Visiting Arches National Park in the Fall

Located in southeastern Utah, visiting Arches National Park in the fall is a terrific time of year to enjoy the red rock formations, dramatic sandstone canyons, and towering spires!

There is so much to do, see and photograph at Arches in September, October and November. Use this Arches National Park travel guide to plan your fall vacation: things to do, what to pack, where to stay, expected weather and more!

Arches NP in the fall everything you need to know

With its array of hiking trails and scenic drives, you’ll find plenty to explore during your fall trip to Arches National Park.

Whether you spend just one day or stay for longer, there are plenty of ways to experience Arches National Park in the fall. With its breathtaking surroundings and abundance of outdoor activities, this is one national park that you don’t want to miss!

Check out these itineraries to help plan your fall vacation to Arches National Park:

Arches National Park Travel Bundle
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A Photo Tour of Arches National Park

Take a visual tour through Arches National Park to see the stunning landscapes you’ll see when you visit!

Visiting Arches National Park in the Fall

Early fall is considered the busy season at Arches National Park so be prepared for crowds.

September and October you’ll need to reserve a Timed Entry Ticket for Arches National Park to enter the park from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

BUT if you don’t have a ticket, you can still visit the park as long as you enter before 6 am. In the fall 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 Fall a Good Time to Visit Arches National Park?

The fall months are a terrific time of year for visiting Arches National Park because the weather is perfect for enjoying outdoor activities! 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 fall is the best time for you to go to Arches.

Fall Weather at Arches

The fall Arches National Park weather and temperatures during the day range from 60 degrees to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The lows will dip down into the 30s  to the 50s. 

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

Here’s a list of Arches National Park fall activities to choose from:

Arches Ranger- Led Programs in the Fall

The Arches National Park Visitor Center is open every day in the fall – check the website for Arches National Park operating dates and hours.

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. 

You can also find out what Arches Ranger-led Programs are available during the fall.

If you’re visiting Arches National Park with kids, be sure to check out the Arches Junior Ranger Program!

Arches National Park scenic drive
Arches Scenic Drive

Arches Scenic Drive in the Fall

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 photos. 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.

We highly recommend getting the Arches GuideAlong Audio Tour: use the suggested itineraries in the app tour plan, or divide the commentary to create your own half, full or multi day sightseeing trips. 

Broken Arch hiking trail
Broken Arch hiking trail

Arches Hiking Trails in the Fall

Most of the Arches National Park fall hikes 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.

When hiking at Arches in in the fall it’s important to stay hydrated and protect yourself from the sun: pack water bottles, wear sunscreen and a sunhat!

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.

Photograph Arches in the Fall

The park is filled with endless Arches National Park photo spots, especially at sunrise and sunset!

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!

milky way over fins at Arches National Park
Milky way over fins at Arches

Fall Stargazing at Arches National 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. During the fall months, the Milky Way is visible at these times:

  • September – 8:30 pm to 11:30 pm
  • October – 8:00 pm to 9:30 pm
  • November – not visible

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!

Fall Tours at Arches National Park

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’s a list of fun tours to do at Arches in the fall:

Fall Camping in Arches National Park

If you’re interested in Arches National Park camping there’s only one small campground in the park. You will need to reserve a spot at Devil’s Garden Campground for fall camping.

There are other camping, glamping, and RV Parks in the Moab area if you can’t get a reservation in the park:

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

Fall Activities Near Arches National Park

You’ll find more things to do near Arches National Park to add to your itinerary:

Fall Packing List for Arches National Park

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

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