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.

Use this 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!

Located in southeast Utah, Arches National Park features over 2,000 natural sandstone arches!

Arches NP in October plus free packing list

October is the perfect weather for enjoying outdoor activities like hiking and photography at Arches National Park.

We live only a few hours away from Arches so we’ve had the opportunity to visit many times. The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting the area throughout the years, and specifically for the month of October!

Check out these Arches National Park itineraries with done-for-you daily schedules based on the amount of time you have to spend at the park!

Arches National Park Travel Bundle
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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

Arches National Park is open 24/7. In September you’ll need an Arches Timed Entry Ticket to enter the park from 6 am to 5 pm.

Don’t worry if you can’t get a ticket because you can still visit the park as long as you enter before 6 am. Time your entry 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!

Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch

Arches Weather in October

Fall is the perfect time to visit Arches National Park. In October, Expect Arches National Park weather is usually moderate with highs most days 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 you pack:

Things to Do at Arches National Park in October

Here’s a list of Arches National Park fall activities to explore this stunning park!

There are fun way to get the family excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

Kids, and adults, will enjoy collecting stamps in their National Park Passport book! Passport booklets and stamp sets are “usually” available at the park visitor centers, but we recommend you get the passport book before the trip, just in case!! We’ve seen sad kiddos when a visitor center is out of passport books. Rangers can stamp a piece of paper, but it’s not just the same experience!

Ranger Programs in October at Arches

Arches Ranger-led programs are a great way to learn about the park and it’s attractions. Check out what activities are available during your stay in October.

Be sure to stop by the visitor center and have a chat with one of the park rangers. Let them know what interests you and get their recommendations.

If you’re visiting Arches National Park with kids, be sure to grab the Junior Ranger booklet so they can earn their Junior Ranger Badge!

Arches National Park scenic drive
View of the scenic drive in Arches

Arches Scenic Drive in October

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.

We recommend the Arches GuideAlong App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

Broken Arch hiking trail

Hiking at Arches in October

 Arches National Park fall hikes 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!

We recommend you visit The Windows Area and Devil’s Garden Trail in the morning so you don’t have to fight the crowds. Delicate Arch is awesome at sunset for photography, but it may be impossible to get a parking spot. You may want to hike to Delicate Arch in the morning as well!

You’ll want to plan the popular and busy hikes first thing then fit in the other shorter hikes like Sand Dune Arch, Skyline Arch and Balanced Rock during the later afternoon when parking spots open up more frequently.

Sunset at Balanced Rock
Sunset at Balanced Rock

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!

Sunrise at Arches National Park: We enjoy taking sunrise photos at La Sal Overlook, Courthouse Towers, and the Windows area. If you don’t want your photos to have people climbing on the rocks, you’ll also want to photograph Balanced Rock, Turret Arch or the Windows in the morning.

Sunset at Arches National Park is awesome. You’ll find many locations it will be hard to get photos without people! This is especially true at Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock and The Windows.

You can also download a free checklist of the Arches National Park photo spots!

milky-way-fins-Arches-national-park-utah-photo-jeepers (4)
Milky Way at Arches

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!

Arches National Park Tours in October

With experienced guides on Arches National Park tours, you can explore all the amazing sights the park has to offer and make sure you don’t miss anything.

Booking a tour to explore Arches National Park is a great way to learn more about the area and its history: hiking, scenic drive, rock climbing, off road driving, and photography to name a few.

Here are few tours at Arches we recommend for October:

Arches Camping in October

In October you will need a reservation for Arches National Park camping at the one campground in the park. Reservations for camping at Devil’s Garden Campground are required from March 1- October 31.

If you don’t reserve a spot ahead of time, you most likely will need to find a place to camp outside the park. You can reserve these spots up to 6 months in advance. 

You’ll also find RV Parks near Arches National Park for camping in case you can’t get a spot in the park.

If you want to enjoy camping in style, check out these options for Glamping near Arches National Park!

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

Things To Do Near Arches National Park in October

You’ll find a ton of other places to visit in Utah that are near Arches National Park to add to your itinerary:

Lodging Near Arches National Park in October

There are no lodges inside Arches National Park so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. There are all types of lodging options in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts.

Packing List for Arches in October

Use our Arches National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in October! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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