Mother Nature’s masterpieces are on full display at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. More than 2,000 natural stone arches have been recorded throughout the 119-square-mile park, as well as hundreds of pinnacles, fins and balanced rocks. Arches National Park isn’t only a destination for geologists, but for anyone who enjoys admiring natural beauty as well. The park, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (visitor center hours vary throughout the year), was established as a national monument in 1929, and designated a national park in 1971. In its first year as a national monument, 500 people visited; in 2010, Arches reached 1 million annual visitors, and in 2015 that number increased to nearly 1.4 million. To make the most of your visit to the popular Arches National Park, we checked in with VisitUtah.com for a few of their insider tips.
1. Take a drive: The 18-mile scenic drive that winds through Arches National Park reveals many of the park’s incredible natural features. Some of the park’s largest arches can be found in the Windows Section, or drive to the Delicate Arch Viewpoint to see the world’s most famous arch, just a mile away. If you have the time, park at any of the trailheads and get out of the car to walk or hike to some of these magnificent formations.
2. Go off-roading: Though ATVs and other off-highway vehicles are not permitted within Arches National Park, four-wheel-driving is. Navtec Expeditions takes guests in high-clearance SUVs on dirt roads to secluded spots within the park for all the views without all the crowds.
3. Horseback riding: Another terrific way to see Arches National Park is by horseback. Horseback riding is permitted within the park, but regulations do apply. So if you’d like, saddle up and take a ride; you can even camp overnight.
4. Hike to Delicate Arch: One of the world’s most famous arches, Delicate Arch is visible from three points within the park. At the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint, a 100-yard walk provides views from one mile away; the Upper Viewpoint offers a less-obstructed view via a half-mile walk. For the best view, hike three miles roundtrip to the arch…