Arches National Park

Visit Arches and discover a landscape of contrasting colors, landforms and textures unlike any other in the world. The park has over 2,000 natural stone arches, in addition to hundreds of soaring pinnacles, massive fins and giant balanced rocks. This red rock wonderland will amaze you with its formations, refresh you with its trails, and inspire you with its sunsets.

We've made it easy to plan a side-trip from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon to Arches National Park in southeastern Utah. We've gathered driving directions, maps, popular hiking and activities and camping & lodging information for Arches National Park all in one place.

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Driving Directions to and from Grand Canyon National Park and Arches National Park:

To & From the North Rim:

Directions from Arches National Park to Grand Canyon North Rim:
Take US-191 N to Interstate 70. Take I-70 West. Take exit 23 for US-89 toward Panguitch/Kanab. Take Highway 89 S and continue onto Highway 89-A South. Turn right onto AZ-67 South. Take Highway 67 S to the North Rim. (Total: 395 miles (635 km) - 6 hours, 40 minutes)

Directions from Grand Canyon North Rim to Arches National Park:
Take Highway 63 north to Highway 12. Take Highway 12 west to Highway 89. Take Highway 89 continuing north to Interstate 70 East. Take exit 182 for US-191 S toward Moab. Take Highway 191 into Arches National Park. (Total: 395 miles (635 km) - 6 hours, 40 minutes)

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Stay overnight in Moab, Arizona. There is a variety of motels and hotels available within minutes of the park. Or you can camp at Devils Garden Campground for $20/night between March and October. Reservations are available at www.recreation.gov.

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There are several ways to explore this Utah National Park; driving, hiking, and biking are the most popular activities. World-renowned mountain biking is allowed outside the park.

Arches National Park Visitors Center
Definitely make a stop at the Arches National Park Visitors Center. Open daily year-round, the Visitors Center helps visitors get oriented to the park and nearby area. Rangers are available to answer questions and conduct intepretive programs spring through fall.

Self-Guided Driving Tour:
Auto-touring is a great way to explore Arches. However, parking at Delicate Arch and Devils Garden trailheads is limited and very popular. See the National Park website nps.gov/arch for more information on each of these scenic viewpoints and areas of interest.

Ranger-led Talks & Family Programs:

Ranger programs are a great way to expand your exploration of Arches. They're free of charge and range from a few minutes to a few hours. Have all your questions answered or take an in-depth look at Arches geology, take a guided walk or attend an evening program.

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Most Popular Hikes at Arches National Park

Arches' most popular hiking trails lead right up to and under the spectacular spans. The following three hikes are rated as easy.

  • Balanced Rock: (Length: 0.3 mi/0.5 km round trip) A loop trail leads around the base of a fragile, picturesque rock formation.
  • Double Arch: (Length: 0.5 mi/0.8 km round trip) A relatively flat, sandy trail leads to the base of two giant arch spans which are joined at one end.
  • The Windows: (Length 1 mi/1.6 km round trip) A gentle climb up a gravel loop trail leads to three massive arches.

Here, two of the more-strenuous day hikes that are highly recommended for intermediate to advanced hikers. Moderate Hikes have steep grades with "down and back" elevation changes. Strenuous Hikes are those consisting of steep grades with multiple elevation changes. Please note that popular trailheads like Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch and Devils Garden may fill for hours at a time, especially on weekends and holidays.

  • Delicate Arch: (Length: 3 mi/4.8 km round trip) Take at least 1 quart (1 liter) of water per person! There is no shade. Open slickrock with some exposure to heights. The first half-mile is a wide, well-defined trail. Upon reaching the slickrock, follow the rock cairns. The trail climbs gradually and levels out toward the top of this rock face. Just before you get to Delicate Arch, the trail goes along a rock ledge for about 200 yards.
  • Devils Garden Primitive Loop: (Length: 7.2 mi/11.5 km round trip) Longest of the maintained trails in the park, the Devils Garden Trail leads to eight awe-inspiring arches. Expect narrow ledges with rocky surface hiking and scrambling on slickrock. Not recommended when rock is wet or snowy. Trail guide available at trailhead.
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A Day At The Canyon from John Burcham Photography. John Burcham is a commercial, editorial photographer based out of Flagstaff, AZ. You can see more of his work at www.johnburcham.com