Deciding when to travel to one of Utah’s most famous landmarks? This guide will fill you in on everything you need to know about when to visit Arches National Park.
With over 2000 natural arches, stunning red rocks and hoodoos, and a vast landscape that stretches over 75,000 acres, Arches National Park is a bucket list trip for travelers across the globe.
But when should you plan your visit to take advantage of the hiking trails, campgrounds and scenic drives? Keep reading to learn all about the best time to visit Arches National Park and what you need to know before going.
When’s the Best Time to Visit Arches National Park?: At A Glance
Summer is by far the most popular time to visit Arches National Park, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best.
Temperatures are sweltering, and many of the most popular trails are now bursting at the seams with visitors, not to mention those monsoons.
Spring and Fall offer excellent weather most of the time and plenty to do around nearby Moab.
Even during the winter months, there is a lot to do, and some light snowfall just adds an extra layer of beauty to the natural arches and Southern Utah landscape.
The Best Time to Visit Arches National Park
What is the Best Month to Travel to Arches National Park?
Arches National Park
What is the best time to visit Arches National Park? Whenever you can.
But you should visit Arches in April or October for mild weather and good deals on hotel rooms nearby. Spring and fall in Southern Utah are magical and a great time to see The Windows, Park Avenue, and the Turret Arch.
The best time to visit Moab Arches and spend some time learning about the city and participating in all the outdoor adventures of the Colorado River is September.
When’s High Season in Arches National Park?
High Season in Arches National Park runs from spring to fall. The busiest months are from May through September when many of the over 1.5 million annual visitors make summer plans.
The Cheapest Time to Visit Arches National Park
Looking for when to visit Arches National Park for the lowest hotel rates and airfare? October and November are excellent months to score cheap airfare and bargain hotel rates in Utah between the peak summer tourism of the national parks and ski resort season.
To See Devil’s Garden
Camping in Devil’s Garden is one of the most popular activities in Southern Utah, so sites are frequently busy. But the best month to visit Arches National Park for camping in Devil’s Garden is November (when it’s first come, first serve), and the weather is still pretty nice.
To See Arches Scenic Drive
The best time of year to visit Utah Arches on the famed scenic drive route off Highway 191 is winter when the roads are open, trails are less crowded, and famous landmarks like balanced rock are less crowded.
To See the Mighty Five
Fall is my favorite time to plan a Utah road trip to visit the Mighty Five. October and November are gorgeous, there are still fun events throughout the small towns, and you’ll enjoy pleasant weather in Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon.
To See Hiking Trails and Landmarks in Arches
Spring and early summer are the best times to hike to the many gorgeous landmarks within Arches.
Garden of Eden, Delicate Arch, and Sand Dune Arch are all epic sights when explored early on warmer days when the sun begins to rise.
Arches National Park by Season
Spring in Arches National Park
March – May
Key Events and Things to Do in Arches National Park in Spring
- What is the best month to visit Arches National Park for fitness enthusiasts? May is a big month for marathons and bike races in nearby Moab, making it the perfect time to go for outdoor fun.
- Geology talks in nearby Canyonlands are a great way to learn more about the park from trained professionals. They start at 10am and are given daily beginning March 30, making spring the best time to visit Arches and Canyonlands.
Pros to Traveling to Arches National Park in Spring
- The weather is often nearly perfect during the daytime, with highs ranging between 60°F (15.5°C) to 80°F (26.6°C), so many people consider spring the best time of year to visit Arches National Park.
- While crowds start picking up, they’re not yet at peak summer levels.
Cons to Traveling to Arches National Park in Spring
- Nighttime temperatures can still get very cold, with lows approaching freezing temperatures of 32°F (0°C).
- Holiday weekends are as busy as some summer days.
Summer in Arches National Park
June – August
Key Events and Things to Do in Arches National Park in Summer
- Looking for the best time to go to Arches National Park as a good samaritan? Volunteer cleanup events happen throughout the summer, check the calendar to learn more.
- Art in the Parks features artists explaining their works and giving you tips on your own artwork if you bring your paintbrush and canvas.
Pros to Traveling to Arches National Park in Summer
- Most park areas are open and pleasant to hike early in the summer.
- Low temperatures rarely dip below 60°F (15.5°C)
Cons to Traveling to Arches National Park in Summer
- Monsoon season presents some legitimate threats to visitors caught in the storms.
- Temperatures become dangerously hot, averaging over 90°F (32.2°C) and often exceeding 100°F (37.7°C).
- Heat stroke and dehydration can happen easily if you hike in the middle of the day.
Autumn / Fall in Arches National Park
September – November
Key Events and Things to Do in Arches National Park in Autumn/Fall
- Autumn/Fall is the best time to visit Arches National Park for stargazing. Ask around at the visitor center for nighttime events hosted by the park rangers.
- Melon Days is a local event in Green River in September centered around the 100+ year history of growing numerous varieties of delicious melons. Expect a parade, live music, and plenty of entertainment, making it the best time to visit Moab Arches for families.
Pros of Traveling to Arches National Park in Autumn/Fall
- The weather is often nearly perfect, with high temperatures between 55°F (12.7°C) and 85°F (29.4°C), making it the best time to visit Arches.
- Popular areas begin becoming less crowded in October and November.
Cons to Traveling to Arches National Park in Autumn/Fall
- September and early October are still hectic times in the park.
- The monsoon season may last through early autumn/fall.
- Low temperatures may drop below freezing 32°F (0°C).
Winter in Arches National Park
December – March
Key Events and Things to Do in Arches National Park in Winter
- Early winter is Arches National Park’s best time to visit to get into the holiday spirit. Show up the first days of December to catch the tree lighting, craft fair, and light shows.
Pros to Traveling to Arches National Park in Winter
- It’s the least crowded time of year to visit Arches National Park.
- The light layer of snow on the red rocks, arches, and hoodoos makes for some spectacular photos.
- Cooler temperatures are often a welcome feature for longer hikes and day trips.
Cons to Traveling to Arches National Park in Winter
- Trails often close during winter storms, limiting where you can go.
- High temperatures usually don’t exceed 50°F (10°C), and lows dip below 20°F (-6.6°C), making overnight stays more challenging.
- Icy trails can pose a threat to hikers.
When to Travel to Arches National Park: Practical Tips + Tricks
- If you time your trip for May or October, you’ll enjoy some of the best weather in Arches National Park.
- Drop-offs on trails are a real threat on many of the best hikes in Arches National Park, do yourself a favor and check the weather report for rain or high winds.
- Visit the most popular attractions during the weekdays for fewer crowds.
- The best time of day to visit Arches National Park is early in the morning before crowds increase and temperatures spike.
- Bring layers, even during the warmer months of the year. Temperatures can swing wildly, and you never know if you’ll get caught in some rain.