Half Day/Auto-Tour Itinerary
In 4 ½ hours, visitors can drive all the paved roads of Arches National Park, viewing many of the park’s arches and the beautiful vistas surrounding.
Visitors should be certain to drive to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint, to see the world’s most famous arch, visible a mile away. Additionally, drive to the Windows Section to view some of the park’s largest arches, North Window and Double Arch. On the way back down through the park, be sure to stop at Wolfe Ranch to glimpse a barren homestead that operated in the late 1800’s.
Explorers can get out of the vehicle at either North Window or Double Arch to stroll beneath the sites. Be sure to plan an extra half hour or so for each arch you stop to walk around.
Full Day Itinerary
In Addition to spending several hours driving through the park, stopping at viewpoints of many of the arches, travelers spending a full day at Arches National Park can plan on several smaller hikes or one larger hike that the park has to offer.
If travelers would like to see many of the parks formations up close, consider hiking:
- Balanced Rock (20 minutes)
- Double Arch (20 minutes and the park’s tallest arch)
- Delicate Arch Viewpoint (10 or 30 minutes, depending on where you stop)
- Sand Dune Arch (20 minutes), or
- Skyline Arch (15 minutes).
Each of these hikes are ranked as “easy.”
If travelers would like to hike longer through the park’s fantastic formations to some of the arches, consider choosing one or two of these options:
- Courthouse Wash Rock Art (40 minutes; easy)
- Windows (45 minutes; easy)
- Landscape Arch (50 minutes; easy)
- Broken Arch Loop (60 minutes; easy)
- Park Avenue (1.5 hours; moderate)
- Tower Arch (2.5 hours; Strenuous)
- Delicate Arch (2.5 hours; Strenuous)
- Double O Arch (2.5 hours; Strenuous)
To get the maximum experience in just one day, fit hikers could consider checking out the viewpoints along the road when passing, hiking the park’s most famous attraction, Delicate Arch, and then concluding the day with the prehistoric rock art panel at Courthouse Wash Rock Art.
Two Day Itinerary
A two day experience at Arches is optimal to experience the park’s plentiful attractions. Travelers can opt to fill the first day with choices from the Full Day Itinerary, and add on any additional hikes or formations wanted during the second day.
Here is a suggested two day itinerary:
- Delicate Arch; 3 miles, 1.5 hours. The most iconic arch in the world, this strenuous hike is steep, with almost no shade, and steep drop offs near the end. Recommended to hike in the earlier hours to avoid the hottest part of the day.
- Windows; 1 mile, 45 minutes. This hike delivers views of three big arches.
Optional (based on time):
- Double Arch; .5 miles, 20 minutes. This flat, even trail leads right to the bottom of the park’s tallest arch.
- Landscape Arch; 1.6 miles, 50 minutes. This mostly flat trail leads to the longest arch in the park.
- Devil’s Garden (Loop); 4.2 miles, 2.5 hours. This loop is continued on by passing Landscape Arch. It contains steep ledges, climbing, and very few trail markers in the Primitive area. *Not recommended with snow or rain.
Optional (based on time):
- Courthouse Wash Rock Art; 1 mile, 40 minutes. On Hwy 191 near the river, hike to a prehistoric rock art panel.
The Fiery Furnace is the most popular backcountry experience in Arches National Park, but does require a permit. During some days, a ranger-led 1 mile hike is offered. Otherwise, permits can be purchased up to 7 days in advance, in person at the visitor center.
- $16/adult, $8/child (5-12)
- $6/adult, $3/child (5-12), $15/annual fee
The Fiery Furnace hike is strenuous, 3 hour - 2 mile round trip, hike that takes explorers through a maze of twisting fins, narrow slot canyons, and gorges. The hike offers views of various formations, including arches, overhangs, and passages.
It is recommended that hikers first tour in a ranger-led program first, before setting out in the Fiery Furnace alone or with other hikers not experienced with this particular hike. Even experienced hikers have gotten lost.
Hikers familiar with the Fiery Furnace enjoy roaming beyond the trail and crossing pack with the path to finish their experience.