Welcome to Arches National Park

How to see Arches National Park in One Day

Here’s how to spend one perfect day at Arches National Park!

Not sure what do in Arches National Park if you only have one day?

Here’s how to see get the most of your one day at one of the most popular Utah National Parks with the best things to do at Arches National Park. This itinerary does include some of the best hikes in Arches National Park, so bring your hiking shoes!

Tip: Be prepared for a busy day!

Visiting Arches National Park

Where to stay

To see Arches in one day, it would be best to spend the night in Moab the night before. There are many hotels near Arches National Park in Moab from which to choose. Arches lies just on the outskirts of town and is a very easy drive if staying in Moab.

Arches National Park hours

Arches National Park ig s one of the few National Parks open 24 hours a day. This provides the possibility of seeing Arches at sunrise or under the stars!

Entrance Fee

It cost $30 per vehicle entering the park. However, you can buy a National Park annual pass for $80 if you are planning to visit multiple parks over the course of the year.

Visitor Center

Stopping at the Arches National Park Visitor Center is a great place to start your visit. Check with the Park Rangers to gather any updates on trails and find out about any special events for your visit.

You can also stamp your passport book, watch a short movie on the park and pick up a few souvenirs to remember your visit.

arches national park map
Arches National Park map

What to do at Arches National Park

Delicate Arch

If you are a sunrise hiker and want to squeeze every bit into one day, arrive at Delicate Arch trail early and take in a sunrise hike. Delicate Arch is one of the most iconic Arches National Park hikes! You can experience the hike along with time for pictures at the arch in 2-3 hours. Arriving for sunrise allows plenty of time to see the rest of the park in one day.

Whether you take the hike or the scenic overlook, Delicate Arch is one of the best arches at Arches National Park!

RELATED: Want to read more about the hike to Delicate Arch, check out my article on hiking Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch at Arches National Park
Delicate Arch – an Arches National Park must see!

Sand Dune / Broken Arch

Continue your Arches scenic drive by traveling back out to the main road through Arches and travel north through the park. While there are other stops along the way, the first big stop should be Sand Dune Arch. The hike to Sand Dune Arch is an easy 0.3 miles round trip. There are some cool, short slot canyon just before the arch which are nice for picture taking. While an easy hike, this is one of my favorite Arches National Park hikes.

Broken Arch can be accessed from the same parking area. The hike is slightly longer to Broken Arch at 1.3 miles round trip.

Slot canyon along the Sand Dune Arch trail
Short slot canyons on the way to Sand Dune Arch
Hiking the trails at Arches National Park
Matching shirts at Sand Dune Arch

Skyline Arch

The last stop before reaching the campground is Skyline Arch. Park here for a short & easy 0.4-mile hike which is relatively flat.

It is very close to Sand Dune/Broken Arch. If you want a longer walk, leave your car at Sand Dune parking lot.

Scenic drive of Arches National Park
Along the scenic drive

Devils Garden / Landscape Arch

On the north side of Devils Garden campground is the parking area for the trail head. This trail is one of the longest of the easy hikes at 1.6-miles round trip. Take the Devils Garden trail head for an easy hike to Landscape Arch. If you go further to Double O Arch, expect the trail to get more difficult. Hiking to Double O or Dark Angel will be difficult in this one-day trip.

Landscape Arch has incurred several big pieces falling in the past few years. Some speculate it is nearing the end if seeing it is important to you. Since pieces have been falling, take extra precaution when nearing the arch.

The Windows

If you have time, make a quick stop at Panorama Point before making the turnoff to The Windows

The Windows of Arches
Playing on the rocks at The Windows

Take a left off the main road to head toward the parking area. This is a great area for playing on the rocks if you are a little adventurous. The hike is another easy, flat, 1.0-mile trail.

The Windows of Arches National Park
Having fun at The Windows
The Windows at Arches National Park
Playing on the rocks at The Windows

Depending on your schedule, you could make this your sunset walk. To see all the major points, it would require some backtracking.

Sunset at Arches National Park
Sunset at The Windows
Enjoying sunset with friends at The Windows
Celebrating sunset at The Windows

Balanced Rock

Coming off the road from The Windows, continue making your way south. The path to Balanced Rock is a mostly paved, easy, 0.3-mile walk. You can get off path and walk around the rock if desired.

Be creative and take pictures as if you are holding up the rock.

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park
Saving Balanced Rock

Park Avenue

The last major stop before hitting the Visitor Center, Park Avenue is a can’t miss stop. The trail to Park Avenue starts off paved and then turns into a dirt trail to walk through Park Avenue. The paved path is easy, but if you hit the dirt path it changes to a moderate hike. The moderate section is a 1.0-mile round trip hike.

Hiking the Park Avenue Trail at Arches
Hiking the more moderate section of Park Avenue trail
Hiking the Park Avenue Trail at Arches
Standing alongside Park Avenue

Second option excluding sunrise

If sunrise isn’t your thing, try the following route from the Visitor Center. This route can either be done as listed below or in reverse.

  • Park Avenue
  • Balanced Rock
  • The Windows
  • Panorama Point
  • Delicate Arch Viewpoint
  • Sand Dune / Broken Arch
  • Skyline Arch
  • Devils Garden / Landscape Arch

What to pack

  • There aren’t any places for food/snacks inside the park, so pack a lunch, snacks and drinks for your day inside the park.
  • Sunscreen!
  • Sandals (for Sand Dune Arch if you don’t want sand in your shoes)
  • Water, water, water! The air is dry – you can’t have too much water.
  • Camera
  • Rain jacket – In can still rain in the desert at the anytime.

Regardless of the route you decide to take, spending a day visiting Arches National Park is one you will never forget.

RELATED: Visiting other Utah National Parks in one day? Check out how to spend one day at Zion National Park!

RELATED: Continue visiting other Utah National Parks with one day at Bryce Canyon National Park!

12 thoughts on “How to see Arches National Park in One Day”

  1. This park is on my bucket list! This may be one of those places that’ll get to wake up early in the morning! Pinning for future reference.

  2. Such an incredible landscape. It looks almost alien. I imagine the sunset there would be spectacular with the low sun setting those orange-hued rocks on fire. I would absolutely love to visit it on my trip to the states.

    1. Nancy Williams

      Utah’s Big 5 (the 5 National Parks) are definitely something you should see on your trip to the U.S.!

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Nancy Williams

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