Moab Utah is a really incredible place. River Rafting, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Skydiving and thousands of miles of trails await you. There are also miles of picturesque roads to travel as well.
The most heavily visited attraction is Arches National Park. Arches gets 1.2 million visitors a year. Some of the attractions were crowded, but it was fairly easy to avoid severe crowds. It should also be noted that vandals love tagging certain spots in the park... so be on the lookout to take pictures of those losers.
Everyone has seen the most famous arch - Delicate Arch. It is on the Utah License Plates. You can hike out to it, the hike is almost completely exposed and is four miles up and back. There are almost always people under the Arch making taking a clean shot of it almost impossible. This is by far the most crowded attraction in the park.
However, the first trip we took to Arches did not include a trip to Delicate Arch. We decided to see as much of the park as we could.
The Devil's Garden Loop is probably the best hike in the park. We did about four miles of it. We Saw Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Navajo Arch, Partition Arch and the second most famous arch in the park... Landscape Arch.
Pictured - Landscape Arch with Partition Arch somewhat visible off to the side in the photo.
You can go on the Devil's Garden loop all the way to Double O Arch and Private Arch and make it a complete 7+ mile loop. This hike is at the very end of the Park. Get out there as early as you can, we pushed ourselves to get there just before 8AM. This gave us these arches almost to ourselves. However, when we came back down the hill, the area was starting to get descended on.
My other favorite spot was Park Avenue - which is right at the entrance once you've ascended the hill. Park Avenue is the first spot you come on to.
If you stop at the first lot - the hike starts downhill and is uphill back (no more than 300 feet in elevation change though). Park Avenue is a hike amongst gigantic Red Rock monoliths and even has birds flying around for dramatic effect. This picture is of the Park Avenue Hike.
Down our list of favorites is the Turret Arch / Double Arch / Windows area. It also gets crowded in the Mid-Morning as well. You can get in about a mile walking between all of these attractions. Note that the area is a place where tour busses will stop, similar to delicate arch and the devil's garden area. (Though the throngs of tourists typically only go to landscape arch - leaving the other 80% of the devil's garden loop alone)
The drive in to the Windows Area featues Cove Arch and the Garden of Eden on the way in. No hikes, just viewpoints.
Other Attractions that merit mention:
A little bonus hike near the Devil's Garden is the Sand Dune Arch / Broken Arch trail which will add a mile to your day.
Skyline Arch - a separate pull out near the Devil's Garden is .4 miles total. Skyline Arch is massive in size.
Balanced Rock - another .4 mile bonus.
The Courthouse Towers Viewpoint is on the Southern End of the Park Avenue Trail. There are also two viewpoints of the mountains to the east that are right along the main park road.
There is a big, big attraction in Arches that you have to reserve tickets for months in advance called the Firey Furnace. It is a very unique area with a lot of attractions and bizarre formations. There are arches you will not see from the main areas. These include Skull Arch pictured below:
IF you have more than one day for Arches - book this tour!
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