Plan your Visit to
Arches National Park
Unsurpassed Beauty Throughout the Park
They have little vegetation and remarkable features that are not seen anywhere else in the world. In the year of 1971 Utah’s Arches National Park was formed and has been turning heads with its beautiful natural arches far before it officially became a park.
Over 2000 natural arches make up the 76,679 acres of Arches National Park and the unique geology along with many other unique attributes draws visitors from around the world to this location each year. The highest elevation point within the park is 5,653 feet found at Elephant Butte with its lowest point being merely 4,085 feet above sea level at the visitor’s center. Although the peaks and valleys are not as high as some mountainous regions of the country, it draws in hikers from everywhere for the extreme task of hiking in a desert climate.
When to go
April – May – June – July – August – September – October
Family – Day Trip – Geological Formations – Stunning Vistas – Hiking – Biking – Wild flowers – Scenic Drives – Climbing – Wildlife – Winter Sports
The Arches National Park namesake comes from the unique sandstone formations around the park. There used to be more and since the 1970s roughly 43 known arches have ceased to exist and crumbled to the desert floor. The names of the arches were originally named for what the arches looked like to the person naming them. Names such as Delicate Arch, Dark Angel, and Double O Arch may not look like something you would name them after, but due to erosion the formations have changed throughout the years. Among these amazing arch formations lies other monolith style formations such as the ones that are seen as you drive into the park and the aptly named Balanced Rock which is exactly what it sounds like, a rock perfectly balanced on top of other rocks.
Flowers in the Desert
Thinking of such an arid and dry area such as Utah brings up thoughts of rich red and auburn colored sandstone, but if you are lucky enough to visit Arches National Park during April and May you will be presented with areas within the park that seem to be painted by the hand of an artist with vivid colors from the wild flowers found in the area. The colors are practically every color of the rainbow and make for some very picturesque shots throughout the park. The contrast of the rich color of the flowers mixed with the deep hue of the desert is something that many photographers do not get the chance to see anywhere else in the world.
While visiting Arches National Park you may be tempted to climb around on the arches. Resist the urge because climbing the arches is strictly prohibited when it comes to the arches with names and frowned upon on all other arch formations. There are however canyoneering excursions that you may want to get involved in to release the climber within you. These excursions allow visitors to repel off rocks and down into the caverns below. The sport can be dangerous if you are not properly prepared and therefore anyone, regardless of experience level, that chooses to engage in canyoneering within Arches National Park is required to get a permit for the activity.
See the Stars
A view of the stars can be found practically anywhere on a clear night, but city lights limit the view you can have of the night sky. Outlying areas tend to give a better view of the stars, but nothing compares to truly getting away from it all in the desert environment. Within Arches National Park on a clear night when the moon is not visible, there are more stars than can be counted. You will likely stay up most of the night camping in the cool environment of the desert air makes for the perfect backdrop to a night of back country camping in Arches National Park.
Things to Know
Like all national parks, they are protected lands and part of that protection comes from their ability to pay the rangers to patrol the area and keep the park maintained. The fees collected at the entrance to the park are one way that the park works to maintain its staff. The fees are $25 for a private vehicle, $15 for motorcycle, and $10 for an individual arriving on foot or non-motorized transportation. The pass is good for 7 days and annual park passes can be purchased for $50 should you decide to make your visit to Arches National Park a regular event multiple times per year. Camping in the park is an additional fee and depends on how many people are within your group. Rates start at $25 per night for 1 to 10 campers.
Download a Arches National Park Map
Planning a Arches National Park? Be sure to download the official Arches National Park map, below, or use our interactive maps to find restaurants, hotels, or activities along the route of your choosing in and around the park. Either way, don’t leave home without a map of Arches National Park. This free Arches National Park map shows park roads, attractions, and more.
Average High/Low Temperatures
Official Arches National Park Map – Click on the Map to download