Arches National Park

Arches has got to be my favorite park in the system. Probably because it was the first one I went to where I really “got it” about why we are protecting these places. The first great thing about Arches is Moab, Utah which is such a great little town. Lots of cafes to sit oudoors at and recharge. And there are a good number of hotels here too (I’ve not camped at Arches yet). One time we got to one which had literally just opened, and everything was new and fresh and it was my birthday and I had the pool to myself for the whole mid-day break from the park. Good Times! Once you come here, you’ll never look at a landscape in quite the same way. It’s so amazing to see these formations, and realize that they have been here for thousands of years before you came, and they’ll be here for thousands more. (Yes, these arches do fall down eventually – Wall Arch fell in August of 2008)

My favorite things to do here

  • Drive the scenic trail with the windows open and stop at every pulloff to explore
  • Hike the Park Avenue trail at sunset (watch out for snakes!)
  • The hike to Delicate Arch from Wolfe Ranch is an ABSOLUTE MUST. It is several miles round trip, but you just do not get the same feeling from the viewpoint which is a mile away
  • The Devil’s Garden trail is very cool, but you need to make a reservation to go on this hike – so do it first thing when you get to the visitors center

Things I want to come back to do

  • Camp
  • See Sand Dune Arch
  • Explore Klondike Bluffs
  • Buy a little cottage in Moab

Fun Facts

  • Over 2,000 arches here
  • Park receives only 10 inches of rain on average per year
  • The beginning of the Third “Indiana Jones” movie was shot here, and you can recognize many of the landmarks
  • President Nixon changed this from a Monument to a Park in 1971
  • Book “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey is famous for chronicling his time as a ranger in the park

National Park Service Website:

National Park Service Map: