Top Things to Do in Arches National Park
Arches National Park, located in southeastern Utah, is undoubtedly a natural wonder. With its stunning landscape and over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, this national park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Whether you are an avid hiker, a photographer, or simply looking to connect with nature, Arches National Park has plenty to offer. Here are the top things to do during your visit:
1. Delicate Arch
One cannot visit Arches National Park without witnessing the iconic Delicate Arch. This arch, often depicted on Utah license plates, is a symbol of the park. To get the best experience, embark on the Delicate Arch hike, a 3-mile round trip that rewards you with breathtaking panoramic views of the arch and the surrounding landscape. It is particularly magical during sunrise or sunset – be sure to bring your camera!
2. Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch is another must-see feature in the park. With a span of over 290 feet, it holds the title as the longest natural arch in North America. Take the easy 1.6-mile round-trip hike to witness this incredible arch up close. Marvel at its delicate formation and snap some photos to capture its beauty.
3. Fiery Furnace
For adventurers seeking a unique experience, the Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow passages and towering sandstone walls. This area requires a permit or a guided tour due to its complexity. Join a ranger-guided tour to explore this untamed, fiery landscape and learn about its geology and natural history.
4. Double Arch
Double Arch is a spectacular site where two giant arches are formed side by side. This remarkable formation is easily accessible from the parking lot with a short hike, making it suitable for visitors of all fitness levels. Reach out and touch the towering sandstone to truly appreciate the scale and grandeur of these natural wonders.
5. Balanced Rock
Balanced Rock is a geological marvel that draws visitors with its precarious balance. The large sandstone boulder perched atop a narrow pedestal seems to defy gravity. Witness this incredible sight from the designated viewing area or take the short loop trail around it to appreciate it from different angles.
6. Park Avenue Trail
The Park Avenue Trail offers a remarkable introduction to the beauty of Arches National Park. The trail follows a wash, surrounded by towering sandstone formations that resemble towering skyscrapers. The trail is 1.8 miles one way, allowing hikers to immerse themselves in the park’s unique scenery.
7. Devil’s Garden
If you have time for an extended hike, Devil’s Garden is the perfect destination. This trail offers a 7.2-mile loop passing by magnificent arches, including the popular Landscape Arch. Be prepared for some scrambling and narrow sections as you explore the diverse landscape that makes this area a hiker’s paradise.
8. Windows Section
The Windows Section of Arches National Park showcases a collection of stunning arches, including the North and South Windows and Turret Arch. Take an easy stroll along the trail to admire these impressive formations up close. Arriving early in the morning or during a weekday ensures a more peaceful experience.
9. Delicate Arch Viewpoints
If the Delicate Arch hike seems too challenging, you can still enjoy views of this iconic arch from two different viewpoints. Delicate Arch Viewpoint is a short drive from the Wolfe Ranch parking area, offering a distant view of the arch. The Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint provides a closer look and is accessible by a short walk from the Delicate Arch trailhead.
10. Night Sky Viewing
Arches National Park is internationally recognized for its incredibly dark skies, making it a prime spot for stargazing. On a clear night, the park provides awe-inspiring views of the stars, planets, and even the Milky Way. Plan your visit during a new moon and head out to the Devil’s Garden or Balanced Rock for an unforgettable celestial experience.
With its unique rock formations and boundless natural beauty, Arches National Park is a must-visit destination for outdoor enthusiasts. From famous arches to captivating hikes, there is an activity for everyone. Plan your trip to this remarkable park and immerse yourself in the stunning red rock landscapes of southeastern Utah!