The Moab arches are pretty famous, and it’s no wonder why. Located at Arches National Park, the beautiful red and orange sandstone swirls across the scenery around you. You see it forming natural bridges across the desert skyline, and it’s unlike anything you’ve seen before.  

You’ll bear witness to the sight of gigantic natural boulders balancing delicately atop stone shelves. The Arches National Park houses these treasures in Moab, Utah. You’re welcome to come and see them anytime. Over 2,000 arches have been formed here by the forces of nature. 

There are quite a few other reasons to visit the park besides seeing the arches. Hiking trails abound across the otherworldly landscape, and sports activities aren’t exactly few and far between. 

Choose to camp, bike, or climb your way across the desert. Read on to discover what makes the Moab National Park unique, and how you can enjoy it to the fullest.

The Big Kahuna: Arches National Park Sandstone Sculptures

Most people who visit the park have just one thing on their mind: seeing the Utah arches. 

Arches National Park weather permits for seeing the arches year-round. The weather is typical for a desert climate, with cold nights and hot days. Spring and fall are the most popular times for visiting. 

When you do visit, make sure to check out everything there is to see.

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock is just what it sounds like — a boulder perched precariously atop a narrow rock formation below. Standing at 128 feet tall, this rock formation is actually a single towering structure. Take a short hike from a nearby parking lot to see this beauty.

You’d better see it soon because this structure won’t be around forever. Eventually, erosion will cause the tower to collapse. 

The Windows Section

The Windows Section is your platform for viewing some of the most famous arches in the park. Here you’ll find Double Arch, the tallest and second-widest in the entire park. The Windows Section is also home to the North Window and South Window arches. 

You’ll be able to drive right up to the Windows Section. This part of the park is ideal for those who want to see the vast expanse of arches without spending a lot of time in the park. 

Devil’s Garden in Arches National Park

Devil’s Garden is an area of the park perfect for those who want to see a little bit of everything. This expanse is filled with spire formations, gigantic boulders and long arches. You can choose to drive or hike a rugged trail to enjoy the scenic views. 

Arches National Park Activities to Enjoy

Arches National Park has a wealth of awesome activities to enjoy besides seeing the arches.  

Insider Tip: Pick up an Arches National Park map at the park entrance or download one online before you delve into your adventure!

Hiking in Arches National Park

Hiking in the park is open for everyone, with trails ranging from easy to moderate. You can choose anything from a short 15-minute hike to hikes lasting around 5 hours. 

Make sure to bring your water bottle. Temperatures can climb, especially in the summer months. 

Hiking here will afford you the chance to see arches and formations up-close and personal.  Check out the park’s hiking page to view and decide on various trails to enjoy. 

Rock-Climbing around the rugged terrain

Rock-climbing is a great way to spend a few days at Arches.  The excitement of surmounting these giant boulders is unbeatable, and the views are spectacular. Make sure you read up on safety guidelines before you go.

The rock-climbing page informs you of all the necessary rules and regulations required before undertaking such a journey. 

Canyoneering for adventurous spirits

Canyoneering in Arches National Park is a heart-stopping experience. Rappel down the walls of steep sandstone to reach the craggy rocks below. Canyoneering requires various permits and some experience, so make sure everything is up to date before you go.

Stargazing

Arches National Park offers one of the darkest skies in the nation. If you camp overnight, you might find yourself shocked at how many stars you can see.

The park coordinates with two other parks in the region to hold ranger-led stargazing events. Working with Canyonland National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park, staff provide education about the astronomical view as well as telescope viewings.

You’ll find stargazing events scheduled around the new moon, which offers a much darker sky and better view of the stars.

The parks alternate locations, so make sure you check the schedule on their website to make sure they’re holding a stargazing event at Arches during your visit.

Staying Overnight in Arches National Park

Arches National Park camping is some of the best in the country. 

You can settle down for the evening among sandstone outcroppings at Devil’s Garden, enjoying the space around you far into the night. There is a small fee for campsites per night. Sites can fit 2 recreational vehicles and up to 10 people. 

Water is provided, but not food. Make sure to stock up before you go.  

Enjoy flush toilets, picnic tables, and outdoor grilling for a real party. There is also an outdoor amphitheater near the campground for all to enjoy. 

And since you’re staying overnight, make sure that you take advantage of unique and spectacular stargazing opportunities on your camping trip.

Arches National Park hotels

If you’re not prepped for a night under the sky, you’ll find lodging nearby. Hotels near Moab, Utah, vary in price and quality, and you should book your rooms well in advance. Moab hotels can be expensive, but if you look around and plan early, you can find good deals.

Arches National Park Weather

When visiting Arches National Park, you should make sure you get a weather report before heading out. You can get the current conditions for the park from their website.

And make sure that you dress and pack for the widely varying temperatures. Sometimes the temperatures vary by as much as 40 degrees during one day. Summer temperatures usually rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so that may not be the right time to hike the rough terrain. Summer also brings a rainy season, with a threat of flash-floods that can close roads.

The best time to visit Arches National Park is April through May, or September through October. In early spring and fall, the day time temperatures range from a pleasant 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. And if you’re planning to camp over, note that nighttime temperatures range from 30 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

You’ll find winter visits a challenge because of the cold. But if you’re up to it, expect highs between 30 and 50 degrees and lows that drop as low as 0 degrees.

Arches National Park Facts

People have inhabited the region around Arches National Park for an astounding 10,000 years. About 700 years ago, the Pueblo people settled the area. Later, the Paiute and Ute people had settled there by the 1700s.

President Hoover established it as a National Monument in 1929, but it was enlarged by future presidents until President Nixon officially established it as a National Park in 1971.

How big is Arches National Park?

The park is 119.8 miles square and encompasses over 76,600 acres.

How many arches does the park have?

Arches National Park has over 2,000 arches made from natural sandstone. You’ll also see balanced rocks, pinnacles, and gigantic fins made from red rock.

What kind of wildlife lives in Arches National Park?

You’ll find a wide variety of animals in the park, including mountain lions, red foxes, and bighorn sheep. Smaller animals include kangaroo rats, spade-foot toads, and western collared lizards.

There are also many snakes, birds, and insects, include rattlesnakes and peregrine falcons.

Despite the arid, desert conditions, many plants thrive int he park, include prickly pear cactus, evening primrose, sand verbena, and yucca.

Hollywood fame

You’ll see Arches National Park in some of your favorite movies. For example, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told” were both filmed in the park.

Arches National Park is for Everyone

Our National Parks are a cornerstone of American society. And Arches National Park is no exception. 

With its array of jaw-dropping cliffs, bridges, and natural sandstone sculptures, it’s not a sight to be missed. The park is a place everyone can enjoy, so get out there and get exploring!

Featured Image: CC BY-SA 3.0, by Flicka, via  Wikimedia Commons

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