Arches National Park Summer Activities

Arches National Park is a stunning landscape located in Utah, making it the perfect place to explore during the summer months. There are a variety of Arches National Park summer activities to create an unforgettable experience.

Use this Arches National Park travel guide to plan an amazing itinerary full of fun summer activities! We also share tips for things to pack, where to stay and more!

Summer activities at Arches National Park

Arches National Park should be at the top of your list of places to visit in Utah if you enjoy summer activities like hiking, biking, scenic drives, photography, and more!

Here are some done-for-you Arches National Park itineraries to help you plan your vacation based on the time you have to spend at the 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!

Summer Vacation at Arches National Park

When you plan your Arches National Park summer vacation it’s important to stay hydrated and use protection because the weather will be hot and dry!

You’ll experience a dry desert environment at Arches so be sure to pack:

During the summer months 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.

You CAN visit Arches without a ticket as long as you enter the park before 6 a.m or after 5 p.m. That’s the best time of day for Arches National Park photography anyway.

Arches National Park Summer Activities

There are so many fun Arches National Park activities you can do in the summer.

We recommend you plan the outdoor activities in the early morning, late afternoon, and evenings to enjoy the cooler temperatures.

Summer Ranger-led Programs at Arches

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

Park rangers are so helpful – tell them what you are most interested in and ask for recommendations. You can also find out what Arches Ranger-led Programs are available during the summer.

The Visitor Center has exhibits to learn about the park as well as a bookstore. Restrooms and drinking water are also available here.

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 National Park scenic drive

Summer Scenic Drive at Arches National Park

Summer is a great time to enjoy the AC as you explore the Arches National Park scenic drive. Plan 2 to 3 hours to drive the road and two short spur roads. If you’ll be stopping to take photos or doing any hiking, then add more time.

The scenic drive is a paved road with pullouts and parking lots perfect for taking Arches National Park pictures. Some of the arches and landmarks can be seen from the parking lot, or by a short walk. Others will require a bit of hiking to reach.

Download the Arches National Park map to navigate along the scenic road to each point of interest.

We highly recommend getting the Arches + Canyonlands GyPSy Guide 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. 

Turret Arch at sunrise at Arches National Park
Turret Arch at sunrise

Summer Photography at Arches National Park

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

Delicate Arch at sunset is the most popular photo spot in Arches. You won’t have this location to yourself so be patient waiting for everyone to take their turn to get a photo under the arch!

If you want to capture photos without people climbing on the rocks at Balanced Rock, Turret Arch or the Windows, you need to enter the park EARLY!

We created a 3-day Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide to let you know all the best places and times to take pictures!

Milky Way over fins at Arches National Park
Milky Way over fins near Sand Dune Arch

Summer Stargazing at Arches National Park

Did you know that Arches National Park is internationally recognized as one of the best places to see the stars at night?

Due to the remote location and clear skies in the Moab, Utah area, you get to see, and photograph, some of the most incredible views of the night sky… and even the Milky Way! 

Good stargazing spots in Arches National Park:

  • Balanced Rock
  • The Windows
  • Garden of Eden Viewpoint
  • Panorama Point

During the summer months, the Milky Way is visible at these times:

  • June – 10:30 pm to 3:30 am
  • July – 10:30 pm to 3:45 am
  • August 9:30 pm to 1:30 pm

Arches 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!

hiking at Arches National Park
Hiking Devil’s Garden Trail

Summer Hiking at Arches National Park

Exploring the Arches National Park summer hikes is one of the best ways to appreciate the park. There are easy trails for families and casual hikers and strenuous trails for those who aren’t afraid of a challenge.

It’s hard to define the best hikes in Arches National Park, but here are our picks for the easy and moderate trails. 

The easy trails we recommend are Balanced Rock, The Windows, and Double Arch. Kids, and adults, will love the Sand Dune Arch trail through a mini slot canyon with an area to play in the sand.

The moderate trails we recommend are Delicate Arch, Devil’s Garden Trail or Park Avenue. And for the more difficult primitive trails you can do Fiery Furnace or Tower Arch.

When hiking in the summer it’s important that you take the proper gear and plenty of water as well as dress in moisture-wicking layers.

Summer 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 summer:

RV camping at Arches National Park
RV camper at Arches National Park

Summer 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 summer camping.

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

Summer Activities Near Arches National Park

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

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

Summer Lodging Near Arches National Park

There are no lodges inside Arches National Park so most people stay in the nearby town of Moab. There are all types of lodging options in and near Moab from budget-friendly hotels to higher-prices resorts.

Summer 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 summer! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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