What do you think of when you see this photo of the Delicate Arch or when someone mentions the Arches National Park?
At first, I didn’t even know there was a National Park dedicated to this Arch, but I figured because it is so famous, there probably is a park but never realized how large or what else is in the Park.
When my family and I were planning our 17-day trip out west from North Carolina a few years ago, we asked the children to think of places they would like to visit. Our daughter was graduating from high school, and this was the family’s big trip before she went off to college. She wanted to go see the Delicate Arch. We had no idea what was in the Arches National Park until we started to research it. There are over 2,000 stone arches in the Park alone.
Unfortunately, we only had a few hours to stay because we were meeting friends at our next destination of Vail, CO that evening. We weren’t familiar or used to driving in the mountains with curvy roads that had no lights, so we opted to stay on the safe side and drive during the daylight hours. I personally would recommend that if you are not familiar with mountain driving in the dark, travel during daylight hours and give yourself extra time, possibly an extra hour or two because you never know what will come up!
Two and a half hours was definitely not enough time to visit Arches National Park, but we managed to stop by the Visitor Center to see where to drive through to see a few of the rock formations as well as the Delicate Arch.
One thing I wanted to note about our trip out west was that it was like putting our feet in the water while sitting on the edge of a pool, meaning we had a chance to see a lot, but we didn’t have enough time to dive in deep!
We visited several places on this trip that we would like to return to and others we felt like, “ok we’ve explored enough, glad we went, but if we never return, that will be ok.”
So a little about Arches National Park which is located just 10 minutes outside the city of Moab, Utah.
As I said earlier Delicate Arch is one of the most recognized and one of the reasons that people travel from all over the world to go to the Arches National Park.
The Delicate Arch stands 46 feet high and is 32 feet wide; it is the largest free-standing arches in the Park. You are able to hike up close as you see in my photos of people under the Delicate Arch, but we didn’t have enough time to do so.
I recommend stopping by the Visitors Center so that you can map out where and what you want to see. They have tours led by Rangers that are between 15 minutes to 3 hours long.
One tour that looks very adventurous is the Fiery Furnace, which is very challenging. You must obtain a permit from the Visitor Center to hike on this tour and make reservations at least 3 months in advance. The tour is offered daily from March through October. There are a few restrictions: only children over five can take the tour, and you must be in good physical condition. This tour is a bit of a challenge because there are many steep rocks to climb and tight spaces, so proper footwear is recommended, like sneakers or hiking boots. It is suggested to bring a few things with you: at least 1 quart of water, a snack, sunscreen, a hat, and layer clothing. There are no bathrooms, so prepare as you need to. The hike is 2 miles long and takes approximately 3 hours. They restrict how many visitors can enter Fiery Furnace each day because of the rare plants and fragile soils that are in this area of Arches Park. To learn more, watch this video.
Regarding hours the park is opened, they are open different times throughout the year, check here to plan your visit.
If you have a pet, the Park has specific rules, so check out what they are here
To find out fees, check the website, click here for more information. We had a National Park Pass, which is a great way to save.
There is no lodging or restaurants in the park, but you can dine in nearby Moab. They have campgrounds that you can camp at with a reservation or first come first serve during special times of the year. To learn more go here
There are many other attractions in the area to see, to learn more click here
Again we didn’t have a lot of time to travel, but the best way for me to tell you what we got to see is through the photos we were able to take.
Arches National Park is definitely on our list of places to return, and we will add some other places to visit in Utah to add to this vacation.