Arches Traffic & Travel Tips
Between March and October, it can be difficult to find parking. (NPS Photo)
Visitation to Arches has climbed steadily for years, reaching one million visitors for the first time in 2010. During high visitation, parking is limited at all destinations, and popular trailheads like Delicate Arch and Devils Garden regularly fill for hours at a time, especially on weekends and holidays.
There are a few alternatives to driving your car in Arches, but if you're planning to drive, then this page is for you.
Where the Crowds Are
From March through October, visitation at Arches is extremely high. During high visitation, there may be significant delays entering the park, and once inside, you can expect increased travel times and congestion along the scenic drive. Long lines may form at the entrance gate. If the entrance road is backed up, you may not stop on the highway: it is against the law. (Utah Code 41-6a-1401) Come back at another time, or consider visiting other nearby attractions.
Parking lots at popular trailheads and viewpoints such as Devils Garden, Delicate Arch/Wolfe Ranch and The Windows are usually full between 9 am and 4 pm. In 2015, construction at the Delicate Arch / Wolfe Ranch trailhead will mean significantly reduced parking. You might have to plan on hiking elsewhere.
If you do find a parking spot and go for a hike, expect to see a lot of other people on the trail. It is not uncommon for hundreds of people to visit Delicate Arch at sunset. The following holidays and weekends are especially busy:
Easter week (date varies – usually in April)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
Utah Education Association break (4 days in October, visit www.myuea.org for details)
When parking lots are full, please remember:
Park in designated areas only.
Do not drive off roads.
If a lot is full, do not wait for spots to open; move on and try again later.
Never park on vegetation or in a manner that blocks traffic.
Don't block the flow of traffic by waiting for a parking spot.
How to Avoid the Crowds
Avoid visiting on the holidays/weekends listed above.
Early morning (sunrise) is always less busy than sunset. To beat the crowds, try entering the park by 8 am, though you may encounter groups of early-morning photographers at some destinations.
Carpool if you can. Consider hiring a company to shuttle you to and from the park (visitwww.discovermoab.com to see what's available).
Parking for oversize vehicles (RVs, trailers) is extremely limited. Leave oversized vehicles in town, or in the visitor center parking lot.
This articles is found at the official NPS website here:
We're having fun visiting inlaws but we didn't go to the East coast. We stopped by Lake Superior instead, finding it more hospitable. It's 7 degrees and flurrying, but we have power and water and warm heaters. Will be good to be home in Moab soon and shovelling some sunshine…
Enjoy living whereever you do it! You are blessed.
No, not THE Weather Report. Notwithstanding the antics of arguably the greatest expired electric bassist that ever lived, we are having great weather in Moab! It's shorts and Tee-shirt weather in the afternoons, just like it was in the 70s. Nights are still just below freezing. The last couple of years were bitter cold this time of year (below zero) and, well, they could be in a few weeks. I'll let you know.
We all know our souls need to see beautiful things. Some of us also know we need that sense of being connected to something larger than us. Almost everyone senses when their spirit is touched by that creator. It can't be expressed any better than this ancient writing:
Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth,
who has set your glory above the heavens!
From the lips of babes and infants you have established strength,
because of your adversaries, that you might silence the enemy and
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have ordained;
what is man, that you think of him?
What is the son of man, that you care for him?
For you have made him a little lower than the angels,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You make him ruler over the works of your hands.
You have put all things under his feet:
All sheep and cattle,
yes, and the animals of the field,
The birds of the sky, the fish of the sea,
and whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
I've been looking for a good way to dispose of or trade up my computers and cameras. Maybe this is a good one. I'll let you know after I check it out.
I'm sure this was a magnificent valley before we humans started building here. Who am I to think we could ruin it? Nope. It's still beautiful with all the new neighborhoods and houses. Plenty of room for everybody? Up to a point…
Yep, even though it's still Fall, there's solid moisture in the air. For the record, it's around 20 degrees and clear. I'm glad it doesn't feel like the deep bone-chilling cold that you get on the coast.
My lawn is covered with a layer of big yellow leaves, and I'd better get them off before it snows over them. What's it like where you are?
We recently had a week of downpours that cause some mudslides and flooding. Here's a video of my trip across town:
Although I shot this video before the most mud damage occured, you can see that our main street is not exactly imune to a strong storm's effects.
But first, a word from our sponsor…
Now then, the news! Just dug out today from the SLC newspaper:
Land Exchange To Boost Utah Recreation and Energy Development
A land exchange deal which would allow for a land trade between school lands and the Bureau of Land Management is close to finalization after nearly ten years of negotiations.
Under the exchange nearly 60 million acres of land, appraised at equal value, will be traded between the Utah School Institutional Trust Lands Administration and the BLM.
The BLM’s Megan Crandall said through the trade SITLA would receive 35,000 acres of land from the BLM in exchange for more than 25,000 acres in Uintah, Grand and San Juan counties.
“Through the exchange the Bureau of Land Management is going to get some wonderful lands with increased recreational opportunities, which is great," said Crandall. "But the state is also going to get some lands that have very high potential for energy development."
The land exchange was approved earlier this year and is now open to public inspection. SITLA Director John Andrews said after the comment period ends, concerns will be investigated before the deal moves to the legislature.
"Once the protest period is over, there are a couple of additional notices that the BLM has to file with the relevant congressional committees and then the only thing left to do is to exchange the title documents and record the deeds," said Andrews.
Andrews expects the exchange to be finalized in early May.
My wife and I drove up the River Road (Hwy 128) Sunday while it was raining, to see the waterfalls (I think we saw about 30) coming off the cliffs. We weren't alone. There were hundreds of gawkers enjoying this rare sight. These are the result of literal flash floods on top of the mesa rushing over the edge. Some day I'd like to see them from the top…
Our weather has been splendid for the last couple weeks, with even some much-needed rain last weekend. Things are still muddy and dead-looking, but the trails are scattered with locals out taking their first-of-the-year hikes.
This is my favorite time of the year around town. It's just before the clouds of visitors come, but the weather is soooo inviting. Shopkeepers on Main Street are so cheerfully sweeping in front of their shops, waving at their neighbor/competitors in unbridled optimism. It's just a joy-filled time to reward us for all the back-breaking grinding work that "the season" brings. NOT THAT ANY OF US ARE COMPLAINING!
This has really been felt in Moab Utah where we depend on tourism from our two national parks, two national monuments and a state park. My clients are wondering if they can disconnect their phones for a while so they don’t have to take their cancellations!
If you want a clue on what other Federal shutdowns have done to our country, here’s a quick link:
But we still have these state parks: Dead Horse Point, Edge of the Cedars, Goblin Valley and The Goosenecks. Here’s a link to some good information about them:
We have a huge number of great hikes and drives within a few miles, all explained by our Information Center at the corner of Main and Center streets. Good Luck! Come to Moab!
Wish me luck! This is no easy task. The blog may go down for a while during this experiment. I may lose all the stats and new posts like this one. So If you don’t see this next week, you’ll know why. Thanks for your support!
Boys want things to work. Girls want things to match.
There’s a chill in the air! Although it still gets plenty warm during the day, we’re experiencing about 60° temperatures in the morning. I wonder how many residents here will miss the 110° days of last month!