When Is the Best Time
Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful parks to visit. There are many hiking trails from very easy to difficult. The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day, and can be visited any time. We talked to experts and researched thousands of visitor reports to provide you with details for each time and month.
The best time to visit Arches National Park is from April to May or from September to October. Both seasons provide pleasant weather with temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. Summer months are scorching and busy. Winters are quiet without the crowds.
- How to Avoid the Crowds
- Stargazing Tips | Night Visit
- Monthly Tips | January to December
- 5 Best Hikes and Walks for Everyone
- 10 Must-Know Tips
How Many Days in Arches National Park
You should spend one full day in Arches National Park. Many more days are not necessary. One day is enough time to visit all of the park’s major arches and viewpoints without having to rush.
One Main Road: As there is only one main road running through Arches, it is very easy to drive from one destination to the next, with many of the trailheads and car parks being located in close proximity to one another. As such, you can visit La Sal Viewpoint, the Garden of Eden Viewpoint, the Windows Section, Delicate Arch, and the Devil’s Garden in about 7 – 8 hours.
Timing: To save time, it can be a good idea to bring food with you and start early in the morning, when it is usually quieter. If you’re restricted to half a day, it is still possible to see a lot. For example, the Windows Section and Double Arch regions can both be accessed from the same trailhead and include more than seven arches in total, which can be seen in less than 2 hours. If you have more time to spend, the entire park can be explored easily in 2 days.
How to Avoid the Crowds
The best time to avoid the crowds in Arches National Park is to arrive early in the morning and on a weekday if you’re visiting during the high season. The period before 9 a.m. sees the lowest visitor numbers, which normally peak during the middle of the day, in high season as early as 11 a.m. As Arches is open 24 hours a day, you are free to enter as early as you like.
What does a crowded Arches National Park mean?
- Medium Crowds: A busy entrance and congested parking lots at the arches/viewpoints. Visitors report that they are driving around in circles for quite a while until they could start their walks and hikes.
- Heavy Crowds: During peak months the rangers even close the park entrance for 2-3 hours when it’s getting too busy. This can happen as early as 10 a.m. during the highest visitation periods.
Can I avoid the heavy traffic at the main gate? No, the main entrance (Google Maps – Arches National Park Entrance) is the only way to get in with a regular car. There are two other entrances, but only high clearance 4 WD vehicles are allowed to use these. There are no exceptions.
After peak season: In September, it gets slightly less crowded after Labor Day. Again, it gets crowded in October, but only during the Utah Education Association break weekend.
Three ways to avoid the crowds:
- Visit Early or Late: Experienced park visitors arrive at 6 a.m. at the entrance during peak season. 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 booking.com (save the link as they offer the lowest prices and price match)
- Visit in Low Season: You can dodge the crowds by visiting in the late fall or winter and avoiding major holidays such as Spring Break.
- Venture Away: You can also hike to some of the more remote regions in the park, as most visitors prefer to stick to the attractions that are close to car parks. Places such as the Devil’s Garden offer a variety of longer trails that usually stay quiet, even at busy times.P
Please note that crowds are being reduced now because of the new timed tickets (read all you need to know about it at the end of the article). However, it still gets busy and our tips above are extremely useful)
Arches National Park at Night
As Arches National Park is open 24 hours a day, you can visit anytime at night to enjoy fantastic stargazing opportunities. The area is well away from major light pollution sources and sees some of the darkest skies in the United States.
When is the Best Time For Stargazing
The winter months are the best time to go stargazing in Arches National Park, as the air is generally at its clearest. An added benefit to winter stargazing is that it gets darker earlier in the day, with the sun setting between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.
It is a good idea to check which phase the Moon is in before visiting too, as a full Moon will obscure large parts of the night sky. Try to visit when the Moon is in a crescent or gibbous phase, or preferably when it is not visible in the sky at all. Be sure to keep an eye on the weather too, as cloudy skies can easily ruin a night of stargazing.
Best Stargazing Locations:
- Balanced Rock Picnic Area – Google Maps location
- The Windows Section – Google Maps location
- Garden of Eden Viewpoint – Google Maps location
- Panorama Point – Google Maps location
- La Sal Mountains Viewpoint – Google Maps location
Arches National Park in the Winter
Winter at Arches is a quiet time, without the massive tourist crowds you experience in the summer. However, it gets cold, with highs between 30° and 50° F. Park operations are limited. Even in winter, the visitor center is open daily.
Spring – Summer – Fall | Weather
Temperatures are more pleasant between spring and fall, although it gets boiling in the summer months. The park will be busier between March and October, July and August being the peak tourist months. Delicate Arch is the most famous spot: Often there are more than a hundred visitors and even more at sunset. Morning and evening are the best times to take stunning photos. If you want to avoid 100-degree temps but still enjoy comfortable weather go in April, May, or September, October.
Monthly Arches Guide | Crowds | Best Tips
Arches National Park is a “high desert” area where temperatures can vary a lot, sometimes over 30 or 40 degrees within a day. Make sure to read our weather details for each month below.
Tip: When in Utah, make sure to visit Zion National Park (Best Time) as well.
January is the coldest month in Arches National Park. You need to wear clothing that is suitable for chilly weather. The average maximum temperature reaches 7°C/44°F in the day, with average night time minima falling as low as -6°C/22°F.
Despite the national park being in a desert location, an average of only four days during this month receives rain, so bringing waterproof clothing is not really required.
On average, there is one snow day per year here; however, although an average of 48 millimetres/1.9 inches of snowfalls in the park, colder years can receive more snowfall. Important: Be aware that roads and trails within the park may be slippery or even blocked off during heavy snowfall.
January tips and facts:
- Photos: Snowfall during January can make this one of the most spectacular months for photography.
- Closures: Routes such as the Fiery Furnace may be closed due to icy conditions.
- Roads: While snow occasionally blocks the roads within the park, it is often cleared later in the day.
- No Crowds: As the quietest month, parking is easy, and even the most popular arches remain free of crowds.
- Short Days: January has some of the shortest days of the year, with the sun setting shortly after 5 p.m.
- Rangers Activities/Visitor Center: There are no ranger activities in January, and the visitor center operates at reduced hours.
In February, the average maximum reaches 11°C/52°F in Arches National Park, while the average night-time low drops to around -2°C/28°F. Therefore, bringing layers of clothes is recommended.
With an average of around four rain days in February, taking waterproof clothing with you is not necessary. Although snow is less likely than in January, with an average of only 23 millimetres/0.9 inches falling per month, it is still recommended that you are wary of slippery conditions on the roads and trails.
February tips and facts:
- Sunglasses: We recommend bringing sunglasses, as February receives a lot of sunshine, despite being cool.
- Hiking Temps: This is often the best winter month for hiking, with warmer temperatures and less snow and ice than previous months.
- Fewer Crowds: February is the second quietest month after January, making it ideal for avoiding the crowds.
- Stargazing: The short days make this a good month for stargazing.
In March, the temperatures in Arches National Park are slightly warmer than they are during the previous winter months. The average maximum and minimum temperatures hover around 18°C/64°F and 2°C/35°F, respectively. You will need layers of clothing for camping activities and early morning and evening outdoor activities.
On average, six days receive rainfall, so although bringing waterproof gear is not advisable, it is recommended that you check the weather forecast before setting out to the national park.
Snow occasionally falls, particularly towards the beginning of the month – so be aware of slippery roads or trails. March is also the month when it gets busier in Arches National Park.
March tips and facts:
- Visitation: March is the first month when it’s getting busier after a quiet winter period. Visitor numbers during March are more than triple what they are during February.
- Easter: The Moab Jeep Festival in Easter can bring a spike in tourist numbers.
- Campsite Reservation: The Devils Garden Campground transitions to a system of online reservations, having been available on a first-come, first-served basis over the winter.
- Hiking Conditions: Pleasant temperatures make for excellent hiking opportunities, with all hiking routes generally being free of snow.
- Weather and Clothing: March weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to come dressed for cold morning temperatures, as well as warm afternoons.
- Ranger Activities: There are still no ranger activities, and the visitor center operates at reduced hours.
April is one of the most pleasant times to visit Arches National Park, as the temperature sits within a desirable range – the average maxima and minima are 22°C/71°F and 6°C/42°F. However, it gets chilly during the night. For camping overnight, suitable thermal layers are still required.
On average, six days receive rainfall, so although bringing waterproof gear is actually unnecessary, it is recommended that you check the weather forecast before setting out to the national park.
Snowfall is virtually unheard of during this month. Although clear and sunny days are common all year round at Arches National Park, the sun is higher in the sky than during the winter months, so it is essential to wear sunscreen when spending long periods outdoors. Since the daylight lasts for just over 13 hours during April, there is plenty of time for you to explore the national park and take great photos.
April tips and facts:
- Blooming Flowers: The arrival of spring brings colorful wildflowers to Arches, making April a beautiful time to visit.
- Crowds: April is getting busier. No need to arrive at 5 a.m. but we recommend being at the entrance between 8 and 9 p.m.
- Easter Break: The dates over Easter Break bring another spike in visitor numbers to Arches.
- Bugs: Biting insects begin to appear, especially near areas of water, so bug spray is recommended.
- Longer Days: The days start to become even longer, with the sun setting between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Ranger-Led Activities: Ranger activities such as the Fiery Furnace tour become available, and the visitor center starts to remain open all day.
May is a pleasant time to visit the park, as daytime maxima are pretty warm, averaging at around 28°C/82°F in the day, whereas the night-time temperature drops to an average low of 11°C/51°F. Sunscreen should be worn during May in Arches. With over 14 hours of sunlight, there is a great deal of time to spend exploring the park!
Although there are 5 average rainfall days in the park, these often consist of short and showery bursts.
May tips and facts:
- Wildlife: With warming temperatures, wildlife such as birds and lizards are very active during May.
- Crowds: May is one of the busiest months in Arches, meaning congested parking lots and an extremely busy entrance by 10 a.m already.
- Bring Water: Some days can be hot, and it is essential to bring enough water to avoid dehydration.
- Hiking Conditions: May is another great month for hiking, with it usually being comfortable even during the middle of the day.
- Camping: The overnight temperature is often ideal for camping.
This is the start of the three summer months!
June temperatures in Arches National Park are sometimes uncomfortable in the day, with average maxima reaching 34°C/93°F. Therefore, when undertaking outdoor activities, such as hiking, it is suggested that you start early, bring plenty of water with you and wear sunscreen.
Night-time temperatures drop to around 16°C/60°F on average. The driest month of the year, rain falls on only 3 average June days and in the form of sharp showers or thunderstorms. Therefore, rain gear is not necessary during this dry month. With almost 15 hours of daily sunshine, there is a lot of time to spend exploring the park but bear in mind that the park can already be jam-packed with tourists at this time of year.
June tips and facts:
- Extremely Busy: June in Arches generally sees the largest visitor numbers, meaning routes are busy, and photo opportunities can be tricky at the popular spots. Arrive early around 6 or 7 a.m. or you won’t even get in. Alternatively, arrive late after 5 p.m. when crowds thin out.
- Long Days: With some of the longest days of the year, the sun usually sets between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- Very Hot: Daytime temperatures sometimes exceed 100°F, so it is important to stay safe and not remain out in the sun too long.
- Hiking Time: Hiking is best early in the morning, with this also being a great time to see wildlife.
July is the hottest month of the year in Arches National Park, with temperatures reaching an average maximum of 38°C/100°F during the day. Several days reach the 43°C/110°F mark and above. Therefore, you must bring enough water with you during outdoor activities and take intermittent breaks in any shaded areas. Wearing sunscreen is also essential.
During the night, temperatures drop to a more comfortable 19°C/66°F on average. Although an average of only 5 days in July are rain days, it will be in brief and intense thunderstorm downpours. Therefore, if you encounter one of these storms, be very aware of lightning, as well as flash floods in any valley area.
With almost 15 hours of sunshine per day, there is a lot of time to spend exploring the park but bear in mind that most spots will be busy with tourists at this time of year.
July tips and facts:
- Shaded Areas: To avoid the heat, shaded walks such as the Fiery Furnace trail can be the best for hiking in July.
- Crowds: It’s very busy. Arrive very early at the gate (7 a.m. or earlier) or later in the evening.
- Sunset Photography: With archways such as Delicate Arch being best viewed just being sunset, late evenings trips can be great for photography.
- Wildflowers: A range of different wildflowers can be seen during July, including daisies and sunflowers.
- Flash Floods: To avoid flash floods, check with a ranger to identify which areas of the park might be hazardous.
August is another scorching month in Arches National Park as it sees average daily maximum temperatures of 36°C/97°F. Taking plenty of water with you and wearing sunscreen during outdoor activities is essential.
During the night-time, temperatures drop to a more comfortable average minimum of around 19°C/66°F. An average of 5 August days are rain days, and like in July, if rain does fall, it will be in brief and sporadic thundery downpours. Therefore, if you encounter one of these storms, be very aware of lightning, as well as flash flooding in any valley area.
With almost 14 hours of daily sunshine, there is a lot of time to spend enjoying the park but bear in mind that the whole place will still be busy with visitors.
August tips and facts:
- Best Time of Day: Early morning or late evening hikes are often the most comfortable in August.
- Slightly Fewer Crowds: August is generally the quietest month within the summer season, meaning queues are not as bad as in the previous months. However, it’s still busy. Arrive early or late to avoid the crowds.
- Sun Protection: A good sun hat is essential if you’re out in the park during the day, but you should also be aware of afternoon thunderstorms.
- Sunrise/Sunset: Sunrise ranges between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., while sunset occurs between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.
September in Arches National Park still clings onto the summer heat, with average maxima peaking at 31°C/88°F during the day and dropping to an average of 13°C/55°F at night. Therefore, a great time of day for hiking and other outdoor activities is in the early morning and evening.
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.
Although daylight hours have already started reducing, with around 12 hours of light, there is still plenty of time to explore the park.
September tips and facts:
- 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.
October in Arches National Park offers suitable temperatures for outdoor activities. The maximum averages at around 23°C/74°F, whereas night-time minima fall to around 6°C/42°F. Although layers of warmth are not necessary for daytime activities, you will need to bring some layers with you if camping in the park.
Since October is a transitional month, temperatures drop sharply throughout the month, so this will depend on which part of October you decide to visit.
October sees a slight decrease in precipitation, with an average of about 1 inch of rain. This month is typically dry, but visitors should be ready for the occasional light rainfall.
Also, although bringing waterproof gear is usually not necessary, it is recommended that you check the weather forecast before setting out to the national park. Daylight hours reduce fairly quickly throughout this month, averaging at around 11 hours.
October tips and facts:
- Wildlife: The cooling temperatures bring out more wildlife during the day, including chipmunks and jackrabbits.
- Crowds: October is the first month after peak season which sees lower crowds. However, we still recommend avoiding weekends and being at the entrance no later than 8 or 9 a.m.
- Photo Opps: The trees within the park begin to turn red and gold, making great photo opportunities.
- Earlier Sunsets: Sunsets begin to come a little earlier than previous months, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- Great for Hiking: Hiking conditions are almost perfect, with comfortable temperatures.
- Ranger Activities / Visitor Center: October is the final month where ranger activities run and where the visitor center is open all day.
November often sees the first flakes of snow in Arches National Park. Temperatures peak at an average of 13°C/55°F during the day, with night-time minima on average dropping to -1°C/30°F.
Higher parts of the national park can even see temperatures dropping as low as -12°C/10°F on some nights. Therefore, warmer layers are required for both outdoor activities and overnight camping.
November is a drier month, although an average of 6 days sees rainfall. The total rainfall amount is half that of the October total. An average of 15 millimeters (0.6 inches) of snow falls over the entire month, so watch out for slippery and icy roads and trails.
The crowds of visitors dwindle by the first week of November, so this is a rather peaceful time to visit the park, although bear in mind that daylight hours are now relatively low, lasting for around 10 hours on average. However, it’s a great time to take photos during the golden hour.
November tips and facts:
- No Ranger Activities: Ranger activities cease, and the visitor center in the park switches to reduced hours.
- Quieter: The crowds finally dip, and there are great opportunities to see and photograph the popular arches without many other people.
- Photo Opps: Snow on the La Sal Mountains makes for a great photo backdrop to Delicate Arch.
- Campsite: The Devils Garden Campground transitions to a first-come, first-served basis.
- Sunset at 5: The changing clocks later in November bring sunset times to just past 5 p.m.
December is a cold month in Arches National Park, with temperatures peak at an average of 7°C/45°F, and dropping to an average low of -5°C/23°F during the night-time. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you wear warm winter clothing during the day. Wearing warm layers is essential when camping overnight.
During December, Arches National Park receives the highest amount of snow, with an average of 63 millimeters (2.5 inches) of snow falling during the month. Please be wary of slippery and icy roads and trails.
Despite the cold temperatures, an average of 4 days see rainfall during this month, so although bringing rain gear is not essential, it may be worth checking the weather forecast before leaving your home or hotel for the national park.
December tips and facts:
- Winter Photography: With December being the snowiest month, winter photography opportunities can be excellent.
- Closures: The visitor Center closes on Christmas Day, 25 December. It is open on reduced hours during the rest of the month.
- Short Days and Stargazing: The days during December are very short, with the sun setting around 5 p.m. This can make it a great time for stargazing.
- Quiet: Despite being a generally slow month, the days surrounding Christmas can be busy.
Arches National Park Hotel Deals in Moab | Moab
Some of the Best Guided Tours
Arches NP provides stunning natural arches and surreal landscapes. You have to get out of your car, as the arches are not visible from the road. However, the roads are paved.
5 Best Hikes And Walks for Everyone
These are five hikes and walks you can not miss in Arches National Park. We provide you with helpful tips and details for each trail.
- Length: 3 miles
- Elevation Gain: 610 feet
- Difficulty: Moderate
From the car park, the Delicate Arch trail sets off, passing Wolfe Ranch on the left-hand side. The defined path quickly disappears and leads up a relatively steep section of slick rock. Follow the rock cairns to stay on the right path. At the top of the slick rock, the path curves behind a sandstone wall and turns the corner to Delicate Arch. The arch sits on one side of a sloping sandstone bowl, and you can photograph it from various angles.
Tips and Things to Know:
- Delicate Arch is one of the most famous natural arches in the world.
- There is no shade on this trail so it is important to bring water, hats, and sunscreen.
- The trail takes around 2 – 3 hours to complete.
- Consider visiting just after sunrise or just before sunset for the best photo opportunities.
- At Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint, you can walk a short distance to see the arch from about a mile away.
Devils Garden Trail
- Length: Landscape Arch – 1.6 miles. Double O Arch – 4.5 miles. Primitive Trail – 7.2 miles.
- Elevation Gain: Landscape Arch – 259 feet. Double O Arch – 360 feet. Primitive Trail – 1,131 feet.
- Difficulty: Moderate
There are three trail variations in the Devils Garden area, with each beginning from the same trailhead. The trail meanders through flat terrain initially, but before you reach Landscape Arch a path leads off right to Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch, which are well worth checking out. After this, return to the main trail, which leads to the base of the spectacular Landscape Arch. From here, the walk becomes slightly more challenging, so you can retrace your steps to complete the Landscape Arch trail if you wish.
The onwards trail climbs over sandstone slabs, involving some scrambling and exposure to heights. Spur trails lead off to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch. The main path then takes you across a narrow sandstone rock towards Double O Arch, with great views on both sides. Double O Arch is another impressive sight, with the tower of Dark Angel situated a short distance away. From here, you can retrace your steps to the car park to complete the Double O Arch trail.
If you’re confident enough to continue, the Primitive Loop trail becomes more challenging, involving some rock scrambling and route finding. Private Arch is the only other arch to see on this route, with the rest of it being a beautiful trail through the desert environment, which loops back around to the main path near Landscape Arch.
Tips and Things to Know:
- The Devils Garden Trail incorporates seven arches in total, with others visible in the distance.
- Landscape Arch is the longest natural arch in North America, at 306 feet.
- The Landscape Arch Trail takes around 50 minutes. The Double O Arch trail takes about 2.5 hours, and the Primitive Loop takes around 4 hours.
- The Primitive Loop section is not recommended when conditions are wet or icy.
Park Avenue Trail
- Length: 2 miles
- Elevation Gain: 300 feet
- Difficulty: Very easy
The Park Avenue Trail begins at the trail car park, with the path dropping down into the canyon via a series of steps. From here, the flat terrain leads you down the center of the canyon, with red sandstone walls towering on each side. As you emerge at the other end of the canyon, you are greeted with a great view of the Courthouse Towers. This marks the end of the trail, and you return to the car park by retracing your steps.
Tips and Things to Know:
- This is the closest trail to the park entrance.
- The walk is suitable for those of all abilities, making it great for families.
- From the car park, a paved sidewalk leads to the nearby La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.
The Windows Loop
- Length: 1.2 miles
- Elevation Gain: 187 feet
- Difficulty: Easy
From the parking area, an easy trail leads up a gentle slope for about 100 yards towards the North Window – the largest window on the route. This part of the walk has some great views of the surrounding area, and from here, you can follow the path around the corner to view the South Window.
The spectacular Turret Arch is also nearby, composed of one large arch and one smaller arch. To reach it, follow the path jutting off from the main trail at the North and South Windows. From here, you have the option of retracing your steps to the car park or completing a circular route by looping around behind the main windows.
Tips and Things to Know:
- North Window measures 90 feet in width and 48 feet in height.
- The Windows Loop usually takes between 15 and 60 minutes.
- An accessible bathroom is available near the Windows Loop car park.
- You can also reach the nearby Double Arch Trail from here, with the option to combine both this and the Windows Loop into one walk.
Sand Dune Arch & Broken Arch
- Length: 2 miles
- Elevation Gain: 226 feet
- Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
From the car park, there is the option to visit either of the two arches first. However, Sand Dune Arch is closer to the car park. A flat trail leads to a crossroads, where you can turn right and follow the path through a narrow slot canyon with a sandy bottom. A short distance into the canyon, the walls widen and open up to a view of Sand Dune Arch, which you can walk beneath.
Retrace your steps through the canyon to the crossroads, then turn down the other path signposted to Broken Arch. This trail leads through an open area of scrub and trees to the base of the archway. Here, the path climbs up a short section of rock and passes right through Broken Arch. There are some great photo opportunities of the arch on the other side. Retracing your steps leads you back to the car park.
Tips/Things to Know:
- Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch are accessed by two separate trails, but they can be combined into one walk and both use the same car park.
- The canyon leading to Sand Dune Arch can provide shade when the sun is hot.
- The Broken Arch trail is a good place to see migrating birds in spring and fall.
- The Devils Garden Campground can be found nearby.
Timed Entry Tickets
Arches National Park introduces a Timed Entry System between April 1st and October 31st from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. each year. The system helps manage traffic, reduce congestion, and enhance the visitor experience. This section will guide you through everything you need to know about securing and using timed entry tickets.
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 Recreation.gov. 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:
- Secure your timed entry tickets. These can be reserved online or over the phone from Recreation.gov. The park releases tickets three months in advance in monthly blocks.
- 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 Recreation.gov; 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.
Enjoy your visit to Arches National Park with a ticket during busy hours or without one after 4 PM.
10 Must-Know Tips
- Be there early: The first hike we did was Delicate Arch (the full hike, not the viewpoint). Try to be there around 7:30 AM if possible. The parking lots get full around 10:00. It can get really busy around that time, from spring to fall.
- 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 booking.com (Tip: save the link!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.