Arches National Park is one of the stunning national parks and it is the home to a variety of most striking red rock formations. It is located in the north of Moab, Utah. People around 1.5 million on average come to this national park to see the arches, canyons, and hoodoos that are formed by wind, water, and temperature change. It is one of the best national parks for a picnic in summer. Below is the list of top attractions which you don’t want to miss in the Arches National Park.
Balanced Rock is one of the most unique features in this national park which is about 128 feet tall. If you look at this formation, it will appear like an amazing balancing act that is not balanced at all. Entrada Sandstone has a slick rock boulder that is attached to its eroding pedestal of Dewey Bridge mudstone. The appearance of these two rock layers is the main reason for the formation of arches and balanced rocks.
Balanced Rock will resist gravity but not all the time. Almost 3,600 large rocks will come down when the process of erosion starts to shape the landscape. Balanced Rock has a sibling called ‘Chip-Off-the-Old-Block’ which was collapsed in the winter and there is no better time to visit the jaw-dropping giant. You can see this rock from the park road and it is located 9.2 miles from the Arches Visitor Center. During sunset, this place will become a deep red-orange which makes a great view. This place is famous for stargazing, photography, and also there is a picnic area located across the Balanced Rock.
Things to do in Balanced Rock
- Enjoy the picnic area
Windows Section is said to be the beauty of the Arches National Park. This place contains a large variety of arches and it is one of the best scenic places in the park. Few places are very beautiful and jaw-dropping expenses found just over two square miles, Turret Arch, North Window, and Double Arch.
There are many other places in this area like Elephant Butte, Garden of Eden, and Parade of Elephants. The Windows Section of the park offers both beauty and activities like sightseeing, stargazing, hiking, photography where you can enjoy yourself with your family and friends.
Things to do in Windows Section
- Stroll to Double Arch
- Explore the Windows
- Night Photography
Many visitors come to this national park and Delicate Arch will be on their to-do list. In this national park, there are over 2000 arches but this particular stunning arch has become the symbol of the state of Utah and it is one of the most famous geological formations in the world.
The Delicate Arch is about 46 feet tall and 32 feet wide. There are few names to this arch ‘Cowboy’s Chaps’, ‘Old Maid’s Bloomers’, and ‘Salt Wash Arch’. From the park road, the Delicate Arch is not visible. So you will have to take a car to view it. At the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint, you will have to walk for about 100 yards to view the arch from one mile away. The Upper Viewpoint offers a less obstructed view. To see the Delicate Arch closer, you will have to go through the trail and 3 miles roundtrip and then you will have to climb for about 480 feet. Along the trail, you will pass the Wolfe Ranch cabin and wall of Ute Indian petroglyphs. Visitors love Wolf Ranch and find it more fascinating to gaze in the windows
Things to do in Delicate Arch
- Hike to Delicate Arch
- Visit Delicate Arch Viewpoint
- Explore Human History at Wolf Ranch
Arches Visitor Center
Arches Visitor Center is located just one mile from the entrance. It is kept open every day except on December 26 but the timings may vary according to the season. There are rangers on duty who can help you make the most of the visit. They will provide you the information on hiking trails, drive times, ranger programs, and many other activities. Rangers will help you with a safe visit and suggest the best way to spend your time. There are sources for drinking water in the national park and you can fill your bottles here at the visitor center. Restrooms and water are available all day. Kids can take a junior ranger activity book to earn a junior ranger badge.
Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers
Once you pass the visitor center, you will have to climb steeply along the switchback roads. You will reach the first major area of the park called ‘Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers Area’. Then you can walk through the massive monoliths and towering walls to see the views of the La Sal Mountains.
Things to do in Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers
- Park Avenue Viewpoint and Trailhead
- La Sal Mountains Viewpoint
Devils Garden is one of the premier locations in the park especially for sightseers, thrill-seekers, and hikers. In the Devil’s Garden, you can find spires, arches, and a large variety of narrow rock called ‘fins’. When the rainwater erodes parallel fractures that are caused due to the uplift of salt deposits under the surface, fins will be formed. Then the fins will erode and form arches like the Landscape Arch which is the crown jewel of Devil’s Garden.
Devil’s Garden provides many amazing views, and a variety of activities like camping, hiking, stargazing, and backpacking. It is located at the end of the park road which is about 18 miles north of the Arches Visitor Center. It will take almost 45 minutes from the visitor center. The campground is available by reservation from March through October and during winter, it is like first-come, first-serve. A picnic area is located in the south, walking distance from the campground.
Things to do in Devils Garden
- Visit the picnic area