased, people have begun to park in areas that damage plants and sometimes endanger other visitors. Please park in established lots only. Generally, parking spaces are easier to find before 9 a.m. and after 7 p.m.
The rock at Arches offers excellent climbing opportunities, despite its sandy nature. Most climbing routes in the park require advanced techniques. Permits are not required, unless the trip involves an overnight stay in the backcountry.
1. Use of motorized drills is prohibited.
2. Climbing is prohibited on any arch identified on current USGS 7.5 minute topographical maps; on Balanced Rock year-round; on Bubo from January 1st to June 30th; on Industrial Disease on the Devil Dog Spire from January 1st to June 30th.
3. The use of chalk for climbing must be of a color which blends with the native rock.
4. Climbers are encouraged to employ clean-climbing ethics, leave dull-colored webbing when recovery is impossible, and access climbing routes via established trails, slickrock or sandy washes.
There are many good hiking trails found within Arches National Park, anywhere from a short 5 min stroll up to Window's Arches to a long, hot, dry hike up to Delicate Arch.
Starting Point: Devils Garden trailhead parking area
Length: 2 miles (3.2 km) round trip
Time: 30 to 60 minutes
A relatively flat, gravel-surfaced trail (usually heavily populated with hikers) leads to a spectacular ribbon of rock, whose span is more than a football field in length. Short side trips to Tunnel and Pine Tree Arches. Trail guide available at trailhead.
Starting Point: Windows parking area
Length: 1 mile (1.6 km) round trip
Time: 30 to 60 minutes
A gentle climb up a gravel loop trail leads to three massive arches (North and South Windows and Turret Arch). An alternate return, slightly longer, is by way of the primitive loop around the back of the two Windows. The primitive loop trail starts at the South Window viewpoint. This is particularly good early in the morning if you climb through the arches to the other side from the parking lot.
Delicate Arch Trail
Starting Point: Wolfe Ranch parking area
Length: 3 miles (4.8 km) round trip
Time: 2 to 3 hours
Elevation change: 480 feet (146 meters)
Take at least 1 quart (1 liter) of water per person! There is no shade. Open slickrock with some exposure to heights. The first half-mile is a wide, well-defined trail. Upon reaching the slickrock, follow the rock cairns. The trail climbs gradually and levels out toward the top of this rock face. Just before you get to Delicate Arch, the trail goes along a rock ledge for about 200 yards. This is defintely worth the effort, and provides beautiful scenary along the whole hike.
Devils Garden Primitive Loop
Starting Point: Devils Garden Trailhead parking area
Length: 7.2 miles (11.5 km) round trip, including all points of interest
Time: 3 to 5 hours
Longest of the maintained trails in the park, the Devils Garden Trail leads to eight awe-inspiring arches. Expect narrow ledges with rocky surface hiking and scrambling on slickrock. Not recommended when rock is wet or snowy. Trail guide available at trailhead
Fiery Furnace Area
The Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons and fins. There are no marked trails and the area has suffered resource damage due to increased visitation. Visitors who want to explore the Fiery Furnace must obtain a hiking permit at the visitor center (fee charged) and watch a minimum impact video. All groups are encouraged to sign up for a ranger-guided hike.
Nearby Cities: Moab,
The name Moab is found in the bible and stands for a land just short of the Promised Land. When Mormon settlers came through this area in the 1800s, they found a similar location as described in the bible. With the Green River flowing through the Moab area, the area is a uniquely green, fertile area compared to the surrounding areas.
Moab today is found within Grand County and is home to roughly 5,000 year round residents. The economy now revolves almost completely around tourism and Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park. This was not always the case, Moab became one of the centers for Uranium Mining during the Cold War. This has left some areas dessimated by the Uranium mining, with areas that are now part of the Super Fund lists.