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It’s no secret that we love to take Arches National Park vacations!

Living a few hours away from Arches allows us to visit many times throughout the year.

When people find out how close we live, they often ask if an Arches National Park Summer Vacation is a good idea?

Arches National Park is gorgeous throughout the year, but visiting during the summer months will require you to have a bit more planning. 

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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK VACATION IN THE SUMMER

DOWNLOAD our US National Park checklists to make it easy to pack what you need for your next trip!

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.  Hiking Gear

3. Clothing – Layers

4. Daypack

5. Other

Plan Your Arches National Park Summer Vacation

There are things you MUST know about visiting Arches in the summer:

  • Summer temperatures
  • Things to do
  • How to avoid the heat and crowds
  • Tips for a summer trip

Arches National Park Summer Temperatures

Arches National Park summer temperatures ARE HOT! 

Starting in June, temperatures begin to rise at Arches. You’ll find temperatures above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

When July hits, the temperatures tend to rise even more. The temperatures soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the month of August, the temperatures are in the high 90s. 

We LOVE visiting Arches National Park in the Winter if you like traveling in the off season.

How many days should I spend at Arches National Park?

We recommend spending 3 days at Arches especially if you also want to explore Canyonlands Island in the Sky and Dead Horse Point

Arches can be done in one day. The Scenic Drive lets you see the entire park with enough time to do one or two of the short Arches hikes. The two big landmarks, Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch, you’ll need to hike to see them. They cannot be seen from the road.

Turret Arch Utah National Park in the spring

Is there a way to avoid the crowds and heat?

Our #1 for visiting any national park is ARRIVE EARLY! And this especially true in the summer at Arches National Park.

Summer is the busiest AND hottest time of year at Arches.

In order to beat the heat and the crowds, you will want to arrive at the park before 8 am. We spend a few hours in the morning hiking and taking photos then leave the park before noon. We head back to our hotel to enjoy the AC or pool for a few hours.

Then we head back into the park in the late afternoon to do more hiking and photography. There are usually no lines to get into the park at that time, and the parking lots at the popular spots are starting to clear out. 

Best things to do in the Summer

If you are going to Arches during the summer, we recommend adding these points of interest to your bucket list.

Scenic Drive

Taking the 18-mile scenic drive at Arches during the summer is a must! Not only will you be in your car in the air conditioning, but you will see the most breathtaking views. 

The stops along the scenic drive allow you to make several pit stops where you can take short hikes to check out arches up close. 

Short Hikes

If you are visiting Arches when it is hot outside, take advantage of all the short hikes in the park.

Most of the hiking trails in Arches don’t have shade so you’ll need to carry plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun. 

Here’s a list of short summer hikes we recommend:

  • Balanced Rock
  • The Windows
  • Double Arch
  • Sand Dune Arch
  • Skyline Arch

Rafting the Colorado River

Although rafting is not specifically in Arches National Park, it is a great way to cool off after hiking all morning.

You can find half-day rafting trips to take in Moab which is only 5 miles up the road. 

→ Rafting Tours in Moab!

Tips for your Arches Summer Vacation

Go with a Plan

When going to Arches in the summer you definitely want to have a plan. Know ahead of time what you want to do and see. This allows you to schedule which hikes to do in the morning and what smaller adventures you want to do when it gets hotter. 

Following an Arches travel guide can help you determine the things you don’t want to miss on your trip. 

Carry Water

While visiting Arches in the summer you want to make sure you carry lots of water and drink a lot. It is easy to quickly become dehydrated as you are out and about hiking and seeing the sites. 

We use the insulated Contigo water bottles to keep our beverages cool in the summer!

If we’ll be out hiking, we carry hydration packs that make it easy to stay hydrated.

TIP: Use Nuun hydration tablets to add those electrolytes you need for those hot days!

Go Early or Late

If at all possible avoid the hottest parts of the day while at Arches in the summer. Try to go early before the sun is too intense or go later while the sun is setting. 

This will allow you to see the park when it’s cool AND avoid the crowds. 

Take Longer Hikes in the Morning

If you want to do a longer Arches hike like Delicate Arch or Devil’s Garden, you really need to start out EARLY!

Since Arches is open 24 hours a day, you can get there before sunrise and start hiking before the heat and sun become unbearable.

It is a good idea to try and be done with your intense hikes by mid-morning.

Sun Protection is a must!

Don’t forget the sunscreen! Apply it before you get to the park and don’t forget to reapply it throughout the day. 

It’s also a good idea to wear sunhats and buff headbands to protect your head, face and neck from the intense sun. 

We also like to wear UV protection long sleeve shirts. This allows us to protect a good part of our skin so we don’t have to wear sticky sunscreen on our arms (that’s no fun in the summer).

Plan Your Trip to Canyonlands

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.

• 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.

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