Must-Read Tips for Visiting Arches National Park in the Fall

Arches National Park in the fall is a wonderful getaway destination.

There is so much to do, see and photograph at Arches in September, October and November. 

Use our Arches National Park travel guide and the information below to plan your fall vacation.

We share things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more!

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What to Pack

Here’s the list of gear we recommend for a National Park trip in the fall:

→ CHECK OUT our US National Park Packing List.

1. US National Parks Pass: You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.

→ BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation. 

2.  Fall Hiking Shoes: → Check out our FAVORITE hiking shoes/boots!

3. Fall Hiking Socks:  → Check out the BEST SOCKS EVER!

4. Fall Clothing for Hiking (Layers)

Wicking and quick-drying base layers

Fleece jacket (Columbia is the BEST!)

Rain jacket

5. Daypack

6. WATER:  → We carry water bottles or hydration backpacks

7. FOOD:  → Check out our favorite healthy snacks

8. Flashlight:  → Check out the headlamps we like

9. National Park maps

10. Female urination device

11. Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)

12. Hand sanitizer

13. First aid kit

14. Bags to pack out trash

15. Camera Gear – DOWNLOAD our Camera Gear Checklist

16. Photography gear for hiking

Timed Entry at Arches in the Fall

PLEASE NOTE: Arches will be doing a 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.

Fall Weather at Arches

Fall is the perfect time for visiting Arches National Park. The temperatures during the day range from 60 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The lows will dip down into the 30s  to the 50s. 

SEPTEMBER: If you are visiting Arches in September you can expect to see temperatures range from 85 degrees being the highs to 54 degrees being the lows. 

Arches National Park in October: Once October hits, the temperatures begin to fall even more. The high for most days is about 71 degrees with the lows fall into the low 40s. 

Arches National Park in November: November tends to be quite cool at Arches National Park. The highs are around 55 degrees and the lows can be in the high 20s. 

With the cooler temperatures at night, you will definitely want to bring a warm hat and gloves for the nights and early mornings. 

Dressing in layers is especially important as it gets warmer throughout the day. We recommend a fleece jacket, warm hat and gloves for the cooler mornings and evenings.

If you are hoping to see snow at Arches, you will have the best chance of seeing it while visiting Arches National Park in the winter

Things to Do In Arches National Park in the Fall

There are so many things to do at Arches National Park.

Here’s a list of activities you can do in the fall:

Stop at the Visitor Center

While visiting Arches National Park we love to make the visitor center our very first spot! It is open every day in the fall.  

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. 

Hike Around Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is one of the most magnificent things you will see while visiting Arches.

Yes, you can see this rock structure from the parking lot or pullouts, but it’s worth it to get out and walk along the trail that goes around the base of the rock. 

Balanced Rock trail is paved for a bit, then becomes a nice compacted dirt trail with less than 50 feet gain in elevation. 

Experience Ranger- Led Programs

There are fun and interactive ranger-led programs that run through the end of September.

If you’re visiting Arches in early fall, the ranger-led programs are fun to do especially if it is your first time at the park. 

Enjoy Stargazing

Did you know that Arches has some of the best stargazing? There’s a saying that says “Half the Park is After Dark”.

Take the time to stay in the park on a clear night and you’ll see why!  

Our favorite locations to photograph the stars and milky way at Arches are the Windows area and Balanced Rock.

Explore the Windows Area

The Windows area of Arches includes: Turret Arch, the North and South Windows, and Double Arch. Much of the area can be viewed from the parking lot, but the 1 mile round trip trail to get a more up close and personal is a must! 

Turret Arch Utah National Park in the spring

Be sure to arrive early in the morning if you want to get a photo of this area without people. 

Watching the sunrise or the sunset through these windows and arches makes for an awesome show you will not want to miss. 

Photograph Arches in the Fall

Arches National Park photography is amazing!

Take advantage of the smaller crowds, and more moderate temperatures, to get some truly epic pictures of Arches throughout the day. 

If you’re serious about photography, check out our 3 day Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide. We share the best photography spots broken down by the time of day, and give you our favorite 3 day itinerary! 

Best Fall Hikes at Arches

You can find an Arches National Park hiking trail for all levels: easy, moderate and strenuous. Here are a few of our favorite hikes at Arches!

The Devil’s Garden Trail / Landscape Arch Trail

Devil’s Garden trail totals 7.2 miles round trip, IF you do the entire loop. 

If you are not an experienced hiker then it is best to do the first mile to the famous Landscape Arch. After you reached Landscape Arch the trail requires climbing up and over sections of slick rock. 

Landscape Arch is the largest arch on the planet. This trail round trip is just under two miles to complete.

You will find the Landscape Arch trail to be flat. The ground you walk on is a hard-packed surface making it nice for kids and older visitors. It has no significant elevation gain which makes for a more pleasant trail to hike as well.

Delicate Arch Hiking Trail

If you are looking for a moderate hike that has an incredible ending destination then you want to go see Delicate Arch.

The trail to see the arch up close is 3 miles roundtrip and climbs 480 feet in elevation. The hike is mostly uphill on slickrock and takes 1 to 1 ½ hours if you are reasonably fit.

Delicate Arch cannot be viewed from the main road, but you can see it from afar if you don’t want to try the more strenuous hike to see it up close.

At the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint you’ll walk 100 yards along a level path to see the arch one mile away. There is an Upper Viewpoint that takes you a little closer, but it does require walking ½ mile with some stairs at the end.

Sand Dune and Broken Arch Trail

Sand Dune Arch is a must-do if you’re visiting Arches with kids. The easy hike takes you to a sandy area with many places to explore, play and hide. Do not climb on top of the arch as that’s against park policy.

The Broken Arch trail is accessed from the same trailhead as Sand Dune Arch. You can see it way off in the distance. The trail is fairly level most of the way, then has a few sloping sections as you get closer to the arch.

Fiery Furnace Trail

Fiery Furnace is like a maze but with no marked trail. To explore this part of Arches National Park a permit is required. As well as the skill level to be able to complete it. 

It is highly recommended that you sign up for a ranger-guided tour that is approximately two hours long. Advance reservations for a guided tour are highly recommended and encouraged.  

RESOURCES TO PLAN A TRIP TO ARCHES

More Places to Visit Near Arches

Where to Stay Near Arches:

There are no hotels in the park. Here’s our list of where to stay near Arches National Park.

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

We recommend the following accommodations 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!
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