Arches National Park
Arches National Park boasts the world’s greatest concentration of sandstone arches, including Delicate arch, one of Utah’s most famous icons. This picturesque area features over 2,000 arches, balanced rocks, fins and pinnacles, which are highlighted by a striking palette of contrasting colors, landforms and textures. Located just 30-minutes from Sorrel River Ranch, our convenient Moab, Utah hotel provides the perfect lodging to enjoy the majesty of the great National Parks of eastern Utah.
Arches National Park’s history starts with what was once a dry seabed 65 million years ago, stretching as far as the eye can see. Most of the stunning geology we know as modern-day Arches National Park (as well as the land surrounding our ranch house and hotel in Moab, Utah) was at that time thousands of feet below, waiting to be carved and formed by eons of wind and water erosion. With the passage of time, geologic forces warped and folded the buried sandstone, forming fractures and causing the entire region to rise from sea level to thousands of feet in elevation. The newly exposed sandstone layers expanded, creating even more fractures and fissures and providing pathways for water to further reveal the park features we see today.
arches national park photos
tips for visiting arches national park
Jeff, Adventure Supervisor
Arches National Park is extremely easy to explore, with great views even if you just want to tour in the comfort of your air-conditioned car or take a few easy walks or brief hikes. But if you want to challenge yourself biking or hiking, there are numerous levels of difficulty available.
Hiking trails ranging from several day hikes down in the canyons, to much more accessible canyon rim and mesa trails. Arches NP offers a wide variety of vistas and experiences for hikers. Many of the trails take you to scenic vistas looking over sweeping views of the park, and features that can’t be seen by car. Top trails you can explore include (rated E for Easy, I for Intermediate and H for Hard): Here are a few of the top hikes in the park:
- Delicate Arch Hike (I)
- Devil’s Garden Loop (I)
- Double Arch Trail (E)
- Fiery Furnace and Surprise Arch (I)
- Windows Loop and Turret Arch (I)
- Landscape Arch (E), Park Avenue (E)
- Gemini Bridges Trail (I), Private Arch Trail (H)
- Sovereign Singletrack (H)
arches general information
Arches National Park Hours: Open 24 Hours, Visitor Center hours are somewhat seasonal, but generally 9am to 4pm each day. Restrooms, drinking water, and outdoor exhibits are available 24 hours a day.
Park Admission: Private Vehicles: $25, Motorcycles $15, or $10 per/person (hiking, biking or just walking on in without a vehicle)
Arches National Park Weather and Best Time to Visit: As one of the top National Parks, Arches can be a busy place from March right on through October, however arriving prior to 8am or after 3pm the entrance and other areas of the park are less congested. In the summer, temperatures can easily hit 100 degrees F, and winter can be quite cold, but there are early morning and late afternoon hours when you might feel as if you have the entire park to yourself (particularly at dawn and dusk, which also offer dramatic lighting and great photo ops).
Ranger Program: Arches National Park Rangers offer daily hiking, walking, and educational programs from Springtime on through to the Fall, including guided 1 mile walks (approximately 1 hour) from various park locations, a physically demanding hike through the Fiery Furnace area (don’t worry, it’s not volcanic or anything, but does require tickets in advance which are only available through the Visitor center on a first come / first served basis), as well as an evening program at the Devil’s Garden Amphitheater.
Bring water! It’s very dry and the elevation is a bit higher than here at the ranch so you can dehydrate very fast;
Consider either having the ranch’s team pack up a delicious picnic for you, or stop in at one of Moab’s groceries, as the park’s scenic picnic and camping areas have barbecue grills, tables, and perfectly shaded spots to enjoy an alfresco meal with a spectacular view.
For photographers, or just to see the park’s sights in the best light, our team here at Sorrel River Ranch can plot out an itinerary on the Arches Park Map, or provide customized escorted tours;