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Travel Tips: Arches National Park

By Christian Roemer

The national parks in the United States are treasures that should be protected for forever. They feature some of the most incredible, breathtaking, and overwhelmingly beautiful landscapes that exist on our planet. When they wrote the song, America the Beautiful, they really meant that it’s amazing from sea to shining sea.

One of the most unique and incredible national parks is called Arches National Park, and it’s also one of the most accessible. I was there just a few months ago, exploring the park and taking notes so that I can tell you exactly what to see, what to skip, and what you can’t miss.

About the Park

Arches National Park is a relatively small park that packs a big punch in sights to see. For such a small area, it might be one of the richly dense parks in the USA. You can check out most of it in a single day, although a couple of days would be ideal to really relish in everything it has to offer.

Arches gets its name from the incredible and delicate sandstone arches that have been formed in the middle of desert out of petrified sand dunes. Most of the park is accessible by car, with nicely paved roads leading you right up to most of the famous arches.

Can’t Miss

One of the most incredible arches in the park might also be one of the most at-risk. Landscape Arch is the longest arch in the Western Hemisphere, and it’s slowly crumbling. It’s essentially just a sliver of rock that spans almost 300 feet, and every year that passes, it comes closer to collapsing. For now, it’s one of the coolest sights you can see at any national park.

Delicate arch is also very cool, and if you can muster the hike, it’s worth seeing it up close.

Don’t Bother

It’s hard to put anything here since the park is so small, and everything is so accessible. If I had to say that one part of the park is overrated, it would probably be Balanced Rock. You can drive right by it, and you can see it from all angles just fine from the comfort--and air conditioning--of your automobile. It’s probably worth saving a couple of minutes and forging on to the more breathtaking sites instead.

Christian’s Special Tips

My number 1 tip is to bring plenty of water. Arches National Park is in the desert, so it’s very dry. And it’s extremely hot. If you’re going on a hike, especially the longer hike to Double Arch, bring plenty of water.

My second tip is to allot enough time to explore Moab after you see the park. It’s a really neat town, and it’s got awesome shops, restaurants, and a great brewery. In fact, at Moab Brewery, you can get an amazing meal, delicious beer, and memorable souvenirs, all in one place. You can also rent ATVs and take them out into the rocky escarpments that surround this harsh, yet beautiful, landscape.

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