Visiting in Winter
NPS photo by Jacob W. Frank
Winter at Arches is a peaceful time, without the crowds or scorching heat that can plague summertime visits. Ice, snow, and reduced park operations, however, can provide their own challenges for winter visitors.
Ranger-led hikes or campfire talks are not offered in winter. The park orientation film plays on request at Arches Visitor Center, which is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (closed December 25).
Most hiking trails remain open year-round. After a snowfall, popular trails like Delicate Arch quickly become slippery from packed snow and ice; traction devices and trekking poles are recommended. Drifting snow can cover trail markers, making even "easy" trails harder to follow. Updated photographs of trail conditions are usually on display at the visitor center and on Facebook.
After a snowfall, the park road might be closed for several hours for plowing. Park roads, parking lots, and pullouts can still be icy, especially in shaded areas.
Sites at Devils Garden Campground are available on a first-come/first-served basis November through February. Drinking water and restrooms are provided at the campground; firewood is available for purchase at Arches Visitor Center bookstore.
It is important to stay well-hydrated when visiting the desert, even in winter. Drinking water is available at the visitor center, Devils Garden picnic area, and Devils Garden Campground. The faucet at Devils Garden Trailhead is disabled during the winter.