Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Arches National Park in October? Arches in the fall is an amazing time to go.
Use our Arches National Park travel guide and the information below to help you plan your vacation. We share things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more!
October is the perfect weather for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and photography at Arches National Park.
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Arches National Park Packing List
DOWNLOAD and print the packing checklist for Arches National Park!
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Arches National Park guide books and maps
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
Arches National Park Photo Spots
Take a look at the jaw-dropping landscape you can photograph at Arches National Park!
VISITING ARCHES NATIONAL PARK IN OCTOBER
The first thing you need to know is that you’ll need a ticket to enter Arches in September: TIMED ENTRY pilot program April through October, 2022:
Timed entry tickets will be required to enter the park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and will allow visitors to enter the park during a one-hour specified window of availability. After entering, visitors may stay in the park as long as they wish for the remainder of the day. Reservation holders may exit and re-enter the park on the same day with a correctly validated ticket. Visitors can book reservations first-come, first-served on Recreation.gov. The park will release reservations three months in advance in monthly blocks.
BUT if you don’t have a ticket, you can still visit the park as long as you enter before 6 am. In September we highly recommend getting to the park EARLY anyway so you can see and photograph the sunrise at Arches National Park!
Another option is to visit the park after 5 p.m. when the crowds in the late afternoon start to diminish. You won’t need a ticket to see and photograph sunset at Arches National Park, or enjoy stargazing at night!
Is October a Good Time to Visit Arches National Park?
Arches is a small Utah National Park and it gets crowded during the peak seasons of spring and fall.
Arches National Park in the Fall is a terrific time of year for visiting Arches National Park. But it’s considered the busy season so be prepared for crowds. Check out our list of best times to visit Arches National Park with information about what to expect during each season and every month of the year to decide if October is the best time for you to go to Arches.
If you’re open to visiting during colder weather with possible rain or snow storms, then you may want to consider Arches National Park 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!
Arches & Canyonlands AUDIO TOUR
“Download the app to your phone – no cell or wifi service needed. Based on your GPS location, the app takes you on a guided tour of the park and points out all the interesting features and stops. It’s like having a park ranger in the car with you.”
Things to Do at Arches National Park in October
There are so many things to do at Arches National Park – here’s a list of fun outdoor activities you can do in October:
Arches Scenic Drive
The Arches National Park scenic drive is a must-do activity in October. The park road includes two spur roads and takes about 2 to 3 hours to complete. You’ll add more time if you plan to stop and take photos or hike any of the trails along the route.
The 43 mile road is paved with pullouts and parking lots perfect for any Arches National Park photography you want to do. Some of the arches and landmarks can be seen from the parking lot, or by a short walk.
Download the Arches National Park map to navigate along the scenic road to each point of interest.
Hiking at Arches in October
Arches National Park Hiking Trails in October are 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!
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! The Devil’s Garden Trail Guide is our favorite!
- What to Bring on a Day Hike
- Hiking Gear and Tips for Kids
- Winter Clothing for Hiking
- Photography Gear for Hiking
Arches Photography in October
October is a great time for Arches National Park photography. 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 Arches and Canyonlands itinerary and photography guide so you’ll know 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
Stargazing in October at Arches National Park
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!
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps:
Things To Do Near Arches National Park
You’ll find a ton of other places to visit in Utah that are near Arches National Park to add to your itinerary:
- Things to Do in Moab
- Kid-Friendly Things to do in Moab, Utah
- Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky
- Needles Canyonlands
- Dead Horse Point State Park
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.
- Places to Stay Near Arches National Park
- Hotels Near Arches National Park
- Places to Stay Near Arches National Park with Kids
- Arches National Park Camping
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 – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.