Arches National Park, situated in eastern Utah, is renowned for its stunning natural stone arches, boasting an impressive collection of over 2,000 arches, as well as striking pinnacles, giant fins, and rock formations. The visit to this park offers a truly distinctive experience, encouraging visitors to unleash their creativity in naming the formations and appreciating the unique life forms that thrive in the desert environment.
The park’s exceptional geological features were shaped over millions of years by natural processes. The presence of an underground salt bed caused the overlying sedimentary layers to buckle and thrust upwards, giving rise to an extensive network of rock formations. The rocks were further sculpted by erosion from wind, water, and ice, resulting in the iconic arches, balanced rocks, and other distinctive geological marvels.
Throughout the year, the weather at Arches National Park varies significantly. Summers can be scorching hot, attracting numerous visitors despite the bustling atmosphere. Spring and fall, with milder weather, are considered the optimal times to visit. Winters, on the other hand, can be cold, sometimes leading to snowfall, which may render some roads and trails impassable.
For RV renters visiting Arches National Park, an array of activities awaits. The park offers numerous hiking trails, catering to various difficulty levels, allowing explorations of the breathtaking landscape up close. Among the must-see features is the Delicate Arch, particularly captivating during sunset when it radiates a fiery glow. Other popular hikes include the Devils Garden Trail, Fiery Furnace, and Landscape Arch.
Camping in an RV at Arches National Park requires careful planning, as only the Devils Garden Campground accommodates RVs. Due to high demand, reservations for this campground are strongly recommended. While the campground provides basic amenities such as potable water and pit toilets, RV renters should be prepared for a rustic camping experience and ensure they carry sufficient food, water, and supplies since park facilities are limited.
Whether stargazing or enjoying the comfort of an RV, or opting to rent one nearby, camping at one of the park’s many RV-friendly campgrounds promises an unforgettable adventure, where visitors can lose themselves in the wonders of this red-rock paradise.
From April 1 to October 31, 2023, all park visitors are required to obtain a Timed Entry Ticket to access the park. We recommend reserving your ticket on Recreation.gov up to three months in advance of your planned visit. Additional tickets may also be available for purchase on the day before your visit.
Weather-permitting, there is a possibility of conducting controlled burns of vegetation piles near park roads. These burns are part of our efforts to manage exotic plant species and involve consuming existing woody and herbaceous materials in the park through controlled burning procedures.
The park entrance is located north of Moab, Utah, and serves as the primary access point. To reach it, travel north on US 191 for five miles from Moab, or head south on US 191 for 22 miles from Interstate 70.
Also, visitors have various transportation options, including personal vehicles, shuttles, and guided tours. Those renting camper vans or RVs can access the park through its main entrance road. However, certain areas may have restrictions on rig sizes due to limited parking and narrow roads.
Once inside the park, visitors can easily explore various viewpoints and trailheads using cars, trucks, or campers, and enjoy scenic drives that crisscross the park.
Arches National Park offers designated RV parking areas at various viewpoints, trailheads, and attractions throughout the park. These designated parking areas accommodate larger vehicles and provide suitable spaces for RVs to park while exploring the park’s landmarks. But due to its popularity, finding parking can be difficult, and specific areas where RVs may be less convenient to maneuver, especially during peak tourist season. If you have an RV or trailer, it is advisable to leave it at your campsite and use a smaller vehicle to explore the park. It can save you the hassle of searching for a suitable parking spot for your larger vehicle.
Although driving remains the favored mode of transportation in the park, visitors primarily rely on personal vehicles to navigate the park. There are walking paths and hiking trails available for exploring various viewpoints and attractions within the park. Visitors can also opt for bike tours or commercial tours. Biking is advised for experienced cyclists due to narrow roads and heavy car traffic. A commercial tour offers the advantage of leaving the driving to someone else while enjoying informative commentary about the sights, allowing RV campers to keep their large vehicles parked at the campsite.
Devils Garden Campground is the most sought-after campground in Arches National Park and can be reserved in advance. It is located at the end of the park’s main road, offering access to many iconic arches and rock formations that offers a unique opportunity for RV and tent campers to experience the beauty of red-rock arches up close. The campground is located 18 miles from the park’s entrance and welcomes RVs up to 40 feet in length. It provides 51 individual sites, and reservations can be made online through the National Park Service website, with reservations accepted no less than four days and no more than six months in advance.
Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, potable water, and pit toilets. It is a pet-friendly campground, but pets must be kept on a leash at all times. Devils Garden Campground is typically open during the popular months from the beginning of March to the end of October. Some sites might be closed during the winter months due to extreme weather conditions.
Located near the park entrance, it offers easy access to major viewpoints and attractions. The campground provides 12 sites available for reservation online. Amenities include picnic tables, fire rings, and pit toilets. However, there is no potable water available, so visitors need to bring their own. Willow Flat is also pet-friendly, but leashes are required. Typically open year-round, and RVs and trailers up to 28 feet are permitted.
Situated in Moab, Utah, not within the national park itself. It is conveniently located near Arches National Park, along with other nearby attractions like Canyonlands National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. It caters to large RVs, providing all the necessary facilities to ensure comfort after exploring Moab and Arches National Park.
The Moab KOA offers a range of amenities and services for visitors exploring the Moab area. As mentioned earlier, this campground provides upgraded amenities, including Wi-Fi, cable TV, an upgraded pool and hot tub, and a refurbished Airstream serving beverages and snacks by the poolside. Additionally, they offer bike rentals, a bike wash, and a repair station for those interested in mountain biking, a popular activity in the region. Whether you enjoy biking, hiking, walking, or simply relaxing, the scenic surroundings of Moab KOA and the neighboring areas provide ample opportunities to relish the outdoors.
Green River KOA, nestled amidst awe-inspiring natural landscapes in Green River, Utah, is conveniently situated right on the I-70 Business Loop, making it an excellent base for exploring the nearby national parks – Arches, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef – all reachable within a 90-minute drive or less. The campground accommodates big rigs up to 80 feet, providing shaded, full hookup sites with cable TV and up to 50-amp electrical service. Some areas of the campground are pet-friendly. For guests’ convenience, propane and firewood are available for purchase. After a day of sightseeing, visitors can take advantage of the on-site pool for laps or simply unwind poolside while staying connected with Wi-Fi.
Devils Garden Campground caters to more than just RV camping. For those traveling in groups and preferring tent camping, Devils Garden offers group sites suitable for up to 11 tents. If your group is larger, you can opt for the Canyon Wren Loop, which accommodates fewer than 35 tents, or the Juniper Basin Loop, which can accommodate tent-camping groups of up to 55 people. Hohokam Loop can accommodate up to 10 people and two vehicles. The group site provides picnic tables, fire rings, potable water, and vault toilets. Like other campgrounds in the park, it is pet-friendly, but pets must be leashed. Reservations for these sites can be made up to 12 months in advance, providing ample planning time for your trip.
For those seeking more amenities and comforts outside the national park, several commercial campgrounds in and around Moab are available, offering RV camping with full hookups, showers, laundry facilities, running water, and more. Full amenity camping allows you to stay near all the action of Arches National Park while enjoying the comfort of your motorhome. If you prefer a glamping experience over backcountry camping, these private campgrounds provide the perfect solution. Although some private campgrounds accept reservations, availability is often on a first-come, first-serve basis, so it’s advisable to plan accordinglyfor a hassle-free stay.
Embrace the tranquility of Arches National Park during the winter season when fewer visitors brave the chilly temperatures. Bring a heat source and bundle up with blankets, sweaters, and hot chocolate in your RV for a peaceful and secluded experience.
Capture the park’s beauty in its serene winter setting, with stunning sunsets, natural rock formations, and fewer crowds. Snap breathtaking photos at locations like Moab Fault or Double Arch in the morning, and Skyline Arch or Balanced Rock during evening hours.
Winter offers a cooler and less crowded time to explore the park’s various hiking trails. Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch are popular winter hikes with mesmerizing snowy backdrops. Winter hiking presents challenges, but if you’re ready to face the cold and the associated risks, don’t forget to pack your hiking boots in the RV. Winter hiking is discouraged for hikers with limited experience.
Winter in Arches National Park offers excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing. As some animals come down to lower elevations, visitors may spot bighorn sheep, mule deer, and various bird species. However, winter conditions can be harsh, so be prepared for colder temperatures and dress appropriately. Maintain a respectful distance from wildlife and avoid disturbing their natural behaviors. Always prioritize the safety of both wildlife and visitors during winter wildlife viewing.
On snowy days, RV campers can explore designated areas on snowshoes or cross-country skis. The park’s snow-covered landscapes provide a unique and peaceful setting for exploring the trails during the colder months. Snowshoeing allows visitors to walk on top of the snow, making it easier to traverse uneven terrain. Cross-country skiing, on the other hand, provides a smooth and efficient way to cover longer distances. These activities are best suited for experienced winter adventurers who are prepared for weather conditions and potential hazards. The Fiery Furnace and Park Avenue are excellent options.
Join a ranger-led tour through the labyrinthine Fiery Furnace, experiencing the stunning colors of fall in this unique area. However, hiking the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park is a challenging and adventurous activity. This unique trail is not recommended for young children, and those under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. Park rangers guide the hike, providing valuable insights and ensuring safety. Hiking the Fiery Furnace is available from April 15th to September 29th and offers a rewarding experience for those seeking a memorable and physically demanding adventure amidst the park’s remarkable rock formations.
Cycling and mountain biking are allowed on the main roads within and outside of Arches National Park, but off-road mountain biking is restricted on the park’s trails. Mountain biking enthusiasts can explore the numerous biking options in and around Moab, while road biking on the park’s main roads is recommended only for experienced cyclists due to car traffic concerns. Consider attaching bikes to your campervan and enjoy biking adventures in and around Moab.
During the fall season, visitors to Arches National Park can witness stunning fall colors at Courthouse Towers. The vibrant foliage of trees and shrubs adds a striking contrast to the red rock formations, creating a picturesque and memorable experience. Courthouse Towers is easily accessible, making it an ideal spot for all visitors to enjoy the beauty of the fall colors in the park. Be sure to check the peak fall foliage time to plan your visit for the most spectacular display of autumn hues.
Backpacking in Arches National Park offers a thrilling and immersive outdoor experience. Backpackers can explore the park’s backcountry, enjoying a deeper connection with nature. A permit is required for overnight backpacking trips, with a maximum stay of seven days. Be prepared for rough terrain and carry all necessary supplies, including water, as the park’s landscape is delicate and should be preserved. The RV can serve as a basecamp while venturing into the backcountry for an unforgettable backpacking adventure amidst the park’s remarkable rock formations and arches.
Arches National Park offers Community Artist-Led Programs during the summer. Visitors have the opportunity to interact with local artists from the Moab community and learn from them. These programs allow participants to acquire new artistic skills and create their own original art. Whether you are an experienced artist or a beginner, the park provides an inspiring setting to gain insights and techniques to enrich your artistic pursuits
Stargazing in Arches National Park is a captivating activity, particularly during the summer. The park’s dark skies offer an ideal setting for viewing stars, planets, and celestial wonders. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking stargazing experiences at various spots like Balanced Rock Picnic Area, the Windows, Garden of Eden Viewpoint, and Panorama Point. The farther away from city lights, the clearer the night sky appears. Stargazers can choose to explore the universe on their own or join ranger-led programs for educational insights into the cosmos. Stargazing provides a serene and enchanting way to connect with the beauty of the night sky in this remarkable national park.
The Delicate Arch Viewpoint activity in Arches National Park allows visitors to witness one of the park’s iconic landmarks, the Delicate Arch, from a distance. The viewpoint offers a stunning vantage point to capture photographs of this natural wonder without having to embark on the strenuous hike to the arch itself. It is easily accessible, making it suitable for all visitors, including those with limited mobility or time constraints. RV campers can enjoy the sight of Delicate Arch from a distance during sunset, when the setting sun paints the arch in vibrant hues.
Arches National Park offers both Morning Programs and Evening Programs for visitors. Morning Programs are short and interactive, providing fun and informative sessions about the park’s natural wonders. They vary in location and timing, with at least one program available daily. Evening Programs take place at the Devils Garden Campground amphitheater from early May to the end of September, starting around sundown. These programs last between 45 minutes to an hour and offer entertainment and education suitable for all ages. Both Morning and Evening Programs provide valuable opportunities to learn about the park’s history, nature, and cultural significance while enjoying engaging activities amidst the stunning landscapes of Arches National Park.
Wildflower viewing in Arches National Park is a delightful activity, especially during the spring season. The park comes alive with a colorful display of unique wildflowers that have adapted to the arid desert environment. Visitors can witness a variety of vibrant blooms, each with its special adaptation to survive in harsh conditions. The wildflowers create a picturesque contrast against the red rock formations, providing excellent photo opportunities for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike, making it essential to pack them along when exploring the park in an RV. Spring is the best time to experience this beautiful display of desert flora, making wildflower viewing a must-do activity for visitors to Arches National Park.
Rock climbing in Arches National Park is a popular activity for adventurers and climbers from around the world. The park’s unique sandstone formations offer world-class climbing opportunities. However, climbing requires a permit, and climbers must follow park regulations to protect the delicate rock formations. Safety precautions are essential due to loose and fragile rock surfaces. The park imposes restrictions on group sizes and requires climbers to be mindful of the environment. Rock climbing in Arches National Park provides an exhilarating and challenging experience amidst the awe-inspiring natural beauty of the park’s iconic arches and rock formations.
Discover ancient petroglyphs and pictographs in Courthouse Wash, providing a glimpse into the region’s Native American history. Visitors to explore ancient rock art created by Native American cultures. Courthouse Wash is home to significant petroglyph panels, offering a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the indigenous peoples who once inhabited the region. The rock art features intricate and symbolic designs, providing valuable insights into their beliefs and way of life. Accessing the rock art requires a hike along the Courthouse Wash trail, which showcases stunning desert landscapes. This activity offers a unique opportunity to connect with the past and appreciate the ancient artistic expressions found within the remarkable natural setting of Arches National Park.
Auto touring in Arches National Park allows you to enjoy stunning views while driving your RV. Visitors can drive through the park’s roads in their vehicles, stopping at numerous overlooks to capture breathtaking photographs. This activity allows you to admire the stunning arches and other impressive rock formations without leaving the comfort of your RV, making it a popular and enjoyable way to experience the park’s natural wonders.
Exhilarating outdoor activity that allows visitors to explore the park’s stunning canyons and rock formations. With a permit, adventurers can venture off-trail and navigate through narrow slot canyons, rappel down cliffs, and scramble through unique terrain. Canyoneering requires careful planning, safety measures, and an understanding of the park’s regulations to preserve the delicate landscape. It offers an immersive and challenging experience for thrill-seekers, providing a rare opportunity to witness the hidden wonders of Arches National Park from a different perspective.