Arches National Park in Utah: 2-Day Itinerary of the Best Things To Do

by | September 2020 | 4 comments

*All photos are protected by copyright and the property of Briana Nickas unless they are stock photos or otherwise noted.

Massive, wide, thin, tall, towering, hidden – all words that can be used to describe the many arches of Arches National Park in Utah.

With the largest concentration of natural stone arches in the world (over 2,000), Arches National Park will blow your mind! You’re sure to be impressed with the seemingly never-ending red rock formations all varying in size and shape. 

In fact, Arches is one of the National Parks I can’t get enough of and keep going back to explore more! With so many arches to see, I recommend spending at least a few days in Arches National Park.

Perfect for a weekend getaway, this 2-day itinerary makes sure you hit up the main highlights, including some of the best hikes in Arches National Park. So what are you waiting for? Let’s start planning your visit to Arches National Park in Utah!

Best Things To Do at Arches National Park in Utah

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Partition Arch in Devils Garden at Arches National Park in Utah

Info for Arches National Park in Utah

Arches National Park is located about 28 miles south of I-70 making it easy to reach from the I-15 in Utah or from Utah’s eastern neighbor Colorado.

And just 5 miles north of the town of Moab, UT, it’s also close to another one of the Utah National Parks – Canyonlands National Park. This makes Moab a perfect place to stay to visit both Arches as well as Canyonlands.

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Arches National Park

Location: Moab, UT

Entrance Fee: FREE with America the Beautiful Pass OR $30 for private vehicles and all passengers (15 or less) for 7 days

If you’re going to be RVing to Arches National Park, here’s the information for the RV park we stay at in Moab, UT when we visit…

RV Park

Spanish Trail RV Park in Moab, UT

This is one of the few campgrounds with grass (period let alone at the RV site). Our dog likes her grass! It can get noisy from the highway, so try to get a site in the back.

You may also like: Top 5 Best Hikes in Sedona, AZ You Won’t Want to Miss

2-Day Itinerary of the Best Things To Do at Arches National Park in Utah

DAY 1 in Arches National Park

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park in Utah
Balanced Rock

Scenic Drive

For your first day in Arches National Park, you’ll want to start with getting a lay of the land. Take the 18-mile scenic drive and stop at Balanced Rock 9.2 miles from the Visitor Center where you can walk around the giant teetering boulder (0.3 mile roundtrip).

Windows Section

Then head right to reach the Windows Section, one of the most scenic locations in the Park. Find parking at the end of the road, then look to your left to see one of my favorite sites in the entire Park: the massive Double Arch.

You can take a short walk to the base of Double Arch (0.5-mile roundtrip from the Double Arch Trailhead). Next, head to the right of the parking area where you can take an easy 1-mile roundtrip trail to also explore North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch.

Delicate Arch

Lastly, make sure you see Delicate Arch, the most iconic arch in Arches National Park as well as the most famous natural arch in the world. You can end your day with an awesome hike to Delicate Arch to catch the sunset. 

Be aware that it can get pretty crowded though. So be prepared to wait for your turn to get a photo, and try to time your hike accordingly.

Delicate Arch Trail

Distance: 3-miles roundtrip

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Trail Access: the Delicate Arch Trailhead at Wolfe Ranch

If you’re not able to do the hike to Delicate Arch, you can still view it from about a mile away from the Delicate Arch viewpoints 14.2 miles from the Park entrance and Visitor Center.

You may also like: Top 5 Hikes in Zion National Park for Hiking Enthusiasts

DAY 2 in Arches National Park

Devils Garden

One day at Arches National Park is simply not enough! Spend your second day in Arches exploring more of the Utah National Park by hiking in Devils Garden.

Devils Garden is located at the very end of the 18-mile Park road and features a variety of arches you can see (8 to be exact). In fact, one of the must-see arches in Arches National Park is in Devils Garden – Landscape Arch, which is the longest arch in North America.

Landscape Arch at Arches National Park in Utah
Landscape Arch

For the best view of Landscape Arch, get there early in the morning. Reaching Landscape Arch is an easy 1.9-mile roundtrip hike on the Devils Garden Trail. And you can take a side trail on the way to also see Tunnel and Pine Tree Arches (adds 0.5 mile).

Landscape Arch at Devils Garden

Distance: 1.9-miles roundtrip

Difficulty Level: Easy

Hiking Time: 1 hour 

Trail Access: From the Devils Garden parking area

Beyond Landscape Arch, the trail gets difficult with narrow slickrock, rock scrambling, and climbing. But you can see several more arches if you continue on the Devils Garden Trail.

WARNING: Do not keep hiking this trail if it’s wet, raining, snowing, or icy. The rock becomes even slicker and there’s a risk of slipping and falling off the steep drop-offs.

About a 0.5-mile past Landscape Arch is another one of my other favorite arches – Partition Arch with an awesome view through the arch. There’s also Navajo Arch on another turn-out by Partition Arch.

Past Partition and Navajo Arches is Double O Arch. The out-and-back hike to Double O Arch is 4.2 miles total and will have you scrambling, climbing, and walking on sandstone fins with narrow ledges and steep drop-offs.

Double O Arch at Devils Garden

Distance: 4.2-miles roundtrip

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Trail Access: From the Devils Garden parking area

You may also like: Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah: 1-Day Itinerary of the Best Things To Do

Double O Arch at Arches National Park
Double O Arch at Arches National Park in Utah
Double O Arch

If you want to keep going, you can continue on the Primitive Trail to see the Dark Angel and Private Arch. This is the most difficult section of the Devils Garden Trail involving route-finding, rock scrambling, steep inclines, and narrow drop-offs. You may not want to attempt this section if you’re afraid of heights.

Devils Garden Primitive Trail

Distance: 7.2-miles roundtrip for the entire Devils Garden Trail with the Primitive Trail

Difficulty Level: Difficult

Hiking Time: 4-5 hours

Trail Access: From the Devils Garden parking area

Hiking in Devils Garden lets you see so many arches up close and personal. And they’re all concentrated in close vicinity to one another. It’s one of my favorite hikes in Arches National Park and a great way to spend a day there!

You may also like: The Best Road Trip Tips You Need to Have an Amazing Road Trip

BONUS TIPS for Visiting Arches National Park

Bonus Tip #1

Start your first day with sunrise at the neighboring Canyonlands National Park. You’re going to need to wake up at the crack to get a super early start to the day! Because you’re going to want to catch the sunrise at Mesa Arch

It’s a must! Watching the arch start to glow as the sun lights up the canyon below will be one of the highlights of your trip. Make sure you get to Mesa Arch early before sunrise so you can get a good viewing spot. It can get crazy crowded at dawn and you may be fighting for a view of the arch.

Mesa Arch at Sunrise at Canyonlands National Park

Mesa Arch Trail

Distance: 0.5-mile roundtrip

Difficulty Level: Easy

Hiking Time: 30 minutes

Trail Access: Mesa Arch Trailhead

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Bonus Tip #2

On your second day in Arches National Park, end the day at the nearby Dead Horse Point State Park for a gorgeous view of the sunset. From Dead Horse Point Overlook, you’ll have a dramatic view of the Colorado River winding around the canyon below.

Sunset at Dead Horse Point State Park on Utah National Parks Road Trip

You may also like: 45+ Road Trip Essentials You Need to Pack Before You Hit the Road

Wrapping Up Arches National Park in Utah

With two full days at Arches National Park in Utah you’ll be able to see many of the park highlights and hike some awesome trails.

Get up close and personal with the iconic Delicate Arch, stare in awe up at the towering Double Arch, and gain a deep appreciation for the Southwest landscape and red rock formations that make up the scenic Arches National Park. 

This 2-day itinerary has it all covered! So if Arches isn’t on your bucket list yet, go add it right now and start planning your trip.

Have you already been to Utah’s Arches National Park? I’d love to know which arch was your favorite! Tell me which arch fascinated you the most in the comments below.

Are National Parks your jam? If your goal is to visit all 62 National Parks in the USA, be sure to grab your free U.S. National Parks Checklist to keep track of them!

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Briana Nickas of Next Destination Unknown

Behind the Blog

Hey there! I’m Briana, a blogger, hiker, traveller, RVer, photo-taker, and National Parks lover who is passionate about exploring the great outdoors while practicing clean living for a healthier lifestyle to continue doing the things I live for. My goal is to inspire others to live a life focused on wellbeing and wandering. Join me!


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Leave a Comment!


  1. Donna Garrison

    The variety of arches and views is stunning. Arches National Park is on my bucket list. Devils Garden Trail to the Landscape Arch looks family friendly. I have a seven year old, what would be your recommendations for trails with her?

    • Briana Nickas

      Arches National Park is one of my faves! I hope you get the chance to go soon. The Devils Garden Trail to Landscape Arch is perfect for a 7-year old to hike to. 🙂 I also recommend walking around Balanced Rock and the Windows Section. You’ll be able to check out Double O Arch (a quick 0.5-mile roundtrip to MASSIVE arches!). And you can also take the easy 1-mile roundtrip trail there to explore North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. All easy, family-friendly hikes to some amazing arches!

  2. Madhura Shedge

    When nature is in its mood, it creates something beautiful like the Arches National Park in Utah. It is a heaven for camping, hiking, biking, and other outdoor adventures.

    • Briana Nickas

      Well said, Madhura! Arches National Park is an amazing place to spend some time in and explore.

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