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. Make sure to read our '5 Must-Know Tips' at the end of this article and our guide for winter, spring, summer, and fall below.
The best time to visit Arches National Park is either in the spring or fall when temperatures are pleasant. Summers can get scorching hot and very busy as well. Winters are quiet and peaceful without the crowds.
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.
Arches National Park in Spring - Summer - Fall
Temperatures are more pleasant, although it gets boiling in the summer months. The park will be more 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.
To avoid the crowds in the busy summer months and to get your car parked, arrive early morning or even better late afternoon when temps are getting cooler. Morning and evening are the best times to photograph. If you want to avoid 100-degree temps but still enjoy comfortable weather go in April, May, or September, October. In September, it gets less crowded after Labor Day. Again, it gets crowded in October during the Utah Education Association break
Monthly Weather Guide | Crowds | Photo 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.
January is the coldest month within the national park. 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. Therefore, you will need to wear clothing that is suitable for cold weather.
Despite the national park being in a desert location, an average of 4 days during this month receives rain, so bringing waterproof clothing is not 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. Be aware that roads and trails within the park may be slippery or even blocked off during heavy snowfall.
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, a suitable amount of warm clothing is required.
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.
March is the earliest of the spring months: The average temperatures are slightly warmer than they are during the winter months in Arches N.P. The average maximum and minimum temperatures hover around 18°C/64°F and 2°C/35°F, respectively. You will need warm layers of clothing for camping activities and early morning and evening outdoor activities.
On average, 6 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 any slippery roads or trails.
March is also the month when it gets busier in Arches National Park.
April is one of the most pleasant times to visit the national park, as the temperature sits within a rather desirable range – the average maxima and minima are 22°C/71°F and 6°C/42°F, respectively. However, if you are camping overnight, suitable thermal layers are still required.
On average, 6 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.
May is a rather pleasant time to visit the park – 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. Although there are 5 average rainfall days in the park, these often consist of short and showery bursts.
Although the abundance of sunny days is to be enjoyed, sunscreen should be worn when spending time outdoors. With over 14 hours of sunlight, there is a great deal of time to spend exploring the park!
This is the start of the three summer months: June temperatures are often 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 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, waterproof 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 be already very busy with tourists at this time of year.
July is the hottest month of the year, with temperatures reaching an average maximum of 38°C/100°F during the day, although a number of days reach the 43°C/110°F mark and above. Therefore, during outdoor activities, you must bring enough water with you 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 July days are rain days, if rain does fall, 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 areas. With almost 15 hours of sunshine per day, there is a lot of time to spend exploring the park, but bear in mind that the park will be busy with tourists at this time of year.
August is another scorching month as it sees average daily maximum temperatures of 36°C/97°F – therefore, 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 areas. 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 be busy with visitors.
Despite being the first of the autumn/fall months, September 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 do occur occasionally – an average of 6 days are rain days. Therefore, you must 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.
October has a daily temperature regime that is rather suitable for outdoor activities in Arches. Daily maximum temperatures average 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 is also the wettest month, with an average of 6 days of rainfall that tends to fall in short and heavy bursts of rainfall – therefore, be aware of flash flooding, particularly in any canyon or valley areas.
Also, although bringing waterproof gear is not advisable, 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.
Despite being within the autumn/fall season, November often sees the first flakes of snow. 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. 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 millimetres (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.
December is the start of the winter and a rather cold month – temperatures peak at an average of 7°C/45°F, while temperatures drop to an average low of -5°C/23°F during the night time. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you wear warm winter clothing, even during the day. Wearing warm layers is essential when camping overnight.
During December, the Arches National Park receives the highest amount of snow, with an average of 63 millimetres (2.5 inches) of snow falling during the month. Therefore, it is important to 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 waterproof gear is not essential, it may be worth checking the weather forecast before leaving your home for the national park.
Arches National Park Hotel Deals | Moab
Best Guided Tours
Where and Tips
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. Links: Hiking trails Arches Map There are more than 2000 arches in the park.
5 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.
- Short trail: 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.