Arches national park is another beautiful creation of nature in Utah besides the Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks. This park is like a wonderland; everything is perfectly placed to create an amazing geo formation made of desert vistas, unique rock formations, hiking trails, and arches.
More than 2000 arches are spread across the expansive park, among other attractive natural rock formations such as mesas, fins, hoodoos, and balanced rocks.
Arches National Park is the best destination for solo travelers, backpackers, hikers, and even love birds going out to watch the sunset.
Irrespective of your agenda at the park, you need to plan for the trip, and here is what you will need to enjoy your adventure.
What You Need for A Good Adventure at Arches National Park
A Good Camera
The views at Arches National Park are the best, but what use are they if you will not capture them? The beautiful sceneries are widespread, meaning you might never capture all the beautiful places. There will always be something amazing to capture, no matter how many times you have been there.
You must also take photos of yourself against the artistic background features. You could get a camera specifically for this purpose or use your phone camera. However, you must ensure the quality is superb; otherwise, you will have poor-quality images of beautiful places.
First Aid Kit
Having a small first aid kit in your bag is mandatory if you travel frequently. Accidents happen, and when no help is forthcoming, the injuries could escalate. Having a first aid kit will enable you to respond and manage the issue as you wait for the paramedics (if they need them to come).
Your first aid kit must at least contain the following items:
- Pain relieve medication
- Plasters and Elastoplast
- Sanitizer and antiseptics
- A pair of scissors
- Medical grade gloves
You need information about the rules and regulations of the park. While the rules are displayed at the entrance, you may need to check them out from the NPS website to plan well. Some critical information includes:
- Park closure times
- Restricted access times
- Permits and passes required
- Any payments that you will need to make so that you can add to your budget
- The activities that you can engage in
- Any other relevant restrictions and alerts that concern your safety in the park.
- Pets restrictions
Enough Water, Food, and Snacks
Arches National Park is a vast desert area where even a day hike can drain all your energy. You need the energy to carry through the day and enjoy the adventures. You can easily get dehydrated; hence you need enough water and probably salty snacks to help your body retain more water. Enough water and snacks will be okay for a day hike.
If you are going to camp at Arches National Park, you need to pack enough food and water to last the journey. The desert heat and the rough terrain will leave you weak if you do not eat food loaded with carbs and proteins. Stay hydrated all the time to beat the heat.
The Best Adventures in Arches National Park
A visit to La Sal Mountains Viewpoint
La Sal Mountains Viewpoint is a fantastic viewpoint at Arches National Park. It gives you a 3600 panoramic view of the park and the majestic La Sal Mountains at a distance. You will not see any Arches from here, but the views are worth the stopover.
This viewpoint is a common stopover along the Common Arches scenic drive; the 19-mile picturesque stretch starts from Highway 191 and goes up to the Devil's Garden trailhead.
The best time to take photos of the scenic nature from the viewpoint is early morning, just after sunrise. This is a vantage viewpoint because it is higher than the rest of the viewpoints and gives the best view of the rocky landmarks.
The Windows and Turret Arch
You cannot have a successful trip to Arches National Park without visiting these three cool arches – the Turret Arch, the North, and South Windows. You can access all three arches through the spur trail by hiking a short distance and returning to the car park through the primitive trail.
The primitive trail is not well marked, but king hikers always leave behind trail markers informing of piles of rocks. It is a fun experience but can be hectic since some naughty people might distort the trail markers.
The best time to visit these arches is at sunrise, early morning, or sunset, though the latter depends on the time of the year. This is important because you need the best shots of these phenomenal views.
Garden of Eden
While on a trip to the Arches National Park, stop and explore the Garden of Eden. There is sufficient parking and beautiful rock formations to explore. This area is an open hiking region to view amazing geological features such as the Owl Rock and Serpentine Arch.
As you are headed towards the Windows section, you will pass by the Garden of Eden. Most of the arches here are still in the formative stage, but there are also some unique sandstone structures on the desert slick rock.
The path leading to the slick rock is a gentle climb that will give you some exercise after several hours seated in the car. Because it is easy to access the Garden of Eden, it is mostly crowded, but unlike most other stops, there is enough parking.
Hiking to the Delicate Arch
The delicate arch is the most common place in Arches National Park, where you will find thousands of visitors. While the park has more than 2000 arches, the delicate arch stands out and is considered the symbol of the state of Utah.
The magnificent arch is the largest in the park, but you must hike for a short distance to get the best close-up view. Depending on how close you want to get, you can walk for about 90m to the lower delicate viewpoint, where you will see the arch from about a mile away, or about 1km to the upper viewpoint, where you will get a less obstructed view.
You also have the option to hike about 5km up to the arch (this is a round trip) with a steady incline of approximately 150km. While this may be a short hike, it is largely dictated by the weather conditions, as it can get too hot in summer and frigid in winter.
The Fiery Furnace
The hike here is a bit different since you need either a ranger to guide you or a permit you can only obtain after watching an orientation video and proving that you have the skills and relevant navigation equipment. The ranger-led tours are held twice a day.
Because of the restricted nature of the hike, the permits are limited; hence you need to purchase them in advance. You will also need to arrive some minutes earlier than your scheduled time.
The hike involves navigating inside the furnace and scrambling up the boulders through the narrow canyons and under the low arches.
The nature of the trail qualifies it for a hard difficulty level but fulfilling in the end.
The Arches National Park has so much to offer that we cannot conclude in one post. Every rock formation is unique and a must-visit for all outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you will drive through the Arches scenic drive without stopping or make stops at every possible viewpoint, you still have much to enjoy.
Have you been to Arches National Park? We would like to know about your experience in the comment section. You could also share the site with your friends so that they can join us on this adventurous journey. Remember to subscribe to get notifications about any new developments on our page.