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At sunset on a clear day, scores of shutterbugs make their way up to Delicate Arch for the "money shot." And they mean business. They want that to-die-for snap of Utah's state symbol glowing red in the dying rays. They do NOT want a photo with you in it. Some unfortunate individuals who failed to understand that fact were given the message loud and clear.
So if you MUST have your picture taken under the arch, make your trek up before the sun starts down. Get in the way of all those expensive lenses and their owners may get a rope.
I should mention that this is true of many of the park's most-photographed spots. You do not want people you don't know in YOUR pictures so don't take all day getting the Christmas card shot, please.
Written Oct 3, 2011
While it has lots of really cool hikes and photo-ops, seeing this park can come at a price: solitude. Arches is not a large park (by National Park standards) and has a million visitors a year. Between the relentless heat and mobs of people, we cut our early September visit in 2004 short and tried again, later that same month, in 2011.
Getting to the park first thing in the morning to do the longer, more difficult trails is the best way to stay cooler and avoid the crowds that clog up the more accessible viewpoints. As it's open 24/7, you can drive to your trailhead or those popular viewpoints at dawn and be out of the way when things get crazy. Dusk can also be a good time to avoid the worst of the masses.
Updated Oct 3, 2011
Wherever you drive or hike in Arches National Park, be aware that it is a high bassin desert. There is hardly any shade, and the summers can be extreme hot. Make sure, you bring enough water (4 l minimum per person in a hot summer).
If you hike to Delicate Arch, this is even more important, as on the first half, there is zero shadow, and the hike can get quite strenous, even if you have enough to drink.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The terrain around Delicate Arch is pure slickrock, very slippery even when it’s not wet. Make sure, you have well gripping hiking boots, and even with them, take care for each step you do. The whole area is quite steep, and one wrong step might have you ended up with broken bones in the bassin or even deeper.
The pics show how steep it is just outside of the opening in the wall, you might get into just close to Delicate Arch.
The other one shows how polished the base of Delicate Arch is.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
There are many hiking paths throughout Arches National Park that are maintained by the National Park Service. These trails are marked to blend in with the natural terrain. Be sure to stay on the clearly marked paths and follow the trail markers. If you’re planning to hike “off the beaten path” and are unfamiliar with the terrain check in first at the visitors center located near the park entrance. Here you have access to park maps and trail guides. Experienced hikers lead guided hikes through some of the more difficult terrain at various times during the day. It is easy to get lost if you are unfamiliar with the territory and stray from the marked paths. And the sun in this area can be unforgiving with very little shade available. When in doubt search for the trail markers and be sure to bring plenty of potable water with you.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Too many people are on the trails causes a slow up of hiking and traffic problems. Some people not "cured" hikers get on the trail and then get tired and slow up/stop. The park gets about 850,000 annual visitors, or average is then around 5,000 a day in months of demand, and more in peak summer times. That also leads to having to find a parking place, which is short by Windows and especially by Devil's Garden. A lot of vehicles parked along the roadside.
Updated Oct 15, 2009
Upon entering Arches National Park, off Route 191 just north of Moab, Utah, visitors are greeted with this uncommon crossing sign for bighorn sheep.
Bighorn sheep frequent the hills surrounding Arches National Park, and the road through the park winds around mesa tops and formations with blind curves.
Be prepared...be cautious.
Written Nov 23, 2008
In between the months of May through September the temperatures in Arch's National Park are well past 90 degrees and because of how the sun reflects off the rock it actually feels hotter than advertised. Even if you tan well its advisable to bring at least 30spf sunblock and reapply every few hours. Bring lots of water, the only place to get water in the park is at the Devil Garden campground and the entrance to the Devils Garden trail. If your not in great shape I would not recommend taking any trail longer than 3 to 4 miles. If heat is a problem for you the best time to visit is in March and April, or October and November, when the temperatures are in the seventies.
Written May 27, 2008
I just thought of this again this morning as I was driving to work. I have no idea how these memories just pop into my head. Well, I got to thinking - did I ever write this up as a Tip, for Arches? so, the negative answer realized, here goes -- !!
The Dangers of Pitching a Tent on Sand!
We were camping at Arches National Park, getting a meal ready, after pitching our tent. At the small group site, near the camp site nearby, we heard and saw a group of teens setting up camp. They erected a very large nylon dome tent. They seemed to be having a good time, so far. Their adult chaperones were low key and jovial. Suddenly, screams and shouts. I look up from my Sterno flame, to see a large orange nylon ball rolling over the sand, FAST, with teens running after! Lesson: pitching a tent in sand can be tricky. The stakes are not that effective! Remember to put something(s) heavy inside the tent, to keep it from blowing away!!
Reminds me of another story...I lent a small two person nylon pup tent to friends. They came back home, to report they lost the tent. How?! This is what I asked. Lesson (which seems obvious to me, even though I never had a boat!!): Don't pitch a tent on the deck of a boat. It will blow away!!!
Updated Sep 6, 2007
If you camp in Devil's Garden in the late spring, chances are you will witness hordes of bunnies hopping through camp!!! They are the cutest thing ever, and it seems like there are whole herds of them bouncing around the campground! They are most frisky at dusk and early in the morning.
There is, however, a warning here - never ever ever EVER feed them!!! No matter how cute they are, never give food to any wild animal! It is really a form of cruelty; animals who associate humans with food often lose the skills needed to hunt in the wild, and thus they slowly starve to death. The lucky ones are merely captured and euthenized.
Don't be cruel to our wild friends! DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS! If you catch someone feeding an animal, for the animals' sake please alert a Ranger.
Updated May 17, 2007
9 Reviews and 29 Opinions This is the only campground in Arches National Park. There are 52 site to choose from. Current...