Arches National Park in Moab, Utah is home to 2,500 wind-carved holes in its famed orange sandstone, ranging in size from a minimum of three feet to 290-foot wide Landscape Arch (the fifth longest span in the world). As opposed to natural bridges which are carved by flowing water, arches are primarily wind formed, although water and ice can contribute.
Learn more in our guidebook to the National Parks, A Park to Yourself: Finding Adventure in America’s National Parks (available on Amazon).
Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock, Landscape Arch, Fiery Furnace, Devils Garden Trail
We recommend you reserve a spot on a ranger led hike through the twisting labyrinth of Fiery Furnace (additional fee). You can get a permit to go alone, but we are glad we had a guide or we might still be trying to find our way out. The beautiful red rocks really show their color at sunrise and sunset, so find a nice place to watch the show when you come. As depicted on the state license plate for Utah, Delicate Arch is a popular venue for sunsets.
When the crowds in the park overwhelm you, take the easy 8.3-mile drive down dirt Salt Valley Road to the trailhead for less visited Tower Arch. Seeing Tower Arch is worth the strenuous 3.4-mile roundtrip hike, but it can be hard to photograph.
Double Arch is located near the North and South Windows and photographs well in the late afternoon.
Spring and fall
$30 per vehicle or America the Beautiful pass
The main road that dead ends at Devils Garden is paved, but there are some dirt roads in the park that require four-wheel-drive, high-clearance vehicles.
Devils Garden Campground is a great place to spend the night, with easy trail access to Broken Arch and Sand Dune Arch. The public land around Moab under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Land Management is often overrun by dispersed campers.
Canyonlands National Park (Utah)
Capitol Reef National Park (Utah)
Explore More – At 290 feet, Landscape Arch is the fifth longest span in the world; what country contains the four larger arches?
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