If you’re planning to visit Arches National Park in September, it’s important to know what to expect: weather, things to do, what to pack, and where to stay.
Use this Arches National Park travel guide so you know what to expect when planning an August vacation!
Keep reading for our tips when planning a September trip to Arches National Park. We share all the fun things to do and how to avoid the crowds in September.
Check out these Arches National Park itineraries:
- Arches National Park in One Day
- Two Days in Arches National Park
- Three Days in Arches National Park
- Arches National Park and Canyonlands in One Day
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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 September
The first thing you need to know is that you’ll need a ticket to enter Arches in September:
Arches TIMED ENTRY program runs April through October. 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 September a Good Time to Visit Arches National Park?
September 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 September is the best time for you to go to Arches.
Arches Weather in September
September begins the fall season at Arches. Expect highs around 88 and lows around 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
At Arches National Park in the fall we like enjoying the park in the cooler mornings and evenings. It’s the best way to avoid the crowds as well. You might need to pack a fleece jacket for those cooler times of the day.
Tips for Visiting Arches National Park in the Fall
In this video we share our tips for planning a fall vacation to Arches National Park.
Things to Do at Arches National Park in September
Most of the things to do at Arches National Park will be outside activities so plan to start early to enjoy the cooler times at morning and evening.
Arches Scenic Drive
The Arches National Park scenic drive is a must-do activity. It 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.
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.”
Arches Hiking Trails in September
Most of the Arches National Park hiking trails are fully exposed to the sun. To avoid that harsh sun when hiking, head out in the morning or late afternoon when it’s a bit cooler.
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.
Arches Photography in September
You’ll find yourself taking a ton of Arches National Park photos.
Sunrise Photography at Arches: Plan to get up early to photograph sunrise at Arches National Park. Doing this you won’t need to worry about getting a timed permit!
Sunrise photo spots: 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 Photography at Arches: Watching and photographing 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.
We share tips like this in our 3 day Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide. It details all the best places and times to take pictures! You can also download a free checklist of the Arches National Park photo spots!
Stargazing at Arches in September
You can’t beat stargazing at Arches National Park! The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” invites you to take one evening to enjoy a star-filled sky! In September the milky way is visible right after sunset!
Did you know Arches (and the Moab area) is internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing? It gets that distinction because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.
Arches National Park is a popular destination for astrophotographers so you won’t be alone in the park at night. Be sure to use a headlamp with a red 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.
RECOMMENDED GEAR: Arches National Park Packing List