Where to stay:
I stayed at the beautiful Moab Flats with Premier Lodging! They have several different options that you can go with to pick the right one for your vacation. Complete with a kitchen, this flat makes longer stays in Moab much more convenient giving you the option to cook your own food without having to go out each night. What also was great about this place was that it could sleep up to 4 people! Notice in the top left corner of the picture below that adorable loft bed? Yeah, they are winning at the creativity game. The decorations and theme of the flat was spot on for the area and it was hard leaving for the day when all I wanted to do was relax in the incredibly soft bed and curl up on the welcoming couch and watch my shows. Not only do you get to enjoy this luxurious flat but you get added bonuses as well! *Cue, backyard hot tub!* After a long day of hiking the backyard hot tub was the perfect way to unwind and soak my sore muscles. There was mood lighting, outdoor couches, and plenty of seating room for your whole group to enjoy. Have I convinced you to stay yet? Trust me, staying here will make your trip to Arches National Park ten times better. Moab Flats, it was a pleasure to stay!
Visiting Arches National Park:
Depending on which season you are visiting in or if you are there during the weekend or weekday will determine what time you should arrive at the park. Although, I still recommend arriving early either way to beat the crowds. My next tip is start from the back of the park and work your way to the entrance. Why? You will have a lot more access to parking spaces, less crowds to fight, and you’ll get a chance to scout out sites where you’ll want to stop on the way back. I got there pretty early, like 7am, and only had to wait for several minutes to make it in. I immediately drove all the way back to Devils Garden and explored the short trail and several arches that were there. I really like the Devils Garden trail because you can see so many different arches within a short amount of time. It had been raining the night before so it was a little muddy in spots but I didn’t mind at all because it kept a lot of the crowds away.
After exploring Devils Garden you will start your drive back to the entrance. I would recommend stopping at the Skyline Arch and taking the short 3 minute walk to view this magnificent arch!
Next stop will be the Sand Dune Arch! Since it had been so rainy I decided to pass on this trail. However, the pictures below are from the previous year when Steve and I had visited with drier conditions. We fell in love with this arch! I think it had something to do with the beautiful pink sand and the shadier conditions. Well worth the stop.
If you are not planning on hiking to Delicate Arch the next stop should be Wolfe Ranch road. Here you can find the Upper and Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoints. Since I knew I would be hiking Delicate Arch early the next morning I kept driving!
Quite possibly the most stunning area of the park is the turnoff to the Garden of Eden. Take a left on your way back to enjoy spectacular views of the Garden of Eden. After taking some time to admire the beauty press on to the parking lot at the end of the road. Here you will find Double Arch, North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. What I love about this area is you get incredible views all within short walking distances from each other. This area can get quite busy no matter when you come so just enjoy the views and try not to get too distressed with all the other tourists walking around. I’m still trying to decide out of all these arches which is my favorite…don’t think I’ll ever decide so I’ll just show you pictures of all of them and let you make up your own minds!
After you’ve finished exploring these four different arches jump back in your vehicle and drive to the main road. Once there, continue on towards the entrance but it won’t be long until you have to pull over and stop again. Take a moment to park and admire balanced rock. I couldn’t believe how the rock had not tumbled over yet! Truly incredible.
Before exiting the park I would stop at Park Avenue. I didn’t take the time to make the short hike but the view from just off the parking lot is incredible.
What I love about Arches National Park is that you don’t have to be an extreme hiker to enjoy the views. You could just simply drive through the park and not ever get out of the car to come away with an awesome experience.
I saved my most favorite hike/arch to the very end….Delicate Arch. Seen on Utah license plates, you know it’s got to be good. Get an early start to beat the inevitable crowds that flock here daily. I choose to get up at 5am so I could make it to the trail head a little before sunrise. It was such a neat experience making the trek up to the arch with the complete silence, a dark sky, and my headlamp. When I arrived I found a lot of photographers had already beaten me there and had taken their spots along the typical vantage points that you see in all the photos. I decided to track down a more unique and less known spot along the trail. Worth it! I had the spot all to myself and got to enjoy the rising sun light up the arch. A truly magical experience that was well worth the 5am wake-up call.
Did you know that my second favorite arch is actually not found in Arches National Park? (but it’s very close) You can read about the most overlooked arch in Moab, Utah here!
Whether you are there for a day or a week, Arches National Park is a must-see location.
Don’t let the colder weather discourage you from visiting National Parks! Bryce Canyon during winter was an absolute dream. We can’t wait to come back one day. Below are some other parks that we enjoy visiting during the offseason!
I want to thank Moab Premier Lodgings for hosting me and recommend their accommodations for your stay at Arches National Park!