Arches National Park: the land of red rocks and incredible formations. This place is a complete dream. We visited during the summer time, where temperatures can reach up to 105 on the average day. If you do the same thing, make sure you have air conditioning in your van (we didn’t) and that you plan your hikes early in the morning before the sun warms everything up!
The park is 36 miles in total round trip. One of the appeals of Arches is that they built the park to be mostly drive-through, meaning you can view a majority of the attractions through your van. The road leads you straight to the arches. From there, if you choose to get out of the car, it is only a short walk up to the base of most of them. There are longer hikes of course, but they aren’t completely necessary if all you want is to get a feel for this incredible landscape.
Since day hiking is nearly impossible in the extreme heat, we decided to wake up at 3am to do Delicate Arch. This was also partly because we wanted to beat the crowds given it is a highly trafficked hike. Delicate Arch is 2.9 miles round trip and we completed the first half in complete darkness. Once we got to the arch though, the sun began to rise and all the surrounding rocks were illuminated with the most brilliant colors! It was the perfect place to start the day. This arch stands 60 feet tall. It’s one of Utah’s most recognizable landscapes… and for good reason. I definitely recommend getting an early start if you choose to do this hike because the crowds quickly began to rise from about 20 other people to nearly 100, all before it reached 6am.
I’d have to say Arches is one of my all-time favorite parks simply because of the sheer magnificence of everything from the colors of the sand and rocks to the massive sizes of some of the rock faces. It’s worth exploring even if you’re short on time because it’s easy so to drive through the park’s entirety in an afternoon.
Location: Arches National Park