Arches is a relatively small park with little terrain for backpacking. In order to backpack, you must obtain a free backcountry permit at the visitor center. The maximum group size is ten, but smaller groups are recommended to reduce impacts. Permits may not be reserved in advance. Backcountry campsites must be:
Backpackers should know how to navigate with a topographic map, recognize safety hazards and practice low-impact camping specific to the high desert. Outside the developed areas there are no designated trails, campsites or reliable water sources. Primary safety considerations include steep terrain, loose rock, lightning, flash floods and dehydration.
For more information and a map of permitted areas, please download:
Did You Know?
Edward Abbey worked as a seasonal park ranger at Arches in the late 1950s. His 1968 memoir of this experience, "Desert Solitaire," has become a classic of desert literature.