Arches National Park

After Bryce Canyon we headed to Arches National Park. I love driving through Utah. The drive to Arches along I-70 was nothing short of spectacular. I find being on the open road so incredibly peaceful. I don’t know that I always enjoyed being in the car but I have come to love it. IMG_0337-1030x687 IMG_0340 IMG_0348There are some really steep grades along this route so if you are pulling a trailer keep that in mind.   There are rest stops everywhere with incredible views. IMG_0368 IMG_0364    IMG_0372So far this day was going well. Here’s where it started to turn.IMG_0386I love the above picture because of the looks on our faces. We had been in the air conditioned car for the past several hours and got out of the car for our sign picture and were like, “What are we getting ourselves into?” It was so hot in Arches. We knew it would be warmer in Arches than Bryce but were not expecting 100+. We had been watching the weather and it was supposed to be in the low 90s during our trip. Two days before we arrived the forecast jumped to 100+. Yeah, we were not happy. We live in the Arizona desert and spend the entire summer in temps over 100. Our idea of vacation is not camping in the heat without AC.

Arches really is beautiful and I would like to visit during spring or fall when we can enjoy the park without wanting to pass out. Enough complaining about the heat. Check out our campsite! IMG_0411No joke, this was our view. I was blown away when we got out of the car. The campground is amongst a bunch of huge rocks but there are a couple campsites that sit atop the plateau with no rocks. Ours was one, and in my opinion is the best campsite in Arches. It was flat and had a ton of space. The one next to us had good views but was on the side of a hill. Site 18 is the primo site, friends. This is where you want to be if you want gorgeous views. The campsite faces east so we were able to watch the sunrise from our chairs.IMG_0439Looking across the street to the rocks we caught an incredible sunset. IMG_0431Arches is known for its 2,000 stone arches as well, as many other neat rock formations. A drive through the park takes 45 minutes one way and is a beautiful drive. IMG_0394 IMG_0400There are 50 campsites in Arches, and March – October they are available by reservation only. The campground is at the very end of the park so you would not want to drive all the way through anyway to find out it was full. There are no restaurants or stores with groceries in Arches so be sure to have all the food and water you need when you enter the park. There are a few areas in the park where you can fill water bottles but they’re not common and everything is fairly spread out. The town of Moab is about an hour from the campground so be sure to get all you need while you’re in Moab.

IMG_0518 IMG_0406 IMG_0503We only took one hike in Arches and it was to Landscape Arch. We had planned to spend a lot more time in Arches but after completing the Landscape Arch hike at 10am we knew there was no way we were spending anymore time hiking in the heat. The trail provides almost no shade and the heat is hot! It’s actually dangerous to be out hiking in the middle of the day when it’s that hot.   IMG_0492 There are two side trails as well.  We did the side trails as we went which made the walk to Landscape Arch seem really long.  It was hot and the kids were over it.  Particularly in the summer, I would recommend walking to Landscape first and hitting the side trails on the way back if you still are up for it. IMG_0482 #2 IMG_0477 IMG_0476We did have some fun.  Several times along the trail we encountered really soft sand and the kids had fun playing in it.  IMG_8749 Little Miss was making baby footprints in the sand with her hands.IMG_0473 We found rabbit footprints. IMG_0469This lizard was eating ants right out of the hole. It was really fun to watch. 

I’m bummed that we did not get to spend more time in Arches. I really wanted to hike to Delicate Arch so we’ll have to come back one day. IMG_0415



This post is one of several from our summer road trip. Visit these other links to read about the rest of our travels.

Bryce Canyon National Park

Our day in Moab: 24 hours, 15,000 steps, & 100+ temps

Durango, CO with a side of Petrified Forest National Park

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