Visiting Arches National Park in February

Have you ever considered visiting Arches National Park in February? It’s one of our favorite times to go, if you don’t mind cold and possible snow.

Use this Arches National Park travel guide to plan a February vacation. We share things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more!

Arches National Park in February

We live close enough to the park to visit various times throughout year so we have lots of Arches National Park vacation ideas to share!

This guide has everything you need to know to plan your February vacation to Arches: weather, services available, and what to expect when visiting.

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A Photo Tour of Arches National Park

Take a visual tour through Arches National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Arches National Park in February

One of the 5 Utah National Parks, Arches is a popular destination and it gets crowded during the peak seasons of spring and fall.

When you visit Arches National Park in the winter, you often have the parking lots and trails to yourself! It’s the best!

But… there are no ranger-led hikes or campfire talks in the winter at Arches.

Empty parking lot at Arches National Park in the winter.
Empty parking lot at Arches National Park in the winter.

Is February a Good Time to Visit Arches National Park?

The February weather will be cold, and you may encounter snow, but it’s so amazing to see the contrast of white snow against the red rocks.

Yes, most of the Arches National Park hiking trails remain open year-round. You may find there are parts of the Delicate Arch trail and Devil’s Garden trail that can be slippery from packed snow and ice and may require traction devices and trekking poles. 

If you’re ok with all of that, then you should definitely visit Arches in February!

Arches Weather in February

The Arches National Park weather in February is cold and can be unpredictable if a storm rolls through. The average highs are near 52 degrees with the lows near 28 degrees.

Remember that Arches National Park is located at 5,653 feet above sea level so it does get cold in the winter, even if the sun is out.

Dress in layers when visiting Arches in February: winter coat, fleece jacketwinter hat and gloves. Take warm winter clothing so you’ll actually want to get out of the car when you get to the trailhead. Hiking boots should be warm and waterproof. No one wants soggy feet! Remember that this area of Utah is a dry environment, don’t forget lip balm and lotion!

You can see current weather conditions at Arches on the NPS website and updated photographs of trail conditions at the Arches visitor center. 

Wear layers at Arches National Park in the winter.
Wear layers at Arches National Park in the winter.

Does it Snow in February at Arches National Park?

Usually Arches National Park doesn’t see large amounts of snow in February. But it’s common to get a dusting of snow, or even a few inches of snow, when storms roll through the area. The snow is a terrific contrast with the red rocks to create wonderful scenes to photograph!

Do the Roads Close at Arches in February?

The park road might be closed after a snowfall for several hours for plowing. For road conditions getting to Arches, check the Utah Road Weather Forecast or call 1-866-511-UTAH (8824).

Park roads, parking lots, and pullouts can still be icy, especially in shaded areas. Check at the visitor center for the latest information on road conditions.

Things to Do at Arches National Park in February

There are so many things to do at Arches National Park – here’s what we recommend when visiting in February:

Arches Visitor Center in February

When visiting Arches National Park you should make the visitor center your first stop! It is open every day in February except for Washington’s Birthday. 

Take time to talk to the park ranger and tell him things that are of interest to you and get tips and ideas on other things to do. 

NOTE: There are no ranger-led hikes or campfire talks in the winter at Arches.

Arches National Park scenic drive.
Arches National Park scenic drive.

Arches Scenic Drive in February

When it’s cold or stormy, the Arches National Park scenic drive will be a good activity to stay warm. It’s 43 miles including the two spur roads and takes 2 to 3 hours. If you plan to get out and take photos or hike a trail, then add more time.

The scenic drive provides so many Arches National Park photography locations. Many landmarks can be seen from the pullouts and parking lot. Download the Arches map of the scenic road marking all points of interest.

Landscape Arch with snow at Arches National Park.
Landscape Arch with snow at Arches National Park.

Hiking in February at Arches

In February, the Arches National Park Hiking trails are very enjoyable when the sun is out, which is quite different from summer when you’re sweating and worrying about heat exhaustion.

It’s important to stay hydrated so carry your refillable water bottle and wear sunscreen in the winter!

Most of the trails at Arches are fully exposed to the sun, which is perfect for your visit in February. But there may still be ice, snow and mud in the shady areas of the trails. Check out our Devil’s Garden Trail Guide – it’s a fun trail to do in February to at least see Landscape Arch!

Check with the visitor’s center for the most current trail conditions, and if you’ll need traction devices on any of the trails.

Skyline Arch with snow at Arches National Park.
Skyline Arch with snow at Arches in the winter.

Photography at Arches National Park in February

We often wish for snow when we take our February trip to Arches. The landscape of red rocks with white snow is so pretty!

Arches National Park photography in the winter might give you some fun images when there’s rain, snow and fog.

Remember that Delicate Arch is a popular place to photograph sunset at Arches National Park. It won’t be as crowded in February, and you may get lucky on a week day to have the area to yourself!

Delicate Arch at sunset.
Delicate Arch at sunset.

A photo of Delicate Arch with the snow covered mountains in the background is one of the advantages for visiting in February.

And since February will be cold, we like to use photographer gloves and keep rechargeable hand warmers in our coat pockets! Don’t forget a headlamp for navigating the dark before sunrise and after sunset!

→ CHECK OUT: Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide

Stargazing in February at Arches

Definitely take one evening to stay after the sun set and LOOK UP!

Arches National Park is internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.

Stargazing through the North Window at Arches National Park.
Stargazing through the North Window at Arches National Park.

The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” encourages visiting at night to simply Look up! On a clear night, the sky is literally filled with stars.

The Milky Way MAY not be visible at Arches in February, but it’s worth a try! It’s usually best viewed from March to October.

These are great stargazing areas at Arches:

  • Balanced Rock Picnic Area
  • The Windows
  • Garden of Eden Viewpoint
  • Panorama Point
Arches National Park Travel Bundle

Planning an Arches National Park Vacation:

Where to Stay Near Arches National Park:

There are no hotels in Arches so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. There are all types of lodging in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts. You’ll also find vacation rentals, a hostel, campgrounds and RV parks.

Here are a few of our favorite places to stay near Arches:

  • Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
  • Purple Sage – our all-time favorite place to stay in Moab – walking distance to shopping, full kitchen, and only 8 units so you don’t feel lost in a large hotel. 
  • Red Cliffs Lodge – rooms up to 6 people – located 17 miles from Moab, this lodge is known for its beautiful location, winery and activities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Vacation Rentals Near Arches – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.
Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

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