Top 8 Things to Do in Arches National Park

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Would you like to feel small? Arches National Park offers spectacular natural grandeur. Sandstone arches dot the landscapes and there are countless rocky formations that look like remnants of some long-gone ancient civilization. Part-Martian because of the ocher colors, part-lunar thanks to the numerous crater-like erosions, this national park is a bucket list U.S. destination that takes remote to new heights. With more than 2,000 natural arches, it is a breathtaking geological spectacle. With plenty of things to do in Arches National Park, it’s a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking some fresh air.

Camp among the Arches at Devils Garden Campground
Camp among the arches

Camp among the Arches at Devils Garden Campground

What Is It? There is only one campground in Arches National Park and it’s mind-blowingly beautiful. In fact, Devils Garden Campground is easily one of the most scenic places to camp in the world. One-on-one with terracotta arches everywhere you look, you’ll be in the heart of this magnificent kingdom of rocks at this campground. 

Why Do It? This is one of those things you have to do at least once in your lifetime. Waking up to a desert sunrise and catching the last rays of crimson perfection touching the surrounding red panoramas – magic it is. Also, the campground is a superb base for hiking and backpacking to all of the park’s sites.  

Good to Know: It would be an understatement to say that Devils Garden is popular. Thanks to its location, it is extremely popular and usually fully booked in the high season. So the earlier you reserve a spot using the National Park Service’s website, the better. Try to visit during the shoulder season. Also, constantly monitor the calendar, as free spots may show up. 

See the Park from Above on an Aerial Tour
See Arches National Park from above

See the Park from Above on an Aerial Tour

What Is It? Countless Hollywood films start with footage of flying over the canyons. It’s super visual and it embodies pure, unrestricted freedom. You can have your wings and do the same on this tour that puts you in the air high above Arches National Park. A 30-minute fixed-wing aircraft journey is an unforgettable thing to do. 

Why Do It? While the majority will visit the park by land, hitting the clouds is an incredible way to have a change of scenery. Also, this way you are completely avoiding the crowds and having your private Arches sighting experience. The commentary by the skilled pilot will be great guidance too. 

Good to Know:This aerial tour will allow you see all of the must-sees of Arches National Park such as Delicate Arch, Elephant Butte, Devils Garden, and the Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail from unexpected angles. Bring a professional camera for the best photos and crush the Instagram Stories with out-of-this-world views. 

Sharpen Your Starry Night Sky Photography Skills
Learn to take better photos of a starry night sky

Sharpen Your Starry Night Sky Photography Skills

What Is It? If you’re a camera enthusiast looking for prime photo spots around Arches National Park, this is a tour just for you. It’s a win-win too. The guide takes you to the best places for snapping a picture as well as assists you along the way on how to take better quality images. Needless to say, sunsets and the starry sky in Arches are beyond words, so a little help in capturing it is a welcoming addition to the experience. 

Why Do It? “Seeing a comet is one of the highlights of my lifetime,” reads one of the reviews. Another, “transcendent.” And that’s exactly what you’re getting choosing this exciting tour. It’s a chance to see this fantastic natural spectacle while learning how to capture it in the best way.

Good to Know:The tour is suitable for both experts and beginners in photography. The guide helps with camera settings, shows the hidden spots, and shares his know-how on taking the perfect picture.

Embark on a 4x4 Adventure
Embark on a 4x4 Adventure

Embark on a 4x4 Adventure

What Is It? A stunning place like Arches National Park calls for a true escapade. Exploring it in four-wheel drive is one of the coolest ways to make the most of the park in a short span of time. Also, going off-road allows you to go further, accessing harder-to-reach panoramas of Arches. 

Why Do It? This tour would be ideal for those with limited time to visit Arches National Park and who would like something different than the classic hiking experience. The guide on board will give you some perspective on the exciting geological and historical background of the park. 

Good to Know: This well-reviewed tour offers a hotel pick-up from Moab. It takes half a day and, apart from the universally-known places, it takes you to cool sites like fossilized dinosaur tracks as well as the Eye of the Whale Arch. 

Rent a Teardrop Camper for a Unique Stay Near Arches National Park
Book a unique stay in a teardrop camper

Rent a Teardrop Camper for a Unique Stay Near Arches National Park

What Is It? The outdoor grandeur of Moab is just made for unique stays. Renting this Airbnb teardrop camper is a unique thing to do in the vicinity of Arches National Park. The queen bed will make sleeping comfortable and the kitchen, with a gas stove, in the back will inspire you to whip up delicious meals. And all of it is surrounded by the wonderful red rock panoramas.   

Why Do It? “This was one of the best experiences of my life,” wrote Megan in one of the many positive reviews for this Airbnb, and it describes the experience perfectly. Staying in a camper in the middle of nowhere is something that you’ll remember forever. It’s definitely worth it. 

Good to Know: The camper doesn’t have a fixed site so you’ll want to look into the practicalities of booking a place to camp beforehand for a hassle-free stay. The camper will be delivered to the spot you reserve. The most common campgrounds to reserve a spot in are Sand Flats Recreation Area, Kane Creek Road, Hwy 128, Hwy 279, and Ken’s Lake Recreational Area. This gives you the flexibility of choosing a place that works just right for you. 

Explore the Park on the Back of a Horse
Go horseback riding through stunning scenery

Explore the Park on the Back of a Horse

What Is It? Rejoice equestrians, horseback riding is allowed in Arches National Park and it’s an amazing thing to do here. Slowly proceeding through the fairytale landscapes is a contemplative and beautiful experience. Ranches around the park would be delighted to help you organize it properly and have a smooth ride. 

Why Do It? It’s different when you’re on a horse. The human-animal connection gives a charming edge to the landscape, making for an experience you’ll want to savor. Also, horseback riding has long been a classic way to get around places like Arches. It’s a classic adventure. 

Good to Know: Horses are allowed on the designated four-wheel roads in the park, so you should follow any rules set up by the National Park Service while riding. Also, the activity is only permitted during the daytime, so plan your visit accordingly. 

Get a Taste of Ranch Living
Get a taste of ranch living

Get a Taste of Ranch Living

What Is It? Located just five minutes away from the entrance to Arches National Park, Moab Springs Ranch is an ideal place for a stylish base next to all the action. It gives you the genuine essence of a Moab experience with dreamy red rock panoramas all around you, an amazing outdoor swimming pool with a hot tub, 12 acres of picturesque park lined with vineyards, and access to hiking and biking trails

Why Do It? To savor the delights of Moab and Arches National Park at one of the best-reviewed accommodations in the area. The Moab Springs Ranch would work perfectly both as a relaxing Utah retreat and a strategic spot for active outdoor exploration. Proximity to both downtown Moab and Arches National Park allows you to conveniently visit everything on your own terms. 

Good to Know: The property features townhouses and bungalows as well as boasts an on-site coffee shop. There’s also a historic 19th-century original ranch house on the property that adds to the charm of this lodging. 

Go Backpacking through Utah's Most Scenic Wilderness
The Devils Garden trailhead in Arches National Park

Go Backpacking through Utah's Most Scenic Wilderness

What Is It? Backpacking is for intrepid souls and the vast terrain of Arches National Park provides a mind-blowing background for trekking. There are many trails, the views are incredible, and you have tent camping spots to spend a night under the stars. 

Why Do It? What can be more romantic than enjoying the sunset from your tent that’s sitting on a sandstone rock surrounded by the sounds of the wilderness? It is not for everyone, but those who dare to do it are rewarded by the sublime natural setting. 

Good to Know: Be aware that backpacking in Arches National Park takes preparation. Check the weather conditions before going, always have adequate food and water with you, and follow all recommendations of the National Park Service. It’s not the toughest of the US national parks but it’s far from the easiest either. 

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