Arches National Park is such a site to see! There are over 2,000 arches to see in this park, and you will be seeing the best of the best in this one day in Arches National Park itinerary.
It took me WAY too long to experience this national park, especially considering it is only a short 5 hour drive from my hometown in Vegas. But, I finally carved out a weekend to visit and of course.. I had to jam-pack as much as I could into my 3 day weekend! 🙂
In this guide, I will go over how to get to Arches National Park (did you know you could fly there!?), a few must-pack items specific to this trip, some common questions, best hikes in Arches national park, and of course.. the one day in Arches itinerary!
Let’s dive in!!
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Where is Arches National Park?
Arches National Park is located in East Utah, close to the boarder of Colorado. The most common way people get to Arches National Park is by driving, because it is sort of in the middle of nowhere! 🙂
What most people don’t know (and I did not know until I went) is that there is an airport just outside of the small town of Moab. There are only a few flights a day and the only airline that is flying in / out is United Airlines.
Even with a stopover in Denver, the flight time to Moab from Las Vegas was still a lot shorter than the overall drive time. I thought it was totally worth it to fly, especially considering how much driving you do once you get there (National parks are HUGE you guys!!).
In the airport, you will be able to rent a car as well. Click here to reserve your car in advance.
Where to Stay
There is a surprisingly large amount of options for accommodation near Arches! The town of Moab that is nearby has tons of Airbnbs, hotels, and campgrounds. There’s a option for every type of traveler!
I stayed in a hotel, Hyatt Moab to be specific, and loved it! It was extremely close to Arches park entrance (10 minutes), there was a pool, gym, hot tub, fire pits, and only a 5 minute drive from Moab’s center street.
Other Places to Stay:
$$$: HooDoo Moab
What to Pack for Arches National Park?
In every travel itinerary I always list just a few must-pack items that are specific to this trip! Because nobody ever wants to bored with a long packing list when they came here to read an itinerary, right!?
Here are a few must-pack items for your one day in Arches National Park:
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In any National Park, there is very minimal service. If you plan on having a jam-packed one day in Arches, you will need to make sure your phone stays charged! You don’t want to get lost in the park or miss out on getting some amazing photos for your travels!
Arches National Park is a very hiking-friendly destination. It’s really important to have a good pair of tennis shoes or even better, hiking shoes!
I wore regular tennis shoes on the hikes and I didn’t slip, but I did come pretty close a few times. If I ever went back to Arches, I would definitely buy shoes with better traction. You can get a good pair of hiking shoes at any outdoor store (DICKS, REI, etc.), but I like to check reviews before buying.. AKA buy 99.9% of my stuff off Amazon haha!
Usually, I am a very minimal hiker and just carry my phone and water bottle with me.. but in Arches you will definitely need a backpack! At many points in the hikes you will be scaling the rocks! You will want to keep your hands free during the entire hike, trust me! This one is inexpensive and comes in a ton of different colors.
SO important! First of all, you don’t want to be that jerk that litters on the trail with a plastic water bottle. Second, plastic water bottles are never enough water for a strenuous hike in Arches National Park. And third, the water doesn’t stay cold in a plastic water bottle!
I would not only bring a water bottle, but have one that clips onto your backpack. That way you don’t have to take off your backpack to grab your water bottle OR hold it in your hands while you’re hiking.
One Day in Arches National Park Itinerary
You could easily break this itinerary up into multiple days if you want a more laidback vacation, but in classic ‘My Perfect Itinerary” fashion, I am jam-packing the sites so you can see as much as possible! 🙂
In this one day in Arches National Park guide, I break it down between morning, afternoon and evening – having you back at your hotel / camp site in time for dinner and an early nights rest! 🙂
Okay, here we go!
Morning in Arches National Park
Start your first morning in Arches with sunrise at North Window Arch. This is an extremely popular location for sunrise, and for good reason! You can see the sunrise perfectly through the arch, and can even hang out under it while you watch the sun rise.
I left my hotel roughly 45 minutes before the sun rose, so that way I got to enjoy the sunrise at the arch! If you want to watch it here, make a commitment and just do it! There is nothing worse that waking up super early and JUST. MISSING. SUNRISE. Literally nothing.
There is a fairly large parking lot with restrooms at the base of the arch. From there, you will need to hike the steep, but very short trail up to the arch. If you are in doubt of which one it is, just look for the big crowd of people standing under the arch! 😉
TIP: Wear layers because it can be very cold in the morning, but hot as soon as the sun rises!
Right after you enjoy the sunrise at North Window Arch, you can take some time to explore the other arches right next to them: South Window & Turret Arch. You will be able to easily see them from North Window!
I skipped these arches and just enjoyed them from afar! Instead, I headed straight to Double Arch to beat the crowds, which is easily walkable from North Window Arch.
Double Arch was my favorite arch in the entire park.
It was massive and impressive and I could’ve sat there and enjoyed the view ALL DAY. Make sure you give yourself some time here to get some pictures, because it is incredibly picturesque!
I am not sure if I just beat the crowds coming from the other arches or I was super lucky… but I got the arch to myself for almost 30 minutes!!
TIP: Bring some breakfast snacks to sit and enjoy here! 🙂
If you are traveling to Arches during the warm months of the year (which is most of the year haha), you will be extra happy you started your day at sunrise! The park gets hot and busy fast, so you will want to do most of your activities early or around sunset time! 🙂
The North, South, Turret and Double arches should only take you around 2-3 hours to complete all of them. If you start the first one at sunrise (say, 6:15am), you should be done around 9:15am. WHICH, is when you will see the crowds start pouring into the park!
Recommended Read: 14 Day Utah National Parks Road Trip Itinerary!
Afternoon in Arches National Park
Head straight to Devil’s Garden Loop once you are done with Double Arch to beat the crowds, which is the most popular hike in the park.
If you don’t get here pretty early in the morning, you will not have a parking spot! When I was leaving the hike, the parking lot was completely full and people were circling the parking lots hoping to catch someone leaving.
Devil’s Garden Loop is a trail that connects eight arches in the park. There are many trail options that you can pick from depending on the difficulty you want!
Personally, I hiked from the entrance to Landscape Arch, which lead me to see 5 total arches in just 1.9 miles round trip. I felt that was a good amount of time considering it was getting warm out and the entire hike is in direct sunlight!
Landscape Arch is a must-see on your Arches National park itinerary because it’s the largest arch in the world AND it probably won’t be around for much longer! It is so narrow in the middle and is already breaking off in huge chunks, so you will want to take the opportunity to see it while it’s still around. 🙂
If you decide to continue on and do the entire Devil’s Garden Loop, you will be looking at 7.9 miles total and 4 hours of difficult hiking. Just keep that in mind if you want to do anything else for the rest of the day!
The best part of the day!! Just kidding (kinda)! 😉
I would recommend exiting the park and having lunch in the town of Moab. Moab is surprisingly developed and has tons of great food options. Since you woke up so early to enjoy the sunrise, you will want to relax a bit before the final stretch of the day.
Here are some of my favorite food spots in Moab:
Make sure you carve out some time to explore all of the shops in Moab – there are so many shops with handmade souvenirs and custom T-shirts!
Evening in Arches National Park
Time to end your day on a high note!! Delicate Arch is another extremely popular hike in the park, and you have likely seen photos of it online and in magazines.
So.. I did both, and I 100% recommend doing just the Upper Delicate Arch Trail. I felt the Lower delicate arch viewpoint was, to put it harshly, a waste of time. The viewpoint is extremely small and cramped and the arch is SO far away. If you want to see this arch, definitely opt in for the upper viewpoint where you can see the arch up-close.
The hike itself will take you around 2-3 hours total to complete, giving you enough time for photos and to enjoy the viewpoint.
TIP: Don’t watch the full sunset here unless you feel comfortable hiking down in the dark! I started my descend about 30 minutes before sunset so I could hike back in the light.
Bonus Ideas for Arches National Park
This was one of my favorite spots in the park! It is right past the entrance to the park, so it’s super close to Moab & you still have cell service. My friends and I actually just brought some camping chairs here and watched the sunset with some snacks and wine! It was tons of fun! 🙂
Sand Dune Arch is not too far from Devil’s Garden Loop Trail (the hike to Landscape Arch that I mentioned in this guide), so you can easily squeeze this stop in if you have time! The trail is extremely short and easy to get to. Probably would only take you about 15 minutes to see! 🙂
WARNING: Your shoes will get filled with sand with this stop!!
This spot is NOT in Arches National Park, but the neighboring Canyonlands National Park. If you have an extra day to spare, I would 100% recommend making the trip out to Canyonlands National Park to watch sunset at Dead Horse Point. It was one of the best sunsets I have ever seen!
I got to this spot an hour before sunset to take photos & enjoy the sunset here! The canyon rim is filled with other travelers watching this amazing view 🙂
Recommended Read: What’s in my camera bag?!
Arches National Park Q&A
How long do I need in the park?
Even though this itinerary is for one day, you could easily spread this itinerary out and spend a full weekend in Arches. Plus, there is another National Park near Moab called Canyonlands National Park for you to explore! If you are squeezing Arches National Park into a southwest road trip, I think one to two days is plenty to see the highlights of the park.
How much is the entry fee?
The entry fee to Arches is $30 per vehicle and will last you 7 days in the park. You can read more about Arches National Park entry fees here!
What are the best hikes in Arches National Park?
The best hikes in Arches are Devil’s Garden Loop, Delicate Arch, and the Windows Section trail! All of these hikes are included in this One Day in Arches National Park Itinerary!! 🙂
Okay, that’s a wrap!!
Arches National Park is something I put off for way too long! I regret it so much since it is SO close to my hometown in Vegas. This park was a ton of fun with SO much to see! I hope you found this one day in Arches National Park itinerary useful 🙂
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