2 Day Arches National Park Itinerary

Change is good for the soul; whether it is a change within a relationship, career, or life in general. Even a change in scenery can be refreshing and rejuvenating. We have been on the road for almost two months and have experienced the magnificence of nature within ten diverse national parks. There have been glistening rivers, jagged peaks, milky blue waters, snow-capped mountains, and lush forests. 

Is it time for a change? As we drive into Arches National Park, my eyes fixate on rugged arid land with glowing red rock and delicate natural formations and I realize, it was time for a new landscape.

Join us as we fall head over hiking boots in love with Utah! Use the Arches National Park itinerary below to plan your trip. 

How to spend 2 days in Arches National Park. The itinerary includes where to hike, what to see, sunset spots and where to stay! #nationalparks #usa #travel

The best places to see in Arches National Park include a scenic 40-mile drive through the park.
Arches National Park 2 Day Itinerary – take your time driving through the park. 

RELATED: CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK ITINERARY

Introduction to the Park

In the southeastern part of Utah, Arches National Park contains the largest number of sandstone arches in the country. Combined, the park has over 2,000 formations.

A 40-mile scenic drive delivers access to the various hiking trails and viewpoints along the route.

How Many Days in Arches National Park

You may be asking yourself how much time do you need at Arches National Park. One full day of exploring the park could be enough time to get a feel for it and complete some short hikes, but we recommend two days. Especially when visiting in the summer; it is nice having extra time to break up the hikes early in the day and later in the evening to avoid the midday heat.

Plus, two days will allow you time to explore one or two longer trails as well.  

Best Time to Visit 

The best time to visit Arches National Park is in the shoulder season. Daytime temps are bearable in the spring and fall averaging between 60 and 80 degrees. 

In the summer, temperatures can hit a blistering 100 degrees, and be very uncomfortable for hiking. 

Arches National Park Map
Arches National Park Map with Hikes

RELATED: NATIONAL PARK ROAD TRIP ITINERARY

Know Before You Go

  • $30 per car, $25 per motorcycle, $15 per person on foot/bike for Arches by itself. 
  • Southeast Utah Parks Pass is a good choice if visiting other parks in the area – $55.00. Valid for one year through the month of purchase. Admits one (1) private, non-commercial vehicle or its pass holder to Arches and Canyonlands national parks, and Natural Bridges National Monument.
  • Park is open year-round.
  • Visitor Center open 7:30 am – 6:00 pm (mid-June – early September), 8:00 am – 4:30 pm (early September – Nov. 1st), 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (rest of the year).
  • Potable Water available at Visitor Center and Devils Garden Campground Only.
  • Pack a sturdy pair of women’s hiking shoes or men’s hiking shoes, whichever applies. I prefer trail runners or hiking shoes that don’t cover my ankles since it tends to rub, but if you prefer hiking boots, make sure to pick a durable and breathable pair. 
  • Bring a good day pack to carry lunch, snacks, and water for your daily hikes. 
  • Leashed pets only in parking areas and campgrounds, not on trails or backcountry areas.
  • Stay hydrated, bring and drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Stay on trails to protect fragile soil.
  • Parking is permitted only in designated areas and is strictly enforced.
  • Not many shaded areas in the park – Always wear or bring sunscreen and/or hat.

READ MORE: 10 BEST HIKES IN SOUTHERN UTAH

Where to Stay – Moab

A good home base for the week is Canyonlands RV Resort & Campground in the town of Moab, only 3.5 hours from Salt Lake City and 90 minutes from Grand Junction. The town is in an ideal location: 5.5 miles south of the entrance to Arches National Park, 30 miles northeast of Dead Horse Point State Park, 32 miles northeast of Island in the Sky Visitor Center in Canyonlands National Park, and 76 miles east of the entrance to Needles District, Canyonlands National Park.

Moab has various lodging options including hotels, motels, resorts, B&B’s, and campgrounds. It is a gateway to a playground for the adventurous: hiking, four-wheel-drive excursions, white-water rafting, canoeing, biking, and horseback riding.

Continue below for our Arches National Park 2 Day Itinerary

Canyonlands RV Resort and Campground in Moab.
Canyonlands RV Resort and Campground

Arches National Park Itinerary: Day 1

Start early, the middle of the day catches high temperatures and crowds. We head straight to the furthest point in the park to take one of the limited parking spaces at a popular trail.

Devil’s Garden Trail – Out and Back

Devil’s Garden Trail is one of the longest and most difficult trails in Arches. Only the last two and a half miles are moderate, the beginning section is easy and flat. Eventually, the trail has a 1,000-foot elevation gain and also has stretches of rock climbing.

Devil's Garden Trail in Utah.
Best Places to See in Arches National Park,  Start with the Devil’s Garden Trail.

The trail can be taken as a 7.2-mile loop trail by eight arches, through a section that is considered primitive. We choose to walk to the more easily accessed six arches by hiking the out and back trail, roughly 6.5 miles.

Devil's Garden Trail in Utah.
The Devil’s Garden Trail is a 7.2-mile loop hike in Arches National Park.

The first two arches we come to are the Pine Tree Arch and the Tunnel Arch.

Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch on the Devil's Garden Trail.
We are beginning to understand where the name came from!
Arches National Park 2 Day Itinerary
Devil’s Garden Trail is one of the best hikes in Arches National Park.
Devil's Garden Trail in Arches National Park
Tunnel Arch

Next, the trail takes us to the third and most impressive arch. Depending on who you ask, some say the Landscape Arch is the longest natural arch on the planet.

The Natural Arch and Bridge Society has deemed it the fifth-longest in the world, measured at 290-feet long. Either way, it is an impressive sight to see.

The Landscape Arch in Utah.
The Landscape Arch

If you do not want to climb up rocks or do not like heights this is the place where you may decide to turn around. Up to this point, it would be about 3 miles round trip.

The Landscape Arch in Utah.
Obligatory Selfie under the Landscape Arch.

After visiting Landscape Arch, the trail gets more adventurous. It begins to climb over rocks and splits off to two spur trails to the Partition Arch and Navajo Arch.

Trail to the Partition Arch and Navajo Arch.
Beautiful rock formations.
Partition Arch in Arches
The Partition Arch
View from the Partition Arch
View from the Partition Arch

Following the spur trails, the trail opens up to magnificent views of Arches landscape on the way to Double O Arch.

Views on the Devil's Garden Trail in Arches.
Red rock everywhere!
Views on the Devil's Garden Trail in Arches.
Views on the Devil’s Garden Trail in Arches.
Views on the Devil's Garden Trail in Arches.
Climbing to beautiful views on the spur trail.
Double O Arch in Utah
Walking toward the Double O Arch.
Double O Arch in Utah
Double O Arch.

After scrambling back up from Double O Arch, we turn around only to have the first injury of the trip. On the way down, I slip and fall in a very banana peel-esque manner.

My feet come up and my elbow, hip, and butt slam on the solid rock. I was not a happy camper, but if someone was behind me, they would have had a good laugh. Thankfully, nothing is broken.

Tip: Wear sturdy shoes and walk slowly on the way down!

Arches National Park

DON’T MISS DEAD HORSE STATE PARK IN UTAH

Skyline Arch

After the Devil’s Garden hike, we hop back in the car for a short ride to Skyline Arch. Parking is alongside the road. The trail is only 1/2 a mile out and back.

Skyline Arch in Arches National Park
Skyline Arch

Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch is another short drive. It is a quick, easy stroll in a sandy area. It’s a fun narrow path to the arch.

Sand Dune Arch, another fun hike in Arches.
Sand Dune Arch Trail
Sand Dune Arch Trail
Felt like we were on another planet!

Sand Dune Arch Trail

Fiery Furnace Viewpoint

You can hike the Fiery Furnace area, a 2-mile moderate hike, with a ranger or permit after watching an orientation video at the Visitor Center. We stop at the viewpoint to take in the labyrinth of sandstone walls.

Fiery Furnace Viewpoint
The views overlooking the Fiery Furnace.

Arches National Park Itinerary: Day 2

Delicate Arch Hike

Start the day at the most well-known hike and best places to see in Arches National Park, the Delicate Arch hike. It is famous for a reason!

The 80-foot arch towers over impressed onlookers. The 3-mile round trip trail to the freestanding arch is considered strenuous and is usually busy.

It starts out with a steep climb along a well-defined wide path. Follow cairns along the next section on slick rock which eventually leads to a narrow rock ledge.

Alas, the stunning Delicate Arch!

Delicate Arch Hike
Begin early to avoid crowds. 
The Delicate Arch Hike
Ledge on the Delicate Arch Trail
The Delicate Arch Hike
Getting closer to the Delicate Arch.
The Delicate Arch Trail
The Delicate Arch Trail is the most popular spot in Arches.
View from the Delicate Arch
Stunning views from the Delicate Arch area.
The Delicate Arch in Utah.
The Delicate Arch.

The Windows

The Windows section includes a few different paths to various formations. On the south side of the parking lot, a loop trail winds around the North Window, South Window, and the Turret Arch.

From the north side, the Cove of Caves and Double Arch can be reached.

The Windows Trail in Arches.
The Windows Trail
The Windows Trail in Arches.
A very cool section of the park.

Windows (6)

Windows (4)

Windows (5)

Arches National Park at Sunset

Lastly, end your trip with a sunset in the park. The warm glow adds a whole other level of beauty to the rugged landscape.

Arches National Park at sunset.

Arches National Park Sunset.

Arches National Park Sunset.

Arches National Park Sunset.

Arches National Park

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Devil's Garden Trail in Arches National Park in Utah.

The Delicate Arch in Arches National Park.

Arches National Park Pin

24 Responses

  1. Chris Travels

    I visited Arches many years ago and having only 2 days in the park I didn’t see very many of the beautiful formations you did. I am actually visiting Zion National parkright now with 3 1/2 days to discover its special areas of brilliant red rock canyons and formations. Hopefully I can make every moment count!

  2. Sue Foyster

    Fabulous photos as always. We love the desert and visit every couple of years.Bryce canyon is fantastic,take your time.Kana is worth a visit too.

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Sue! I wish we were making it to Bryce this year, but maybe next time. We are hitting Canyonlands and Dead Horse next, then off to Colorado!

  3. Megan Bannister

    How beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing your adventures and your tips for visiting Arches. I’ve got my fingers crossed I’ll be able to cross it off my travel bucket list soon!

  4. Glenda Copeland

    Love seeing these photos and following your journey. You should put Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) in the outback of Australia on your bucket list. It is somewhat similar to this, just much more remote! But I highly recommend it and found its’ beauty haunting and surreal. Safe travels!

  5. Drew

    Thanks for taking me on such a great tour with you descriptions and wonderful photos. I’m partially disabled so I can’t walk too far (although I try). We enjoy our rv and travel to the southwest frequently.

    • Dang Travelers

      You are welcome Drew, thanks for following along! I’m so glad you are enjoying the posts. We’ve been a little jealous of all the awesome RVs we’ve seen on the road 😊

  6. [email protected]

    Love your Arches post. We stayed at Canyonlands RV Resort, but hated it-everyone’s packed in like sardines. But it was worth it to be in moab at that beautiful park. Sorry about your arm

    • Dang Travelers

      Thanks Jasmine! We had mixed feelings about Canyonlands. I agree, totally packed, not any shade & expensive BUT the bathrooms were nice compared to what we had been in for the last few weeks, pool was nice and the location was great for all the parks.

  7. Brad Wender

    Arches is one of my favorite national parks and have visited several times.
    Thanks for your pictures and descriptions it brings back a lot of good memories

  8. Brad Wender

    By the way we also stayed at Canyonlands RV park and have been there twice now.
    It was crowded but what do you expect and with Superior bathrooms and a pool we found we use those amenities more often over the couple days we stayed then inside of our own motorhome

  9. Susan Cordova

    Those pictures and recommendations regarding this park were fabulous! I have been to Zion only and this park as well as the others in Utah are on my bucket list! Thanks so much……your new subscriber!

  10. Rhonda Albom

    All five national parks in Utah are on my bucket list, but Arches is at the top. Your photos make me want to go even sooner. Just lovely.

  11. Janice Vigil

    Great info and pics. We are maki g our first visit in May 2022! Excited!!!

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