Arches National Park

With some of the most recognisable sandstone structures in America it's no surprise that Arches National Park tours in the east of Utah is a dream destination for photographers and trekkers alike. With more than 2000 eroded archways dotted across some 76,000 acres you'll find a succession of names, such as: The Organ, Tower of Babel and The Three Gossips, presenting all manner of myths and legends which all helps to add to the occasion. Undoubtedly, Delicate Arch is often regarded as the main highlight however, not to be missed are the Ute Petroglyphs which are just around the corner and well worth a few moments if you're into your ancient artwork.

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  • Delicate Arch

    Delicate Arch As mentioned, Delicate Arch is fondly regarded as Utah's most iconic natural image and can even been found upon the state's number plates. Standing at an impressive 65 feet and framing the distant La Sal Mountain range, this is one of the park's most photographed and visited natural locations and undertaking the 3 mile round-trip hike is definitely worth the effort. As with many Arches National Park hikes, shade is not always at a premium so make sure you cover up, drink fluids and take your time to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Hummer Tour

    Guided off road Hummer tour For the uninitiated a Hummer is a brand of sports utility vehicle (SUV) and if you've ever considered taking a ride over some of Moab's most magnificent mounds then this is pretty much one of the best ways to travel. A guided off road tour presents an excellent chance to visit places that are frequently missed on foot and from hidden canyons and arches to ancient tracks and sunset panoramas, hold on to your hats as these things can really shift.

  • Rafting below bridges

    River Float trip A more sedate mode of transport is an inflatable raft which allows you to gently float along both the Green and the Colorado rivers as you take in the sandstone arches and spires from a totally unique perspective. Of course, river rafting in Utah isn't always such a gentle affair and if you want to go all white-knuckled over white-water then you'll find plenty of opportunities to do so with some of the best local rafting operators in the business.

  • Arches National Park

    Photography Arches National Park is a photographer's playground with many a sandstone edifice providing the foreground against a clear blue or flame red sky. With hardly any light pollution there's plenty to see after dark too and if you want to practise your low shutter speed shots then you'll be able to snap away until your heart's content. A word of caution: it can get busy, especially around the major arch ways, so either visit early in the morning or check out a few lesser-visited areas to ensure you get a great shot without a random rucksack in the way.

When to go
Temperature chart - Arches

Avoiding the school holidays, if you can, is ideal if you're hoping to find Arches NP away from the hordes and as August is considered to be the most popular month then you can expect facilities and main locations to be pretty rammed. Summers in southwest USA are really hot too with temperatures often pushing 40C with little or no shade. The springtime is an ideal time of year to visit as there are fewer crowds, more desert flowers and less warm-weather insects however, make sure you pack a mac as the weather is all over the place with showers as likely as blue sky days. Autumn is great for wildlife with an abundance of migrating birds making this the perfect time of year for twitchers. Autumn is also the park's rainy season so if you're not in a car be prepared to get wet. Finally, winter is cold but incredibly beautiful and if you have the patience to allow early morning trails to thaw as well as withstanding sub-zero evening temperatures then you'll be treated to a deserted wilderness that's yours to behold.

Insider Tip: Devil's Garden Primitive Loop
Double O Arch

Considered to be the foremost competitor to the trail that leads to Delicate Arch, the Devil's Garden Primitive Loop is the longest in Arches at just over 7 miles on a round trip. Graded as a fairly accessible trail for all abilities you'll be able to experience the world's highest concentration of major sandstone archways with the likes of: Tunnel, Navajo, Black and Double O arches all vying for your camera's attention. Start from Devil's Garden car park and allow for around 5 hours to complete the circular walk.

Tours that visit Arches National Park


    15 days | USA West | Camping

    May-Sep from


    This adventure takes in the real 'Jewels in the Crown' of America's National Parks. With great hiking, horse riding, mountain biking, rafting and a truly unique Navajo guided jeep tour of Monument Valley, this tour shows the true American spirit.

    Highlights: 7 National Parks | Great Hikes & Activities

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    6 days | USA West | Hotels

    Apr-Oct from


    Canyons, adventure and luxury dominate this trip through western America. Explore the Monument Valley with a Navajo guide, delve into Moab's slot canyons and towering arches and history of Mesa Verde National Park. All in accommodated comfort.

    Highlights: Arches | Dead Horse Point | Slot Canyons

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    10 days | USA West | Hotels

    Apr-Nov from


    Hike the best National Park trails of Arizona and Utah on this impressive walking tour. Zion, Bryce, Arches, Canyonlands and the Grand Canyon each offer unique landscapes, while our Monument Valley tour will be an unforgettable journey.


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    9 days | USA West | Camping/Hotels

    Jul-Aug from


    The name says it all. Experience and explore 5 amazing and diverse national parks on one of our most adventurous USA family holidays; including a once in a lifetime overnight rafting trip down the Colorado River!

    Highlights: Amazing Canyons | Overnight rafting trip

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