Visiting Arches National Park in October

Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Arches National Park in October?

Arches in the fall is an amazing time to go.

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

October is the perfect weather for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and photography.

Use this guide to help you decide if an October vacation to Arches is the right time for you to plan a trip.

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WHAT TO PACK FOR ARCHES NATIONAL PARK

To get the most out of visiting this park, you must be prepared with the right clothing and gear.

DOWNLOAD our Arches National Park packing list for summer and winter.

Hiking Shoes – Injuries from improper footwear is a common problem that casual visitors and hikers encounter. To make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible, avoid smooth-soled shoes and only wear sturdy shoes with ample tread. We always recommend Merrell Moab hiking shoes of course!

Hydration and Food – Due to the high desert and altitude in Southeastern Utah, you should drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you during all hiking activities (water is also available at the Arches National Park Visitor Center and at the Devils Garden trailhead and Campground). Accordingly, be sure to eat plenty of healthy snacks and food. We use Camelbak hydration packs or carry Hydroflask bottles in our packs.

Lip Balm and Lotion – Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin. You’ll want to carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when you’re out exploring the trails.

Clothing – Summers in the park mean soaring temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting UV clothing that does not absorb sunlight. Also avoid sun burn by wearing a wide brimmed hat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.

During the winter, wearing the right clothing is important to stay dry and warm. Take note that snow and ice can accumulate and make popular trails quite slippery. That’s why trekking poles and traction devices for your shoes are essential. It’s also just as easy to become dehydrated in the cold as it is in the heat. It’s important to carry plenty of water during the winter, and not just during the summer.

During spring and fall, it’s all about layers! The mornings and evenings will be cool so have a fleece jacket handy!

National Parks Pass – Before you visit Arches National Park be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.

Other items we recommend – US national parks packing list

Where to Stay Near Arches:

Arches National Park camping can only be done at the one small campground.

There are no hotels in Arches so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. You’ll find restaurants and places to shop which adds to the appeal to find accommodations in 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

READ OUR FULL GUIDE: Places to stay near Arches National Park in Moab

  • 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 – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.
  • Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!

TOP REASON TO VISIT ARCHES IN OCTOBER

There are two words that describe visiting Arches in the fall: perfect weather!

In October, the temperatures begin to fall. The high for most days is about 71 degrees with the lows fall into the low 40s. 

Because it’s not too hot and not too cold, it’s the best time to enjoy all the outdoor activities you’ll find at Arches: hiking, biking, climbing, photography and more!

BIGGEST DRAWBACK

Arches is a small national park in Utah and it gets crowded during the peak seasons of spring and fall.

You may encounter lines to get into the park, so go early! Also don’t forget that late afternoon and early evening are terrific times to go as well.

The hiking trails at Arches National Park may be busy, especially the Windows area, Delicate Arch and Devil’s Garden.

But you really can’t beat the amazing weather, so don’t let the crowds sway your decision.

If you’re open to visiting during colder weather with possible rain or snow storms, then you may want to consider Arches in the winter!

ARCHES WEATHER IN OCTOBER

Fall is the perfect time to visit Arches National Park. In October, the high for most days is about 71 degrees with the lows falling into the low 40s. 

October is usually a dry month. You can see current weather conditions at Arches on the NPS website and check weather forecasts in advance for rain.

You’ll find cooler temperatures at night so we recommend a fleece jacket, a buff or hat and maybe some gloves for the nights and early mornings.

Since it’s a dry environment, don’t forget lip balm and lotion!

HIKING IN OCTOBER

Hiking at Arches in October is the best – not too hot and not too cold! It’s quite different from summer when you’re sweating and worrying about heat exhaustion. Seriously!

Remember it’s still important to stay hydrated and wear sunscreen!

Because it’s the perfect weather for hiking, the park and trails will be busy. We always recommend getting up early to hit the trails!

Check out our Day Hike Checklist so you don’t forget anything: clothing, gear, food, water, navigation tools, first aid and more!

→ CHECK OUT Devil’s Garden Trail Guide

→ CHECK OUT 10 Amazing Hiking Trails in Arches

PHOTOGRAPHY IN OCTOBER

October is a great time for photography at Arches.

The best times to photograph the park are sunrise and sunset. The colors are vibrant and the light creates a spectacular glow on the red rocks that cannot be missed.

CHECK OUT our 3 day photography guide for Arches National Park to capitalize on all the best places and times to take pictures in the park!

Delicate Arch at sunset might be the most famous image to photograph in the park. It will be crowded so pack your patience. And don’t forget a headlamp for the hike back to your car!

If you’re interested in photographing the milky way, October is your last chance until spring. It will be visible after sunset and only be in the sky a short time before it sets.

→ CHECK OUT: 3 Day Photography Guide for Arches National Park

→ CHECK OUT: Arches National Park Photography Tips

STARGAZING IN OCTOBER

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.

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 is best viewed from March to October. Remember to use a headlamp with a red light so you don’t interfere with other photographers around you by shining a bright light!

FAQ’S FOR VISITING IN OCTOBER

Is Arches National Park Open in October?

You bet! The park is open 24/7. Visit the NPS site to get the more current information.

What Park Activities Can You Do October?

What is the Best Time to Visit Arches National Park?

Each season at Arches National Park has it’s good and bad.

If you’re looking for the best time to visit Arches, check out our guide that details what to expect during each season AND each month!

Spring and fall are crowded, but the weather is amazing! Summer is SO HOT, really! We love winter, but it does get cold and you may encounter snow.

So it’s up to you to decide which season and month is best for the type of travel you prefer.

RESOURCES TO PLAN A TRIP TO ARCHES

More Places to Visit Near Arches

national park packing lists

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