Stepping into Arches National Park is like stepping onto another planet. The area is surrounded by the famed red rock towers of Moab. The backdrop is often blue skies contrasted by the seasonally snow-capped La Sal Mountains – truly picture-perfect. Thanks to thousands of years of sandstone erosion over 2,000 natural stone arches and formations are located inside the park. Wondering which sights are a must-see? Here’s a quick list to get you started.
One of the first formations you’ll see from the road is Balanced Rock, which seems to defy gravity with a precariously placed 3,000-ton boulder. In this active geological timezone, there’s no better time than the present to stop and marvel at this sight. One day the boulder will topple over! Park in a small lot along the side of the road to take an easy .3-mile walk to see the formation from up close.
Delicate arch is by far the most iconic formation in the park. The steep 3-mile round trip hike can be strenuous at times and is almost entirely slickrock – but it’s absolutely worth the view. The first words you’ll say after seeing the formation is ‘Wow.’ Due to its popularity, the best time to go is early in the morning for sunrise or late in the afternoon at dusk – just bring a headlamp and plenty of water!
At the end of Arches National Park is Devil’s Garden, which holds home to a labyrinth of hiking trails for all ages and ability levels. One of the most spectacular sights is Landscape Arch, the longest arch in North America clocking in at 306 feet. The formation is accessible from an easy 1.9 miles roundtrip hike with almost no elevation gain.