Our absolute favorite places to visit in Utah is Arches National Park!
No other place on earth has the number of natural stone arches, pinnacles, fins and balanced rocks.
Arches National Park is an amazing place to see by car along the scenic drive and explore on foot on the many hiking trails.
And the unique landscape just begs to be photographed! We’ve created an amazing 3 day itinerary to help you navigate the park and avoid the crowds!
Use our Arches National Park travel guide, packing checklists, tips and resources to plan your getaway!
It’s also helpful to know the best time to visit Arches!
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WHAT TO PACK FOR ARCHES NATIONAL PARK
To get the most out of visiting this park, you must be prepared with the right clothing and gear.
DOWNLOAD our Arches National Park Packing List for summer and winter.
Hiking Shoes – Injuries from improper footwear is a common problem that casual visitors and hikers encounter. To make your trip as safe and enjoyable as possible, avoid smooth-soled shoes and only wear sturdy shoes with ample tread. We always recommend Merrell Moab hiking shoes of course!
Hydration and Food – Due to the high desert and altitude in Southeastern Utah, you should drink at least one gallon of water per day, and always carry water with you during all hiking activities (water is also available at the Arches National Park Visitor Center and at the Devils Garden trailhead and Campground). Accordingly, be sure to eat plenty of healthy snacks and food. We use Camelbak hydration packs or carry Hydroflask bottles in our packs.
Lip Balm and Lotion – Utah’s high elevation and dry air can be hard on your skin. You’ll want to carry lip balm with sunscreen and hydrating lotion to apply as needed when you’re out exploring the trails.
Clothing – Summers in the park mean soaring temperatures, unrelenting sunlight, and low humidity. To keep cool, wear light colored, loose fitting UV clothing that does not absorb sunlight. Also avoid sun burn by wearing a wide brimmed hat and by generously applying sunscreen to any parts of your body that are exposed to the sun.
For the winter months, wear winter clothing to stay dry and warm. Take note that snow and ice can accumulate and make popular trails quite slippery. That’s why trekking poles and traction devices for your shoes are essential. It’s also just as easy to become dehydrated in the cold as it is in the heat. It’s important to carry plenty of water during the winter, and not just during the summer.
During spring and fall, it’s all about layers! The mornings and evenings will be cool so have a fleece jacket handy!
National Parks Pass – Before you visit Arches National Park be sure to pack your The America the Beautiful Annual Pass.
Other items we recommend – US national parks packing list
- Darn Tough socks
- Fleece jacket
- Buff headbands
- Hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- First aid kit
- DOWNLOAD OUR travel photography gear list
Timed Entry at Arches National Park
Arches is has a TIMED ENTRY program that runs April through October:
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 have a ticket, you can still enter the park BEFORE 6am or AFTER 5pm. Those are the best times for Arches National Park photography and avoiding the crowds anyway!
Where to Stay Near Arches:
There are no hotels in the park. Here’s our list of where to stay near Arches National Park.
Arches National Park camping can only be done at the one small campground.
We recommend the following accommodations 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.
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps