Plan Your Arches National Park Summer Vacation

Arches National Park is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts looking for an unforgettable experience. If you’re planning an Arches National Park summer vacation, there are things you need to know before going since it’s a HOT time of year there!

Use this Arches National Park travel guide to help you plan an amazing summer trip: things to see, do, and photograph; packing list; where to stay; and more!

arches national park in the summer

From hiking and camping to rock climbing and stargazing, there are plenty of activities to keep visitors busy throughout the summer months.

Planning a trip in the summer means HOT temperatures, sometimes exceeding 100 degrees F! And late summer monsoons can cause flash floods.

It’s important to stay hydrated, use sun protection, and get the latest weather information before exploring Arches in the summer!

Check out these done-for-you Arches National Park itineraries to help you plan your summer trip based on the time you’ll be able to spend in 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!

Plan Your Arches National Park Summer Vacation

Here are the things you MUST know about visiting Arches in the summer.

Timed Entry in the Summer at Arches National Park

Arches National Park is open 24/7. In the summer you’ll need an Arches Timed Entry Ticket to enter the park during the busy daytime hours.

Don’t worry if you didn’t get a timed entry ticket. Just plan to enter the park before 6 a.m. One benefit to getting in the park early is you can see and photograph the sunrise at Arches National Park!

You can also plan to visit the park after 5 p.m. when again, you won’t need a ticket to get into Arches. The late afternoon and evening allows you to see and photograph sunset at Arches National Park, or enjoy stargazing at night!

Arches National Park Summer Temperatures

Arches National Park summer temperatures ARE HOT! 

  • Arches in June the temperatures begin to rise with highs above 90 and lows near 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Arches in July the temperatures could soar above 100, with lows around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Arches in August the temperatures are in the high 90s and lows in the 60s degrees Fahrenheit. 

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

Is Summer a Good Time to Visit Arches National Park?

The summer months are not our favorite time because it will be hot and crowded when visiting Arches National Park.

If you want to avoid the heat and 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.

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, but you’re limited on what you can do.

CHECK OUT our 3 day Arches & Canyonlands Itinerary and Photography Guide so you see all the major points of interest at both parks.

What Should I Pack for Arches in the Summer?

Arches National Park in the summer will be hot and dry!

summer hiking gear

Best Things To Do in the Summer at Arches National Park

There are a variety of Arches National Park activities to do in the summer. We recommend adding these points of interest to your bucket list.

Summer Ranger Programs at Arches

The Arches visitor center is open every day in the summer. We recommend you stop to talk with the park ranger, tell them what you are most interested in, and ask for recommendations.

Arches Ranger-led programs are a good way to get to know more about this unique National Park. Find out what activities are available during your stay.

If you’re visiting Arches National Park with kids, be sure to grab the Junior Ranger booklet so they can earn their Junior Ranger Badge!

Arches National Park scenic drive
View of the Arches Scenic Drive

Arches Scenic Drive in the Summer

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 Arches National Park scenic drive allow you to make several pit stops where you can take short hikes to check out arches up close. 

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

We recommend the Arches GyPSy Guide App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

Broken Arch at Arches National Park
Broken Arch

Summer Hiking at Arches

There is not much shade at Arches National Park, so it’s best to hit the trails in the early morning or later in the day when the temperatures aren’t as hot, and the sun isn’t as intense!

Since the temperatures are brutal this time of year, plan your Arches National Park summer hikes for the cooler mornings and evenings!

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

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

Most of the trails at Arches are fully exposed to the sun so it’s important to stay hydrated and use sun protection!

Landscape Arch

Arches Summer Photography

You’ll find yourself taking a ton of Arches National Park photos. In the summer you’ll want 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 at Arches National Park: 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 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!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is milky-way-fins-Arches-national-park-utah-photo-jeepers.jpg
Milky Way over fins in Arches

Stargazing in the Summer at Arches

You can’t beat stargazing at Arches National Park! The slogan “Half the Park is After Dark” invites you to take one evening to enjoy a star-filled sky!

Did you know Arches (and the Moab area) is internationally recognized as one of the best places for stargazing? It gets that distinction because of its remote location, accessibility, altitude and clear skies.

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!

Rafting the Colorado River

Arches National Park Summer Tours

Whether you’re looking for a half-day or full-day excursion, there are plenty of Arches National Park tours available to fit your needs: guided hikes, canyoneering, photography, and off-road experiences!

These are the best summer tours near Arches:

Arches Camping in the Summer

You will need a reservation for Arches National Park camping in during the summer months at the one campground in the park.

Reservations for camping at Devil’s Garden Campground are required from March 1- October 31. If you don’t reserve a spot ahead of time, you most likely will need to find a place to camp outside the park. You can reserve these spots up to 6 months in advance. 

You’ll also find RV Parks near Arches National Park for camping in case you can’t get a spot in the park.

If you want to enjoy camping in style, check out these options for Glamping near Arches National Park!

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps

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.

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 actiities like horseback riding, fishing and more!
  • Vacation Rentals Near Arches – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.

Arches National Park Packing List

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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