Location: Moab, Utah
Entrance Fee: $25/vehicle, or free with an Interagency Pass
Must-see: Delicate Arch, Landscape Arch, Devil’s Garden
This small, but mighty National Park is the stuff of aliens. Sandstone arches, carved and built over time, come in all different shapes and sizes and their striking red-orange color makes for some great photo opps. A well-paved roadway provides easy access to all of the major sites and a variety of hiking trails lead you to even more.
I suggest taking the short but brisk hike to Delicate Arch, beginning at the Wolfe Ranch Trailhead. You’ll climb up some fairly steep rock to arrive there, but people from all walks of life (including babies in strollers) make it to the top. Once you arrive, take in the view of the snow-capped mountains peeking behind the majestic arch. But hold on to your hats: because it is situated on the edge of a cliff, winds can whip through Delicate Arch at high speeds. Once back at the trailhead, make sure to follow the signs for the petroglyphs just a few hundred feet away.
The other must-see hiking spot that I suggest is around Devil’s Garden. Just follow the signs to get there. You can find a ton of arches along this trail and if you’re feeling brave, can take the primitive route. This will have you literally walking through desert sand, where the prickly pear cacti are blooming and jack-rabbits roam free. At the end, you can climb up a few rocks and take in some really breathtaking views of the park. Do bring a map, though. There are very few signs and when storms hit, this area can be the source of flash floods.
Speaking of Devil’s Garden, this is the only spot where you can camp within the park’s borders. Sites book up months in advance (as I learned quite quickly), but never fear, there are plenty of options just 5 minutes down the road in Moab (a great place for food, supermarkets, camping gear, really whatever you may need). We chose Moab Valley RV Resort and Campground. For under $50, we stayed in a site under an awning, enjoyed hot showers and a pool and hot tub and were even given a free cookie upon arrival. This place was totally worth the extra cost, considering its short distance from the park and great service.
Well, I think that’s pretty much all you need to know about Arches National Park. As always, feel free to comment with any questions.
Bye, Bye, Bye,