Here’s a list of our favorite Arches National Park photo spots with tips for the best times to photograph each location.
We’ve also go an Arches National Park travel guide to help you plan a vacation: things to do, what to pack, where to stay and more!
We live close to Arches National Park so we’re able to visit often and know the best times of day to take photos at each location. You’ll find a list of photo spots and photo tips to capture the best Arches National Park photography!
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CAMERA GEAR FOR ARCHES NATIONAL PARK PHOTOGRAPHY
We have a printed Camera Gear Checklist to help us pack all the equipment we need – that way we don’t forget anything!
- Cameras for Landscape Photography
- Lightweight Travel Tripods
- Camera Bag: Protecting your camera from the sand and dust in Arches is essential. Using a camera backpack is so nice for hiking too.
- Neutral density filter: There can be extreme differences in light around the various rock structures. To compensate for this variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter.
- Camera cleaning kit: You’ll want to remove dust that WILL get on your lens – this is NOT for cleaning the sensor.
- Memory cards
- External hard drive: Don’t forget to copy the photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’.
- Headlamp with a red light: For the best sunrise, sunset or night sky shots, you’ll be navigating in the dark. Use a headlamp to light your way from the parking lot to your spot. Wearing a headlamp allows you to set up your equipment without having to hold a flashlight. Remember to use the red light setting and keep the beam pointed on the ground in front of you to avoid disrupting other photographers in the area taking long exposure shots.
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!
Basic Information for Visiting Arches
Arches National Park is located in southeastern Utah just a few miles north of Moab. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, hundreds of stone pinnacles rising into the sky, immense rock fins and large balanced rocks.
The golden light at sunrise and sunset are amazing reflected on the red rocks! Arches National Park is also a well-known stargazing location.
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.
If you don’t get a timed entry ticket, don’t worry. Plan to arrive before 5:30 am or enter after 5:00 pm, which is perfect for sunrise and sunset photography anyway!!
Things to do at Arches:
- Things to do at Arches National Park
- Arches National Park hiking trails
- Arches National Park scenic drive
If you’re serious about taking the best Arches National Park photos…..
→ CHECK OUT our Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide
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 NATIONAL PARK PHOTO SPOTS
The unique landscape of arches, balanced rocks, fins and other slickrock formations makes Arches National Park photography so fun. Here’s a list of the best places to take pictures at Arches in order as you enter the park.
1 – Arches Scenic Drive
The road is paved and offers Arches National Park photo spots from the pullouts along the road or in the parking lots. Some of the arches and landmarks can be reached by a short walk from the parking lot.
2 – Park Avenue
When you follow the trail down and walk between the immense sandstone monoliths it feels like the real Park Avenue in New York City soaring skyscrapers on either side.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: middle to late afternoon when the valley is in shadow and the sun lights up the east wall.
3 – La Sal Mountain Viewpoint
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunrise is amazing to see the reflected light from the rising sun cast a warm red glow pm the formations.
4 – Courthouse Towers
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunrise is amazing with the warm light glow on the formations.
5 – Balanced Rock
We also stop at the various pullouts along the main road to capture different views of Balanced Rock.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunrise, morning, afternoon and sunset are all good times here. In the morning you won’t have as many people hiking along the trail getting in your shot!
6 – Delicate Arch
This arch cannot be viewed from the main road. To see Delicate Arch up close you must hike 3 miles roundtrip and climb 480 feet in elevation. The hike is mostly uphill and takes 1 to 1 ½ hours if you are reasonably fit. (Arches National Park hiking trails)
Or you can view the arch from a distance. There’s a short path at the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint to see the arch one mile away. You can get a bit closer by hiking to the Upper Viewpoint, ½ mile with some stairs.
Delicate Arch is a main attraction and will be busy all the time. It’s one of the best sunset spots in Arches so you’ll see photographers lined up along the bowl waiting for the magical moment. There could be hundreds of people in the small area during the summer.
- Arrive at the Delicate Arch bowl at least an hour before sunset to get your spot.
- Walk around to find a unique composition.
- Take a headlamp for the hike down after sunset.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunrise and morning are nice and not as crowded, but you won’t get the orange glow on the entire arch and bowl that you get at sunset.
7 – Fiery Furnace
If that sounds too adventurous or you don’t have time, walk to the viewpoint from the parking lot to get an up-close view of the fins and spires. You can also get a good view of this area from Panorama Point.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunset you’ll see the rocks glowing from the setting sun.
8 – Landscape Arch
As you walk along the trail near the arch, you’ll see different perspectives so be sure to stop and photograph this arch from various locations.
There used to be a short trail that went under the arch, but falling rock from the underside has made it too dangerous for visitors to walk beneath the arch.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: no shadows on the arch late spring and early summer in early morning – the rest of the year at mid-morning.
9 – Devil’s Garden Trail
Most people will hike the trail to Landscape Arch then head back. There are spur trails to see Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch before arriving at Landscape Arch.
Those who want some adventure will continue along the trail that requires climbing up and over long, narrow sections of slickrock, called fins, with steep drop-offs. This section of trail leads to Navajo Arch, Partition Arch and Double O Arch.
- Navajo Arch: Capture the front, back and under-arch views.
- Partition Arch: Capture the front and back sides (there is a steep drop-off on the back side).
- Double O Arch: Pass through the lower opening of the arch and climb the slickrock on the other side to photograph the arch with sky as the background.
- Photograph the fins along the trail as these are just as amazing as the arches!
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunrise and early morning you’ll have the best light, it will be cooler, and won’t be as crowded!
10 – The Windows
We recommend you get here early if you want photos of the arches without people. The Windows area is a very popular Arches National Park photo spot.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: early morning and late afternoon
11 – Turret Arch
- Photograph Turret Arch through the North Window.
- Capture various perspectives and images as you walk around and climb Turret Arch.
- Turret Arch provides a wonderful shape to complement milky way photography.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: sunrise, early morning, sunset and night or milky way photography.
12 – Double Arch
As you hike the short trail to Double Arch, look to your left to see the Parade of Elephants, a rock formation that resembles a herd of elephants holding each others’ tails.
This is a complicated formation that has lighting issues most of the day. Work with the shadows, foreground and scale to capture the arches the best you can.
If it’s crowded and you don’t want people in your shot, focus on the top part of the arches to create a unique perspective.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: early morning.
13 – Sand Dune Arch
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: early morning or late afternoon when the sun isn’t directly lighting the arch between the fins.
14 – Broken Arch
Be sure to take photos from the other side of Broken Arch if you can. There is a moderately steep slickrock section to get through the arch.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: early morning, evening and sunset.
15 – Skyline Arch
Yes, you can take a photo of this arch from the pullout, but you’ll find so many other ways to photograph this arch if you hike along the short trail to get closer to the arch.
BEST TIME TO PHOTOGRAPH: late afternoon and sunset this arch glows with reflected light.
ARCHES NATIONAL PARK NIGHT PHOTO SPOTS
Photographers from around the world come to Arches to photograph the Milky Way.
- Balanced Rock
- The Windows
- Garden of Eden Viewpoint
- Panorama Point
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps:
Visiting Arches National Park:
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Best Time to Visit Arches National Park
- Things to Do at Arches National Park
- Arches National Park with Kids
- Arches National Park Photography
- Tours Near Moab, Utah
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.