I look upon Arches National Park every day. It sits across the Colorado River from my campsite. Gayle and I have visited it three times since we arrived. Currently Arches is only open past 7 pm on Friday and Saturday nights. We arrived on a Saturday, set up camp and ventured into the park to see it at sunset. Our first trip, we did not go far into the park. As with most National Parks, Aria was restricted to roadways, parking lots and campgrounds.
Our second trip was with Aria also. However, Gayle and I hit mostly spots that were accessible with a short walk from the road/parking lot. In one case, we each took a short hike, while the other stayed with Aria at the car. We saw Balanced Rock and Delicate Arch. The road to Windows Arches and Double Arch was closed. Our only view of them was far in the distance. Perhaps I will go back another day to see those.
Our third trip was without Aria. We left the RV around 7 am and planned to return by noon. We found the hottest part of the day was around 4 pm. The weather forecast indicated it was the coolest and best day to leave Aria in the RV since our arrival at Moab. Just in case, I left the battery operated fan running and plenty of cool water for her. On this trip to the park we decided to drive to the end of the road. It was about a 30 minute ride. We stopped along the road to take a quick hike to Sandstone Arch.
At the end of the road we found an almost vacant parking lot and few people. Tip for future visitors to the park: start your visit at the back of the park and work your way to the entrance.
The trail split into two trails about 1/4 mile in. We opted for the shorter trail first. This led us to Tunnel Arch and a bit further on to Pine Tree Arch. Pine Tree Arch is named for the pine tree I stood under which provided a shaded spot for taking pictures.
We returned to the intersection of the trail and headed off towards Landscape Arch. About a mile later we arrived at Landscape Arch. The trail is wide and mostly flat. However, you do go up and down hills with the sand reflecting the sun’s heat back up. So, take plenty of water. After enjoying the view of Landscape Arch we opted to skip going further up the steep rock climb to see Double O Arch. I will try to return at another time for that.
There is much to see in Arches National Park. To attempt to see everything is one day would mean rushing from spot to spot and not really enjoying the beauty of the park. I reccomend two or three days to view all the park has to offer.