Arches National Park in September

The pleasant September temperatures make it an ideal time to explore the breathtaking landscape of Arches National Park, taking in the majestic arches and stunning vistas.

However, temperatures drop until the end of the month, and crowds can be a challenge. Read our complete September guide with helpful tips!


The pleasant weather attracts crowds, especially on weekends, so you should be prepared for popular trails and viewpoints to be busy during this month.

Here’s your ultimate guide to weather, crowds, and dressing right during September.

Weather Overview

You need layers during the fall. Especially in late September, November, and December, when you start your explorations early.

September in Arches National Park sees highs starting at 88°F (31°C) and decreasing to 77°F (25°C) by month’s end. While the average rainfall is low at around 1 inch, unexpected late-summer storms may occur, so monitoring the weather forecast is recommended.


Arches National Park

September is the busiest fall month in Arches National Park and is usually as crowded as the summer months. However, it gets slightly less busy after Labor Day. The crowds start to thin out a little later in the month.

Try to avoid Labor Day Weekend and weekends in general. On weekends, visit as early as possible and stay one night.

Visit Early or Late: Experienced park visitors arrive at 6 a.m. or at least at 7 a.m. at the entrance during a busy month like September. Alternatively, consider visiting later in the day, after 5 p.m., as numbers in the park dip sharply around this time.

To be there early, stay the night before in Moab, as it’s only a 5-minute drive to Arches. This is by far the easiest and best way to avoid a jam-packed park. Check hotel deals in Moab here: Moab Hotels via (save the link as they offer the lowest prices and price match)

Is September a Good Time?

A beautiful September day in Arches NP

September is a very good time to visit Arches National Park, with its warm days. The weather is perfect for hiking and sightseeing. As the month progresses, temperatures drop.

Weather and Temps

Arches National Park

Average high temps during the day:

  • Early September: 88°F (31°C)
  • Mid-September: 85°F (29°C)
  • Late September: 77°F (25°C)

Average high temps in the morning:

  • Early September: 67°F (19°C)
  • Mid-September: 62°F (17°C)
  • Late September: 57°F (14°C)

September in Arches National Park still clings to the summer heat, with average maxima peaking at 88°F (31°C) during the day and dropping to an average of 55°F (13°C)at night.

  • Early September: Average high temperatures are around 88°F (31°C), and morning temperatures are around 67°F (19°C). During the day, consider comfortable, breathable clothing like shorts and T-shirts. In the mornings, when it’s a bit cooler, a light long-sleeve shirt or thin jacket would suffice.
  • Mid-September: Daytime highs slightly drop to around 85°F (29°C), with morning temperatures averaging 62°F (17°C). Daytime attire remains the same, but now, your mornings in the park could use a cozy sweater or hoodie.
  • Late September: Highs drop to around 77°F (25°C), and morning temperatures average around 57°F (14°C). While the afternoon still calls for lighter clothes, your morning and evening wear should now include a warm jacket or a heavy sweater.

Rainfall in Arches National Park during September is usually minimal, averaging less than an inch.

Storms: Although summer thunderstorms are less frequent than in July and August, they occasionally occur – an average of 6 days are rainy days. Please be wary of lightning and flash flooding due to these storms, especially until mid-September.

Daylight hours have already started reducing, with around 12 hours of light. However, there is still plenty of time to explore the park.

September Tips

A beautiful September day in the park
  • Camping Conditions: The overnight temperature in Arches in September can be great for camping.
  • Crowds: September is a popular month among tourists – often more so than August – meaning routes can be crowded. Try to avoid Labor Day weekend and weekends in general in September.
  • Festival: Moab Music Festival in early September can bring a spike in visitor numbers.
  • Clothing: It’s a good idea to prepare for cool weather during the morning, which often turns hot later in the day.

September Packing List

When planning a trip to Arches National Park in the fall, there are a few essential items to pack to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience:

  • Layered Clothing: The fluctuating temperatures in the park, especially in the morning and late evening, require you to dress in layers. In early September, the average high temperatures are around 88°F (31°C), so a t-shirt and shorts are usually fine for daytime. Always bring long sleeves and a light jacket, especially if you visit in mid-September or later in the month.
  • Hiking Boots: The terrain at Arches National Park varies, so you’ll need sturdy, comfortable footwear with good grip. Boots with ankle support are beneficial for longer hikes.
  • Hat and Sunglasses: Regardless of the month, protection from the intense sun is crucial. A hat and sunglasses are a must, not only for comfort but for safety as well.
  • Sunscreen: The desert sun can be harsh, especially in the earlier fall months. Protect your skin by packing and regularly applying a high-SPF sunscreen.

Remember, your packing list may vary depending on the specific activities you plan to do and the weather forecast closer to your trip. Always check the forecast and plan accordingly.

Timed Entry Tickets

Timed entry tickets infographic by NPS (Public Domain). Modified by us.

During the month of September (from April 1st to October 31st), Arches National Park operates a timed entry system.

It helps manage traffic, reduce congestion, and enhance the visitor experience.

What Is the Timed Entry System?

The Timed Entry System requires visitors to reserve a specific date and time slot to enter the park. These reservations can be made in advance, online, through The goal is to pace visitation evenly throughout the day, lessening congestion and improving the visitor experience.

GOOD TO KNOW: It’s crucial to plan your visit well in advance and secure your desired time slot. Availability may vary depending on the season and demand, so make your reservations as early as possible.

How Does It Work?

Here’s how to navigate the process:

  1. Secure your timed entry tickets. These can be reserved online or over the phone from The park releases tickets three months in advance in monthly blocks.
  2. Purchase your park pass or pay the entrance fee when you arrive.

PRO TIP: A limited number of tickets for the next day’s entry are released at 6 PM Mountain Time daily. You can only get these over the phone or on; tickets will not be available at the entrance station.

What To Do After Getting Your Ticket?

Once you have your ticket, print it, download it, or take a screenshot of it. Cell phone service is limited inside the park, so ensure you have a copy accessible offline.

Upon arrival at the park, check in at the entrance station during your designated time slot. Be prepared to show your reservation confirmation, either in printed form or on a mobile device, along with any applicable park passes, and photo ID.

Planning Your Visit

PRO TIP: Take into account the time slot you have reserved when planning your activities within the park. Consider the duration of hikes, sunset viewing opportunities, and any other experiences you wish to enjoy during your visit.

The Timed Entry System provides a two-hour window for entry, allowing for flexibility in case of unexpected delays. By managing visitor numbers and reducing congestion on popular trails, viewpoints, and parking areas, it helps preserve the park’s natural resources and improves the overall visitor experience.

💡 If you couldn’t secure a ticket, you can still enter the park before 7 A.M. and after 4 P.M. daily without a ticket.

10 Must-Know Tips

Arches National Park

  1. Be there early: The first hike we did was Delicate Arch (the full hike, not the viewpoint). Try to be there around 7:30 a.m. if possible. The parking lots get full around 10:00 or even earlier on a September weekend or on Labor Day. It can get really busy around that time.
  2. Stay one night: Staying one night is the best advice locals and experts give. That way, you can easily start early (see above) and enjoy gorgeous Milky Way stargazing as well. Stay nearby in Moab: Hotels Deals in Moab via (Tip: save the link!)
  3. Bring enough water: Many visitors ignore the advice to bring enough water in the hot months. Please don’t be one of them. It’s crucial that you bring plenty of water and drink enough fluids, even for shorter hikes.
  4. Bathrooms: Try to use the restrooms at the visitor center or at Sand Dune Arch. These are less busy and also cleaner than the other bathrooms.
  5. Six arches quick: If you only have half a day or so, hike the Double O Arch Trail! On this short hike, you can view 6 arches within a quite short (6 miles) round trip.
  6. Take your time: There is a lot to see in the park, but try not to rush; that way, you will be able to stop and enjoy the scenery at your leisure.
  7. Explore and discover: There is far more to the park than just the arches, with interesting plants and wildlife to see, as well as ancient dinosaur tracks, fossils, and petroglyphs. The park’s information boards are a great way to find out more about these features.
  8. Get the perfect photo: The best light is in the early morning and late evening when the red sandstone glows bright against the sky. Most arches will be quieter at sunrise, making photography easier. The backdrop of the La Sal Mountains is in the sun in the afternoon.
  9. Remember to bring food: There are no eating facilities within Arches, so you may be as much as an hour from a source of food. Consider bringing water-rich foods such as fruit, which will help you stay hydrated as well as fed.
  10. Talk to the rangers: The visitor center is open 364 days a year. Talk to the rangers about what you wish to see on your visit, and they will be happy to provide you with the best local knowledge about the park.

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