Visiting in Winter
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 from December through February. The park orientation film plays on request at the 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.
Devils Garden Campground has 24 sites available on a first-come/first-served basis. Drinking water and restrooms are provided at the campground; firewood is available for purchase at the Arches Visitor Center bookstore. More...
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.
Did You Know?
In the late 1800s, John Wesley Wolfe, a disabled Civil War veteran, and his son, Fred, built a homestead in what is now Arches National Park. A weathered log cabin, root cellar, and corral remain as evidence of the primitive ranch they operated for more than 10 years.