If you’re planning to take your RV through some or all of Utah’s famous national parks, then Arches National Park is probably on your list. Located in southeastern Utah, this historical, high desert area includes 2,000 sandstone arches, 76,519 acres of preserved land, and over 700 plant and animal species—from wildflowers and prickly pear to lizards and bald eagles. This remarkable park was once an inland sea, which eventually disappeared and left behind sand that the wind turned into unique dunes and rock formations.
While exploring this national park, you’ll see deep canyons, balanced rocks, and pinnacles, as well as famous spots from popular movies, such as Indiana Jones and the Last Cruscade. With so much to explore, you may not know where to begin. Luckily, you really only need a day to see some of the most famous sights in the park. To help immerse you into the best parts of this ancient landscape, we’ve put together this list of all the best places to see while you visit.
Know Before You Go:
Arches National Parks gets over one million visitors per year. To manage how many visitors the park receives at once, timed entry tickets have been implemented during peak season (April 1 to October 31, 2023), which are required for entry into the park between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily.
Visitors in private vehicles, such as RVs, must also purchase a $30 pass to enter the park, which is valid for seven days. RVs up to 40 feet long are allowed in the park, on paved roads.
As you start your day driving through the 36-mile scenic loop in the park, you’ll observe countless natural rock formations right from your RV. Stop and explore several different spots, such as the famous Delicate Arch and imaginative Parade of Elephants. Many of these locations are very busy, so we suggest starting early to beat the crowds, as well as the heat (the park often sees temperatures close to 100 degrees fahrenheit during peak season).
At 60 feet high, this stand-alone arch is one of the most popular spots in the entire park. You may have seen this iconic rock formation on Utah license plates, but nothing compares to experiencing it in person. Delicate Arch can only be viewed via a three-mile, out-and-back, moderate hike. On the way, you’ll pass by the historical Wolfe Ranch Cabin and can take a quick detour to see ancient Ute Rock Art. After going up some slick rock, across dunes, and around a rock wall, you’ll finally arrive to this famous arch.
Windows Loop and Turret Arch:
Afterwards, make your way to The Windows Section—known for its large concentration of natural arches. Climb up an easy gravel trail with your kids to view North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch up close and personal. These massive arches offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire park.
Directly across the street, you’ll find two arch spans that join on one stone as the base of their outer legs, known as the Double Arch. You can view this arch from the parking lot, or walk an easy path for a better view. This is the tallest and second longest arch in the park, so it is magnificent to see up close.
If you choose to walk Double Arch Trail, you’ll get to see the Parade of Elephants, an artistic collection of rock formations that look like a group of elephants to the imaginative mind. This is also where Elephant Butte is, which is the highest point in the park.
Park Avenue Trail:
Before leaving the park, walk to the Park Avenue Viewpoint, which overlooks the Courthouse Towers. For a more immersive experience, hike the 1.8-mile trail down to be surrounded by walls of sandstone monoliths. This trail is less busy than many of the others, so it’s worth the extra effort at the end of your trip.
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands National Park:
If you happen to be heading southwest after visiting Arches National Park and have extra time, take the short detour to Island in the Sky in Canyonlands National Park for a quick hike to Mesa Arch, a 27-foot-long arch that’s a photographer’s dream. This majestic arch sits 1,200 feet over the Buck Canyon and across from the La Sal Mountains.
Where to Stay Arches National Park
Inside the Park
Devils Garden Campground is the only campsite inside of the park. Since this campground is usually full during peak season, reservations are required during this time. There are no hook-ups at this campground.
Outside the Park
There are several more campgrounds outside of the park that offer hook-ups, as well as other amenities, such as playgrounds, swimming pools, trash pickup, and more. Since Moab is a very popular spot for visitors during peak season, we recommend making reservations at the campground you choose ahead of time.
- Sun Outdoors Arches Gateway – has hook-ups
- Portal RV Resort – has hook-ups
- Moab Rim RV Campark – has hook-ups
- Moab KOA Holiday – has hook-ups
Whether you’re passing through for just one day or are there in your RV for a long weekend, you’ll be able to experience much of the area’s iconic scenery and locations. Once you immerse yourself into the unique landscape of Arches National Park, you’ll understand why it’s such a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to explore.
See you on the road!