This was my third visit to Arches National Park and probably won’t be my last. It was the first National Park I ever visited, and now I’m hooked, not just to Arches, but visiting all the parks. We visited back in April, late, I know, and I wasn’t expecting it to be as busy as it was, which was very busy. We ended up only doing a short hike to Sand dune arch before deciding to head out.
I wanted to do the hike to Double Arch, but we couldn’t find anywhere to park. There also wasn’t anywhere to park at Devils Garden. That was the theme of the morning. Nowhere to park. Talk about first world problems. I can’t explore an awesome national park because there’s nowhere to park. Oh man. While we couldn’t see those two areas this time, we did walk along Park Avenue a bit on our way out.
We also made a stop at the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint. This is a short walk with a view, not a particularly close view, of the infamous Delicate Arch. If you’ve ever seen a Utah license plate or advertising for Utah, it probably has Delicate Arch on it. If you have a limited amount of time, I would recommend doing the upper view hike. It takes you right to the arch. It’s longer and difficult, but 100% worth it.
My favorite stop of this visit was Sand dune arch, which I had already seen, but this time I went behind it for a new perspective. I also learned, after going behind it, that you aren’t supposed to do that because of falling rock. Oops. It just felt adventurous wandering around the area near that arch, looking into all the cracks trying to see where they go. I would advise a little of the path exploration at some of these places. I don’t mean go stomping around and ruining cactus, soil, and other plants, though. Just be curious and look around a little more.
Was this my favorite trip to Arches? I don’t know. It was a bit of a bummer having such crowds, but really, what did I expect? I still love the park and plan on going back. There’s a lot I still want to do there, like hike Devils garden and Fiery Furnace and go back to Delicate Arch and do all of Park Avenue. It’s still one of my favorite parks.
Tips for visiting Arches National Park:
- If you’re going in the summer, go right away in the morning or around dinner time for smaller crowds. Pack in sandwiches for a nice picnic.
- The campground is closed for summer 2017, as are a few hikes. Check at the visitors center to make sure what you want to do is open.
- It really gets hot here, so stay hydrated. This is also a great reason to go in the morning or evening.
- Bring snacks if you plan on spending the whole day here, or sandwiches. Something. There isn’t anything to eat in the park itself, you’d have to go back into Moab.
Have you been to Arches? What did you think of it? Do you want to go? What was your favorite thing there?