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Destination: Arches National Park!
The arches may give this park its name, and they are jaw-dropping, but Arches National Park has so much more to offer! From delicate pinnacles and towering spires to twisted, alien rock formations, Arches is like something out of a movie.
Plus, whether you love hiking or horseback riding, there are more awesome activities at Arches National Park than you could imagine. It’s no wonder the place drew in over 1.65 million visitors in 2019.
What’s the best way to experience this amazing natural wonder? RV camping!
That’s why we put together this guide to RV Camping in Arches National Park. Follow along, and you’ll be ready to pack your bags and hit the road ASAP!
Table of Contents
If you’re looking to connect with nature and see awe-inspiring wonders of geology, Arches National park has you covered. Or even if you just want to try your hand at rock climbing or mountain biking, Arches is the spot.
But before you head off on your journey, check out these cool Arches National Park facts. We think you’ll have a lot more respect for how incredible this natural treasure really is.
- Arches National Park’s highest elevation is 5,653 feet at elephant butte, and the lowest elevation is at the visitor center, which is 4,085 feet, so if you’re sensitive to thin air, be prepared.
- Arches is a part of the Colorado Plateau ‘high desert’, which means the weather can change quickly. The temperature can swing by as much as 40 degrees in a single day—so come prepared!
- Arches National Park’s almost 200 species of birds, including turkey vultures, blue grosbeaks, yellow-breasted chats, spotted towhees, peregrine falcons, and more, attract bird watchers year-round.
- Arches National Park was operated as a cattle ranch by Civil War veteran John Wesley Wolfe until 1929 when President Hoover made the area a national monument. It wasn’t until 1971 that President Nixon officially made Arches a national park.
- Arches National Park has the greatest density of arches and windows in rock the world. There are over 2,000 arches and windows in the 76,359 acres of Arches.
- The Arches have a rich Native American history before the founding of the US as well. The Pueblo of Zuni, the Hopi Tribe, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Ute Indian Tribe-Uintah and Ouray, the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, and the Kaibab Band of Paiute Indians all had roots in the area. The park is seen as a spiritual place because of its unobstructed views of the La Sal Mountains, which many Native tribes hold sacred.
- Landscape Arch is the longest arch in the Arches at over 300 feet in length, and Double Arch, at 144 feet tall, is the tallest arch in the Park.
The best way to see all the wonders that Arches offers is from the safety and comfort of an RV. That way, no matter your age or physical ability, you can experience all the jaw-dropping scenery of one of the most amazing national parks in the country.
The 43-mile main scenic drive of Arches is paved, perfect for RVs, and offers photo opportunities from roadside pullouts. Some of the top arches and landmarks can be reached by a short walk from RV parking lots off the main drive.
Unfortunately, there’s only one Arches National park RV campground available within the park boundaries. The beautiful Devils Campground, which has just 20 spots and only fits RVs of up to 40 feet. It will be a fantastic experience if you somehow manage to secure a reservation, but not everyone can fit Devils.
The good news is there are plenty of RV parks near Arches National Park that offer all the amenities you could ask for only a short drive from the park entrance.
Portal RV Resort and Campground
Amenities: Bring the kids and the dogs to Portal RV Resort and Campground just nine miles from Arches National Park. The RV Park features free WiFi, a pool, spa, bathhouse, laundry, and a sand volleyball court. Plus, a dog park for all the pet lovers.
Capacity: Portal offers dozens of full hookup RV sites for $49.50/day and regular RV sites for $42.50/day. They are also big-rig friendly sites for 65 foot plus RVs available.
More information: Portal RV Resort and Campground
Pack Creek Campground and RV Park
Amenities: Pack Creek Campground is located around a serene creek just 20 minutes from Arches National Park and an hour from Canyonlands National Park. The place offers a free dump station, free WiFi, laundry, showers, bathrooms, and great views. Plus, a 20% military discount if you’re active duty or a veteran. If you’re looking for a shady retreat in the summer, this may be the spot.
Capacity: Pack Creek features dozens of pull-through sites, and multiple full RV hookups, but only up to 35’ RVs are allowed. There are also dozens of tent sites, large group sites, and electric and water sites, if you’d rather break out the tent.
More information: Pack Creek Campground and RV Park
Goose Island Campground
Amenities: Set amongst the trees along the Colorado River, just eight minutes from Arches, lies Goose Island Campground. This is one of the more intimate and rustic settings on this list. There are beautiful views of the red rock of the Arches and, if you bring a life jacket, you can take a dip in the Colorado River. There is also a small visitor center and toilets at the Goose Island RV campground, but other than that, it’s just you and nature.
Capacity: Goose Island is owned by the Bureau of Land Management and operated on a first-come, first-serve basis. There are just 20 campgrounds (limited to 10 people & two vehicles per site) on the site and no full hookups. Although, it’s only $20 a night to secure a spot.
More information: Goose Island Campground
Spanish Trail RV Park
Amenities: The Spanish Trail RV park boasts that it was the first RV park established in the area. Recently renovated and just 11 minutes from the Arches, the park is a great option for those with larger RVs that aren’t accommodated elsewhere. It also has a brand new pool, spa, bathrooms, shower facilities, and a TV lounge. Plus, it’s surrounded by red rock cliffs and trees with stunning views of the La Sal Mountains. Not to mention the free WiFi, and large grassy sites with plenty of space for dogs.
Capacity: There are over 70 RV sites, including sites for RVs as large as 65’ and full RV hookups. Plus, storage areas for each site as well.
More information: Spanish Trail RV Park
OK RV Park
Amenities: The OK RV Park is more than OK; in fact, it’s one of the highest-rated sites on this list with a 4.6/5 on Google reviews with almost 300 reviews. The RV park offers basic cabins and ‘glamping’ options as well as amazing ATV trails for the more adventurous traveler. OK RV also has laundry, shower, toilets, free WiFi, and is pet friendly.
Capacity: There are 76 total camp, ‘glamp,’ and RV sites on OK RV Park. Plus, over a dozen RV full hookups.
More information: OK RV Park
Did you know Arches National Park is open year-round, 24/7! That’s right; there’s no best time to visit Arches National Park. Many national parks close during the winter, but Arches is open year-round and offers amazing activities during every season.
Between March and October, Arches National Park is filled to the brim with visitors. Still, if you come in the winter, you may have a very different experience. The park is peaceful and serene during the winter months.
If you’re willing to brave the cold, you can see the arches and amazing rock formations without the crowds. Highs in the winter are just 30° to 50° F, but it is a beautiful time of year.
Spring is the most popular time of year at Arches National Park. Most of the over 1.65 million visitors will flock to the area at the beginning of March. It’s partly because there’s so much to do during this time of year, from hiking to horseback riding, but it’s also a result of the amazing spring weather.
Ranger programs start back in the spring, so if you’re looking to learn more about geology, history, or astronomy while getting exercise, spring is the best time of year. You can avoid the crowds if you go early in the morning and leave late, too. Most people just stay for the day.
Daily average temperatures in the summer can reach over 100° F. That makes hiking and mountain biking not quite as much fun. Still, the summer months at Arches attract plenty of visitors.
In particular, people come to Arches to gaze at the stars in the summer because of the low levels of light pollution and warm nighttime temperatures. Ranger-led stargazing events draw in crowds during the summer. It’s quite the experience to peer into the sky at billions of stars surrounded by alien-like rock formations.
Fall is another very popular time of year at Arches National Park. Temperatures begin to cool until October, where they reach a very desirable average of 71° F. Then, by November, average temperatures plummet to 55° F.
If you bring your coats, beanies, and wool socks and wear layers to prepare for the variable weather, fall is an outstanding time to see Arches.
Photo Credit: Instagram User @whereisweatherby
There’s so much to do in Arches National Park; it’s impossible to list it all.
But first things first, you must visit the famous Delicate Arch. Delicate Arch is the largest free-standing arch in the park at an incredible 46 feet high. It’s the main attraction for many visitors, and, if you go, you’ll see why—it’s truly incredible.
The best time to visit Delicate Arch is at sunset or sunrise, just remember to pack headlamps for the three-mile round trip hike. And Delicate Arch sites next to an amazing natural rock bowl and smaller arch called the twisted doughnut. Don’t miss out on these two when you visit Delicate Arch—they offer breathtaking views from above.
There are many amazing arches and windows through the porous red rock of Arches National park that it’s difficult to narrow down a list of top spots. However, most people seem to agree you should see Courthouse Towers, Balanced Rock, Fiery Furnace, and The Windows Section, at a minimum.
Then, if you get tired of hiking around rock formations, you can try your hand at mountain biking on Slick Rock bike trail nearby. The views and crazy rock formations make the trail ride a unique experience.
Or, if you’re even more adventurous, Arches offers world-class rock climbing as well. As long as you follow all of the Arches National Park climbing regulations, you are free to explore and climb the amazing natural formations of Arches.
If none of the above appeals to you, you could also:
- Take advantage of the low level of light pollution that makes Arches a top spot for stargazing.
- Try the two-mile round trip Park Avenue Trail for breathtaking views and a light workout.
- Hike the Devil’s Garden Trail, the longest maintained trail at Arches National Park at 7.2 miles round trip. Landscape Arch can be accessed 1.6 miles along the way.
- Take a hike out to Fiery Furnace on a ranger-led tour and learn more about the wonders of Arches National Park from an expert.
- Wander out on the petrified dunes lookout and wonder at the beautiful La Sal Mountains.
- Saddle up and try your hand at horseback riding on one of the many amazing trails.
When taking any trip into nature, you need to be prepared. That’s especially true at Arches National Park, which has unpredictable weather and lots of falling hazards. Here are a few tips to help you stay safe on your trip to Arches National Park.
- Temperatures can vary as much as 40 degrees a day in the park, so prepare for a variance in temperature by wearing layers and bringing winter clothing.
- Pets are allowed into the park, but they must be leashed at all times.
- Try entering the park before 9 am or after 2 pm to avoid the long lines, especially in the spring.
- Remember, there are no medical facilities, WiFi services, gas stations, dumpsites, cell phone towers, or restaurants in Arches.
- People forget just how hot Arches can get even at elevation. Temperatures can get over 100° F in the summer, so come prepared with extra water, hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses.
- Refill your water bottles outside the park entrance with the natural spring water at Matrimony Springs!
Congratulations! Now you know all you need to know to start your next fun-filled RV adventure!
If you’re looking to find a spot for RV rental, Cruise America is the top spot for quality RVs at the right price! Every RV is pet friendly and provides a freshwater toilet, gas cooktop, generator, refrigerator, microwave, heating system, towing capabilities, and a shower to clean you up after a long day hiking in National Parks.
So if you’re ready to head off on your Arches National Park RV trip, rent an RV with Cruise America and get started today!