This was our first big experience at a National Park in Utah, so we were VERY EXCITED. Because I am so in love with all things desert, Arches in Utah is one of those places I had been looking forward to the most on our trip. And it did not disappoint.
We spent about 3 full days in the park, and were able to camp right outside it. There are various BLM camping options along Potash Road, and others on the other side of the river as well. I would recommend these if you are on a budget- staying within the national park is usually always more expensive, more crowded, and you have to reserve your spot weeks or months ahead of time.
Our first day we were ready to go, and headed out to spend some time at Delicate Arch.
The hike is moderate, and about 3 miles out and back (no dogs allowed). It was extremely windy which made standing next to the huge arch kind of scary, but the sight of the arch is unbelievable when your up close. The scale and majesty of the thing is quite unreal, and I would recommend this hike as the top if you only have one you’re choosing to spend time on.
Tower Arch was our next hike, and this one was kind of a take it or leave it situation.
I felt, once you see the Delicate Arch, its hard to beat. But we wanted the full experience of arches, so we hiked to Tower Arch. This hike I would say was a fairly moderate, 2 and a half mile out and back hike. The views and outlooks were beautiful in this area, and there were lots of special moments to take beautiful pictures.
Another hike I would highly recommend, if you’re going for a second, is Devil’s Garden. This one is nice because you can see as much or as little as you want (depending on how far you want to hike).
The total out and back is close to 8 miles, but like I said, you can hike as long as you want and loop back. We almost completed the hike, but didn’t quite reach the end because we wanted to get back before it went dark. There are 7 arches along the way that you can see, so you get a lot of beautiful arch viewings in just one hike.
I would recommend this hike one over the Fiery Furnace (which is another hike, you actually have to pay for). I felt Devil’s Garden gave you a lot more to look at, and the Fiery Furnace is very similar. So again, if you are on a budget, I would pick Devil’s Garden over the Fiery Furnace.
Another thing that was kind of a let down about the Fiery Furnace, was we had to sit through a little video in order to do the hike alone, which was just more of a pain than anything. Both are beautiful however, and it’s really hard to recommend something when people have different preferences in adventure!