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Overview

Arches National Park, which is the setting for Edward Abbey's classic book, Desert Solitaire, is just 6 miles north of Moab and has loads of great day hikes to dramatic rock arches, sandstone spires, balanced rocks, and other sandstone formations. The most famous, and certainly most dramatic, is the 3-mile roundtrip to the over 100-foot-tall Delicate Arch. Another great hike, into the Fiery Furnace, is only accessible with a ranger-led group and must be reserved ahead of time at the park office. Even travelers who only want to take short outings from the car can see quite a bit, especially in the popular (i.e., often crowded) Windows ...

Arches National Park, which is the setting for Edward Abbey's classic book, Desert Solitaire, is just 6 miles north of Moab and has loads of great day hikes to dramatic rock arches, sandstone spires, balanced rocks, and other sandstone formations. The most famous, and certainly most dramatic, is the 3-mile roundtrip to the over 100-foot-tall Delicate Arch. Another great hike, into the Fiery Furnace, is only accessible with a ranger-led group and must be reserved ahead of time at the park office. Even travelers who only want to take short outings from the car can see quite a bit, especially in the popular (i.e., often crowded) Windows Section, where a 23.5-mile drive passes some large and spectacular arches. Campsites at the Devils Garden campground are snatched up quickly (best to get a reservation), but there are campsites outside the park's boundaries, and plenty of hotel rooms in Moab.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Spring is lovely and crowded; fall is a good bet.