If you love the outdoors, you’ll find a ton of things to do near Arches National Park like hiking, climbing, biking, river rafting, photography and more!
Of course, if you’ll be near the park, you’ll want to use our Arches National Park travel guide to know what to do in the park as well.
Use our list below to learn more about the hiking trails, scenic drives, adventure tours, photography spots and more you’ll find near Arches.
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National Park Packing List
When you are visiting US National Parks it is important to be prepared. This includes wearing the proper clothes and shoes to be comfortable for the climate and the terrain.
→ CHECK OUT: National park packing lists for spring, summer, fall and winter!
- Merrell Moab hiking shoes or Oboz hiking shoes
- Darn Tough hiking socks
- Water – carry a hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack
- Healthy food that’s portable and filling!
- Columbia fleece jacket
- Wicking, quick-drying clothing
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Sun protection – sunscreen (even in the winter) and a sunhat
- UV sunglasses are good for summer and winter
- Travel hand sanitizer
- Flashlight or headlamp
- US National Park travel guides and maps
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Camera gear – DOWNLOAD the free checklist!
Activities to Do at Arches National Park
If you’re looking for things to do near Arches, we assume you’ll want a list of activities to do when visiting Arches National Park. You can enjoy all types of outdoor activities at this park!
Always check the NPS website for the most updated information about fees, services and permits.
- Arches National Park camping
- Arches National Park hiking trails
- Arches National Park photography
- Arches National Park scenic drive
- Horseback riding
- Ranger-led tours
- Rock climbing
- Visitor Center
- TOURS near Arches
Other National And State Parks Near Arches
Arches is a few miles away from the small town of Moab, Utah. This area includes two National Parks (Arches and Canyonlands) and one State Park (Dead Horse Point) to explore.
Canyonlands Island in the Sky
The distance from Arches National Park to Canyonlands National Park Island in the Sky is 28 miles, and takes about 35 minutes to drive there. There are a variety of things to do at this district of Canyonlands:
- Canyonlands Island in the Sky Visitor Center
- Island in the Sky Hikes
- Island in the Sky Scenic Drive
- Island in the Sky Campgrounds
Dead Horse Point State Park
Dead Horse Point State Park is a must-do side trip if you’ll be going to Canyonlands Island in the Sky. The view of the gooseneck bend of the Colorado River cannot be seen from Canyonlands. It’s worth the entrance fee to see and photograph the views you’ll see at this Utah State Park.
There are some easy Dead Horse Point State Park hiking trails to explore the various views from the rim of the canyon. This is a fabulous place to watch and photograph the sunset!
The Canyonlands Needles district is about 80 miles from Arches National Park, and will take 1 hour and 30 minutes to get there. Be sure to stop at Newspaper Rock on your way to the park!
Things to Do Near Arches National Park
You’ll find a ton of things to do in Moab to keep you busy!
The National and State Park boundaries aren’t the only places to explore. You’ll find amazing Moab Utah hiking trails to explore.
Your hiking day pack for the Moab area needs to include water, sunscreen and chapstick!
- Day Hike Checklist
- What to Bring on a Hike
- Photography Gear for Hiking
- Hiking Gear for Kids & Tips for Hiking with Kids
Moab mountain biking is a very popular activity with a variety of trails for any experience level. Moab is known for the world famous Slickrock Bike Trail. It’s a challenging 9.6 mile trail that’s highly technical and considered by many to be the ultimate mountain biking experience.
Join a bike tour to explore the amazing landscape in Moab!
Off-roading tours are the best way to see the scenery and enjoy the thrill, especially if you’re intimidated by the vehicles and terrain.
You can also book a Drive Along Tour where you get behind the wheel of a Jeep, and under the watchful eye of an experienced guide, follow their vehicle along the trail. We have used and recommend Outlaw Jeep Tours for the Drive Along Tour.
Moab Scenic Byway: Potash Road
The Potash Road is a Scenic Byway where you can see great views of the Colorado River, ancient rock art, and dinosaur tracks. It’s a 34 -mile round-trip drive to Jug Handle Arch and back to Moab. Plan two hours for the trip with stops to take photos.
Potash Road begins about 4 miles north of Moab, where it turns off of Highway 191. Watch for signs and pullouts indicating petroglyphs. And look for the “Dinosaur Tracks” sign and turnout. A short hike takes you to a series of three-toed dinosaur tracks. READ to find more dinosaur tracks in the area.
The final attraction on the road is Jug Handle Arch. Beyond this, the road becomes rough and requires a 4WD vehicle. It connects with the Shaefer Trail in Canyonlands.
You definitely want to pack your camera to take pictures of the stunning Moab landscape. Download our camera gear checklist!
Sunrise and sunset hours are the best for photography because the reflected light on the red rocks is so vibrant! Some of our favorite sunset spots are along Potash Road and at Fisher Towers!
→ We highly recommend this photography guide if you’re SERIOUS about taking photos in Moab: 3 Day Itinerary & Photography Guide
White Water Rafting
Rafting the mighty Colorado River is a fun activity to do on your Arches National Park summer vacation! There are half-day, full-day and even multi-day rafting trips. This activity is perfect for families or groups of friends.
If you want to enjoy calm waters, there are sections of the river near the town of Moab where you can do stand up paddleboarding.
Moab Giants Dinosaur Park is amazing!! Both kids and adults will have a blast exploring the outdoor trail and walking along 100 life-sized dinosaurs.
This fun attraction in Moab also includes a 5D PaleoAquarium, Tracks Museum and playground. We recommend you go in the morning or late afternoon to avoid the scorching heat of the sun.
BUY AT AMAZON: Arches and Canyonlands Guides and Maps:
Visiting Arches National Park:
- Arches National Park Travel Guide
- Best Time to Visit Arches National Park
- Things to Do at Arches National Park
- Arches National Park with Kids
- Arches National Park Photography
- Tours Near Moab, Utah
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.
- Places to Stay Near Arches National Park
- Hotels Near Arches National Park
- Places to Stay Near Arches National Park with Kids
- Arches National Park Camping
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 – we really like rentals with a kitchen, washer and dryer and amenities like a swimming pool and hot tub.