• Double O Arch

    Arches

    National Park Utah

There are park alerts in effect.
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  • Delicate Arch Viewpoint Inaccessible

    Wolfe Ranch and the hiking trail to Delicate Arch are open, but flood waters and mud have blocked the road to Delicate Arch Viewpoint.

Backpacking

Backpackers prepare a meal as the sun sets.
Backpackers prepare a meal as the sun sets.
NPS Photo by Neal Herbert
 

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:

  • at least one mile (1.6 km) from (and out of sight of) designated roads,
  • at least one-half mile (0.8 km) from (and out of sight of) designated trails,
  • out of sight of any arch named on a USGS topographical map, and
  • established before sundown.

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:

Backpacking Brochure
[645k PDF file]

Did You Know?

Pinyon Pine

Pinyon trees do not produce pine nuts every year. These delicious nuts can only be harvested every three to seven years. This irregular schedule prevents animals from adapting to an abundance of pine nuts and guarantees that at least some nuts will become new trees instead of a quick meal.