Tips For Visiting Arches National Park With Kids

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Arches National Park with kids.

Since we live so close, we have a ton of tips to share! Use this Arches National Park travel guide for planning your family vacation.

There are many family-friendly things to Arches National Park! We share tips for visiting Arches with kids plus what to pack, where to stay, and more!

Arches National Park with kids: everything you need to know

Check out these Arches National Park itineraries based on the number of days 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!

Tips for Visiting Arches National Park

Arches National Park is a few miles north of the fun outdoor adventure town of Moab, Utah. The landscape you’ll see at Arches includes 2,000 stone archways, giant balanced rocks, and massive pinnacles that immediately draw you in to explore these natural wonders.

Best Time to Visit Arches National Park With Kids

When planning a trip with kids, the best time to visit Arches National Park would be the spring or fall.

The weather at Arches National Park can be unbearably hot in the summer. If you do choose to visit in the summer, head out early before the day heats up to enjoy sunrise at Arches National Park!

You can also head out after dinner to enjoy the trails as the day cools off and watch sunset at Arches National Park!

ANY time of year be sure to pack plenty of water – investing in a hydration backpack for each kid ensures they stay hydrated in the hot, dry weather Arches has most of the year. And don’t forget the importance of sun protection: use sunscreen and wear sunhats, even in the winter!

Fiery Furnace at sunset with snow

Arches Hours of Operation and Entry Fees

Arches National Park is open 24 hours a day all year round. But you’ll need an Arches Timed Entry Ticket when you visit from April 1 to October 31.

You can pay your fee at the entrance station, at the self-pay station outside the visitor center, or online at

If you plan on also visiting Canyonlands National Park, you may want to consider purchasing the US National Park Pass – it will definitely help you save money. (Did you know when you buy the National Parks Pass from REI, they donate 10% to the National Park Foundation?)

Arches National Park Weather

Since Arches is part of the Colorado Plateau high desert region; this area will experience enormous temperature variations by as much as 40 degrees in twenty-four hours. The most temperate Arches National Park weather will be in late spring (April and May) and in the fall (September and October).

During the mild spring and fall seasons, daytime temperatures average highs of between 60 to 80 degrees F and lows of between 30 to 50 degrees F. During the scorching summers, temperatures can exceed 100 degrees F, while temperatures during the winter are generally between 30 and 50 degrees F, with lows between 0 and 20 degrees F.

Things to do at Arches National Park With Kids

There are fun way to get the kids excited before, during and after the trip with National Park activities:

Here’s a list of fun things to do at Arches National Park when traveling with kids:

Arches Visitor Center and Ranger-Led Programs with Kids

It’s a good idea to start your visit at the Arches National Park visitor center (open everyday except Christmas). Tell the on-duty ranger what activities you are interested in doing at Arches. The rangers can give you tips for the best things to do with kids. You can also find out what ranger-led programs are offered during the time you visit.

Arches Junior Ranger Program

The Junior Ranger Program at Arches is a fun kid activity! There are activities to complete in order to earn the Junior Ranger Badge and signed certificate. Grab the free Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center

Arches National Park scenic drive
Arches National Park scenic drive

Arches Scenic Drive with Kids

The Arches National Park scenic drive is a great way to see the park. There are various points of interest along the scenic drive in the park where you can take photos, go hiking or just stop and enjoy the scenery! Download the Arches scenic drive map to navigate along the scenic road to each point of interest.

A fun way to entertain the kids while exploring the scenic drive is using the Arches National Park GyPSy App! You’ll hear fascinating behind-the scenes stories, local tips, and directions that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location.

Milky Way over Balanced Rock
Milky Way over Balanced Rock

Stargazing at Arches National Park with Kids

If you wait for a nice, clear evening, you can see stars from almost anywhere in the park. Be sure to maximize your experience by allowing your eyes time to adjust (usually takes about 30 minutes), avoiding the moon, bringing a star chart, and using a headlamp with red light to reduce harm to your night vision.

Also, areas away from the main road and with fewer obstructions make for ideal stargazing locations and include Balanced Rock Picnic Area, The Windows Section, Garden of Eden Viewpoint, and Panorama Point.

hiking with kids at Arches National Park
Hiking with kids at Arches

Arches National Park Hiking Trails With Kids

There are many Arches National Park hiking trails that are short and easy access to see cool arches and rock formations. This is what makes Arches National Park such a great choice for a family vacation with kids. 

There are moderate and difficult hikes at Arches that would be appropriate for older kids. An important tip for hiking with kids is to make sure you select a hike that fits the kids’ abilities.

Before you set out on any hiking trail, make sure you have the right hiking gear for kids.

Easy Hikes and Viewpoints at Arches for Kids:

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park
Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock Trail

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: Balanced Rock Trailhead
  • Distance: 0.3 mile roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 45 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Balanced Rock is an easily recognizable landmark of Arches National Park. Many people park in the lot, take a photo, and move on. It’s definitely worth the time to walk along the Balanced Rock trail. It’s an easy, short loop hike that takes you close to and around the Balanced Rock.

Double Arch at Arches National Park
Double Arch

Double Arch Hike

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: Double Arch Trailhead
  • Distance: 0.5 mile roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 32 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

These two arches sit over a collapsed roof – meaning there are boulders all around underneath the arches for kids to scramble on. It’s fun to be able to climb right up under the arches. The hike is about 0.6 miles total, with some descent and steps (not to mention the boulders).

Turret Arch

The Windows and Turret Arch

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: The Windows Trailhead
  • Distance: 1 mile roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 187 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

Next to Double Arch is the parking for the North and South Windows and Turret Arch. This hike is a 1 mile loop. The trail is clear and easy, with some slight elevation gain. Climbing on the sandstone in that area is fun for kids.

Delicate Arch viewpoint
Delicate Arch viewpoint

Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint and Trail

Seeing iconic Delicate Arch is a MUST when visiting Arches National Park. If your family can’t hike the Delicate Arch trail that takes you right to the arch, you can see the arch from the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint. The viewpoint is about 100 yards from the lower viewpoint parking lot where you can see the arch about a mile away.

You can access the Upper Viewpoint Trail from this same location. It’s a short .5 mile hike with a few stairs to climb. It will get you a little closer to the arch. You can’t get all the way to Delicate Arch from hereBut it does provide a slightly less obstructed view from what you see at the Lower Viewpoint.

Sand Dune Arch
Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch

Less than a quarter mile from the parking lot on a completely flat trail, Sand Dune Arch is a must see stop with kids in Arches National Park. The easy trail leads into a slot canyon covered in deep sand, with an arch at the end. Besides the easy hike, the best part for kids is climbing the rocks and sand fins and jumping off into the soft sand below. Even the youngest kids can play around in the sand.

Broken Arch
Broken Arch

Broken Arch Trail

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: Sand Dune Arch
  • Distance: 2 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 226 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

The Broken Arch trail continues past the Sand Dune Trail. This trail often gets bypassed, but it’s an easy, flat hike and you won’t encounter many people on it. After reaching Broken Arch, go through the arch and make sure you look back through it. It’s a pretty cool view from there. You can also hike to Tapestry Arch and the Devil’s Garden campground from here.

Landscape-Arch-at-Arches-National-Park-by-Photo-Jeepers (1)
Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: Devil’s Garden Trailhead
  • Distance: 1.6 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 490 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

The Devil’s Garden Trail takes you to Landscape Arch. Along the way you can take the two easy spur trails to see Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch. Landscape Arch is amazing to see. For most families with small children, return the way you came.

Fiery Furnace
Fiery Furnace

Moderate and Difficult Hiking Trails at Arches for Older Kids:

  • Park Avenue Trail
  • Delicate Arch
  • Fiery Furnace
  • Devil’s Garden Primitive Trail (past Landscape Arch)
  • Tower Arch
Park Avenue Arches National Park photo spot
Park Avenue

Park Avenue Trail

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: Park Avenue Trailhead
  • Distance: 2 mile roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 187 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Easy

The first hike you’ll come to on the scenic road will make you feel like you’re in an old western movie. The Park Avenue Trail follows the bottom of a canyon below some of the park’s gigantic and well-known monoliths. It’s a memorable experience to hike through these towering natural wonders.

The Park Avenue hike is a one-way trail if you have two cars or a shuttle vehicle. The trail is a little over one mile taking you from the Park Avenue trailhead to the Courthouse Towers parking lot. This is where you would leave your second vehicle or have someone that doesn’t want to hike pick you up. If that’s not an option, just head back the way you came through the towering sandstone for a nice 2 mile round-trip adventure.

Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch Trail

  • Trailhead & Parking Area: Wolfe Ranch
  • Distance: 3 miles roundtrip
  • Elevation Gain: 610 feet
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate

The Delicate Arch trail is a must-do hike in the park, and it will always be busy. It isn’t horribly difficult, but it’s super steep, so wear good shoes, drink lots of water, and take your time. Check out this awesome post about what it’s like to climb to Delicate Arch, with terrific photos!

Things to Do Near Arches National Park with Kids

Arches Canyonlands guides and maps

BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps:

Planning an Arches National Park Vacation:

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 activities 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.

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