Arches National Park Overview

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Arches National Park


Desert beauty and unique geological features bring visitors to both of Utah's two most popular national parks, Arches and Zion National Parks, only five to seven hours apart.

  • Explore the world's largest concentration of natural sandstone arches in Arches National Park while visiting the majestic canyons of Zion.
  • Adjacent to Arches, Moab offers a variety of amenities from camping to luxury guest ranches.
  • When traveling between the two popular national parks, chose from a spectacular scenic drive or the faster interstate route.

Overview

Visitors to Utah often combine trips to both Zion and Arches national Parks, the state's two most popular national parks.  Known for the world's largest concentration of natural stone arches and unique sandstone formations, the features of Arches National Park can be enjoyed during a scenic drive or short hikes into the desert landscape.

Location

Arches National Park is located in eastern Utah, 5 miles from the town of Moab and close to Canyonlands National Park. 

Services and Amenities

There are limited services within the actual park, but a variety of amenities in nearby Moab.  In Arches, Individual and Group Campsites are available at Devils Garden Campground for $20/night.  Visitors also enjoy the educational visitor center and guided walk through the Fiery Furnace.

The town of Moab has a range of accommodations, from luxury guest ranches to chain hotels.  Gas stations, grocery stores, and a variety of restaurants are located throughout town.  Camping is available throughout the area on BLM land.

The route one takes while traveling from Arches to Zion National Park dictates the services available.  Gas and food options are more limited during the scenic drive than the interstate route.

Attractions and Activities

There are a range of activities within Arches National Park and the surrounding Moab area, including hiking, biking, river trips, horseback riding, and climbing.  Other local attractions include the La Sal Mountains, Dead Horse State Park, local museums, and scenic byways.

Directions

While traveling from Arches to Zion, there are two main routes to choose from.  The interstate route is approximately 340 miles, 5 hours of driving time. The more scenic route is longer but winds through geology wonders and national park such as Goblin Valley, Capitol Reef National Park, Escalante National Monument, and past Bryce National Park.

  • Interstate Route (340 miles, 5 hours)
    From Arches follow Route 191 north to Interstate 70 west. After 203 miles I-70 merges with I-15.  Continue south on I-15 for 100 miles before taking Exit 27 for Route 17. Turn left, follow for 10 miles until merging with Route 9. Turn left on Route 9  and follow into Zion National Park. Although an interstate route, this drive is also scenic.  I-70 winds through the San Rafael Swell, a geological ripple of ridges and plateaus with several dramatic overlooks.
  • Scenic Route (Approximately 390 miles)
    Drive north from Arches on Route 191 to I-70. Head west for 33 miles before taking Exit 147 to Route 24.  Follow until reaching Route 12. Along this stretch you'll pass Goblin Valley and Capitol Reef National Park. Turn left on Route 12 through Escalante National Monument and past Bryce National Park. At Route 89 turn left and travel 51 miles to Route 9. Turn right and follow for 12 miles into Zion.

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