5 Reasons Why You Should Add Arches National Park To Your Bucket List

If there’s one thing Utah has really nailed, it’s that whole being beautiful thing.

By: Hillary + Matt
March 14, 2016

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From the snowy peaks that make up some of the best ski resorts in the world to the winding canyons of Zion National Park, finding awe-inspiring vistas throughout the state is about as easy as finding sand in a desert: they’re everywhere. Arches National Park is no exception and here’s why you should visit now:

1. It’s textbook Utah.

Perhaps most well known for its iconic Delicate Arch (yes, the one on all the license plates), Arches National Park actually has the highest number of natural sandstone arches in the world. Two thousand to be exact. (Now, what is an arch, you ask? An opening in the rock that stretches at least three feet in one direction.) But it's not just the arches, themselves, that stop visitors in their tracks. Rather, it's their contradicting qualities: height and balance, coarseness and curvature; science meets art.

Hike and Shoot Delicate Arch | Photo: Hilary + Matt

2. It offers big payoff for little effort...

While certain areas (ex. the Fiery Furnace) are closed off and only accessible by permit, most of the arches and trail heads are easily reached and require little-to-no effort. Score.

3. But it’s also a sweet spot for the intrepid traveler.

Are you a photographer? Great. A whitewater rafter? Even better. A hiker? Cool. Whether your interests (and/ or fitness levels) keep you on the ground or in the sky, there’s no limit to the kinds of adventures you can be a part of at Arches.

Hike to Partition Arch | Photo: Hilary + Matt

4. It makes history interesting (and fun!).

We stopped in at the Visitor's Center for a brief overview of Arches NP and to get the lowdown on what trails would give us the most bang for our buck. Come here to get any permits you might need (Fiery Furnace, rock climbing, etc.) or to fill up your water bottle before heading out on any hikes. There's also a really awesome museum inside the building that explains exactly how the arches in the park are formed.

5. You’re in Moab.

Moab’s slogan isn’t “Where Adventure Begins” for nothing. Not only is it home to Arches, but you can also access Island in the Sky, a mythical sounding district of Canyonlands National Park, from Moab. A short drive away is Dead Horse State Park (not as morbid as it sounds) and to the south are the La Sal Mountains, the second highest mountain range in Utah. There are countless campgrounds and hotels, tour operators and adventurous pursuits, even outdoor gear consignment shops! Paradise.

Hike to Double O Arch | Photo: Hilary + Matt

Cover photo: Hilary + Matt

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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.