Arches National Park in the fall is the perfect time to go. There is so much to do, see and photograph at Arches in September, October and November.
Here’s our guide to visiting Arches in the fall.
• What to Pack for Arches National Park in the Fall
• Fall Weather at Arches
• Things to do at Arches in the Fall
• Best Fall Hikes at Arches
• Arches Travel Planning Guides
• Where to Stay Near Arches National Park
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WHAT TO PACK FOR ARCHES IN THE FALL
To get the most out of visiting Arches, you must be prepared with the right clothing and gear.
DOWNLOAD our Arches National Park packing list.
→ HEALTHY SNACKS: There is no food available at Arches, so pack and eat healthy snacks and food.
→ SUNSCREEN, LIP BALM & LOTION: Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin. You’ll want to use sunscreen; carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when you’re out exploring the trails at Arches.
→ WEAR LAYERS: The morning and evening temperatures are cool and the daytime highs get warm at Arches in the fall so it’s all about the layers. We always recommend long sleeve UV hiking shirts and wicking hiking pants as well as a good fleece jacket!
TIP: Before you visit Arches National Park be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.
Other items we recommend:
Fall Weather at Arches
Fall is the perfect time to visit 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.
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.
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.
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.
If you are hoping to see snow at Arches, you will have the best chance of seeing it while visiting Arches in the winter.
Things to Do In Arches National Park in the Fall
Arches is located in Southern Utah located near the fun outdoor adventure town of Moab.
There are so many things to do in Arches in the fall. From the hiking trails, the scenic drives, and the great photo spots you will find plenty to do and see.
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.
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!
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
It’s no surprise we love to photograph Arches, especially in the fall.
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 Arches & Canyonlands Photography Guide and Itinerary. 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
Arches National Park is known for its incredible hiking. Here are a few of our favorite Arches hikes.
The Devil’s Garden Trail / Landscape Arch Trail
Devil’s Garden hike is the longest trail in Arches National Park, totaling 7.2 miles round trip.
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 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
• Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Moab – we enjoyed our stay and highly recommend this hotel due to its location close to Arches.
• 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!
• Condos south of town – we really like the King size bed in the master, washer and dryer in the unit and a swimming pool/hot tub (just a 5 minute drive south of Moab).