Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to many common and some not-so-common questions asked by our visitors. If you feel we've left one out, please let us know!

Jump to: Facilities & Services | Traffic | Pets | Camping | Ranger Programs |
Regulations | Park Facts | Volunteer & Employment

 

Facilities & Services

What facilities or services does Arches offer?
Aside from the visitor center and bathrooms, there are no facilities in Arches. Gas, groceries, lodging and other amenities are available in Moab. Read more about area goods and services.


When is the visitor center open?
The visitor center is open daily at least from 9 am to 4 pm, (except December 25), with extended hours spring through fall. Read more about operating hours and seasons.


Do you accept checks?
Yes. We take personal, business, and travelers checks for entrance fees and tour fees. We accept travelers checks for bookstore purchases. All checks must be drawn in US dollars from a US bank. Personal checks $50 and over must include a social security number. Business checks $50 and over must include a tax ID number.


Do you accept credit cards or debit cards?
Yes. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express for entrance fees and tour fees. You may use your Visa, MasterCard, and Discover for bookstore purchases.


Can I get information mailed to me?
Yes. Contact us to request mailed information. You can save our printing costs by downloading brochures and newspapers from the website. Print them at home, and bring them with you to the park. Students: If you're doing a school project on Arches, check out our Student Information Brochure.


Where can I get extra brochures?
Canyonlands Natural History Association operates the bookstore in our visitor center and sells the official Arches National Park brochure that is handed out at the entrance station. You can visit them online at www.cnha.org.


Where can I buy an item I saw in your visitor center?
Canyonlands Natural History Association operates the bookstores in our visitor centers. Visit them online at www.cnha.org.


Does the park close at night?
No. The park never closes. Arches is a great place for stargazing.


Can I get an entrance fee waiver?
Yes. If you are an educational group whose visit is educational rather than recreational, you can apply for an entrance fee waiver.


What is the weather?
You can get a general idea of seasonal conditions and temperature and precipitation averages on our weather page. Get a current forecast from the National Weather Service.


Are there public phones in the park?
Yes. There are pay phones available outside the visitor center. There are no pay phones at the campground.


Will my cell phone work in Arches?
Maybe. You may find limited coverage in some areas of the park. In other areas, coverage is poor to nonexistent. Do not count on being able to receive service. Read more about area goods and services.

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Traffic

Do I need a permit to enter the park?
No. You can enter the park at any time, but you may have to sit in line at the entrance gate.


When is the busy time of year?
Generally March through October. The park is especially busy on these weekends and holidays:

  • Easter week (date varies; in late March or April)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Utah Education Association break (October 19-22, 2017. Dates vary.)

What time of day is the park busiest?
The park is usually busiest mid-morning through mid-afternoon. There can be limited parking, crowded trails, and long lines at the entrance station.
When is the best time to enter the park?
We recommend entering the park before 8 am or after 3 pm to avoid long lines and parking congestion. Read more about traffic tips.
Can I see what the entrance road looks like before I visit?
Yes. Check out our webcams page for a current view of the entrance road.
 

Pets

Can I bring my pet to Arches?
Yes, but there are limits on where they can go. They are allowed on roads and parking areas; they are not allowed on hiking trails. Read more about visiting with your pet.

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Camping

Can I camp at Arches?
Yes, Devils Garden Campground, at the north end of the park is open through February 28, 2017, when it will close due to a major construction project. Once construction is finished, the campground will be open year-round.
Can I reserve a campsite?
Not for the 2017 season. The campground will be closed March 1 through October 31, 2017, due to a major construction project. Normally, you can reserve campsites up to six months in advance. The campground will be available for reservation in the 2018 season. Read more about camping.
Where else can I camp?
There are many camping opportunities in the Moab area. Download our Campground Information sheet [775k PDF], or visit discovermoab.com for information.

What facilities does the campground have?
Devils Garden Campground has 50 sites with fire rings, picnic tables, bathrooms and running water. There are no showers. You can find showers in Moab. Read more about camping.


Can I backpack in Arches?
Not now. Effective September 6, 2016, overnight backpacking is suspended for the duration of a special project.


Where can I go backpacking?
Nearby Canyonlands National Park is a great place for backpacking. There are also lands administered by the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management where you can backpack. Read more about backpacking.


What about winter camping?
During the winter (November 1 through February 28), 24 campsites are available, first-come, first-served. Read more about camping.


RVs

What's the maximum RV length in the campground?
Some sites will accommodate RVs up to 30 feet long.


Is there an RV dump station in the park?
No. There are RV dump stations in Moab.


Do any sites have RV hookups?
No. There are no RV hookups in the park. There are many campgrounds in Moab that have RV hookups. Visit discovermoab.com for information.

 

Ranger Programs

What kind of ranger programs do you offer?
We offer guided walks, geology talks, evening programs, and hikes in the Fiery Furnace.


When do you offer programs?
We offer programs most days spring through fall. Schedules are subject to change. Read more about ranger-led programs.


How can I get Fiery Furnace tickets?
You can reserve tickets up to four months in advance online. If there are any tickets available, you can also purchase tickets at the visitor center up to seven days in advance. Read more about ranger-led programs.

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Regulations

Can I ride my ATV in Arches?
No. Off-highway vehicles (ATVs, UTVs, etc.) are not allowed. Read more about park regulations.


Can I fly my drone in Arches?
No. Launching, landing, or operating unmanned aircraft (such as drones, quadcopters, or model airplanes) is prohibited. Read more about park regulations.


Can I have a wedding ceremony in Arches?
Yes. You will need a wedding permit to hold a ceremony in the park.


Can I scatter ashes in Arches?
Yes. You will need a memorialization permit.


Can I film a movie in Arches?
All commercial photography and filming requires a special use permit.

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Park Facts

When was Arches established?
On April 12, 1929, Arches became a National Monument.
On November 12, 1971, Arches became a National Park.


How big is the park?
76,519 acres or 119 square miles (30,966 ha or 308 square km)


What is the elevation here? At the campground? At the highest point?
Arches Visitor Center sits at just over 4,000 feet (1,219 m) in elevation. Devils Garden Campground is just over 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in elevation. The highest point in the park is the top of Elephant Butte in the Windows section, at 5,653 feet (1,723m). It can only be reached by a technical climb.


How many arches are in the park?
No one knows for sure. Over 2,000 have been recorded. Some may have fallen and new arches may yet be forming.


What is the largest arch? What is the tallest arch?
The light opening beneath Landscape Arch is 306 feet (93.3 meters) across. Double Arch South has a vertical light opening of 112 feet (34.1 meters). Read more about Arches' rock stars.


How tall is Delicate Arch?
The light opening beneath Delicate Arch is 46 feet (14 m) high. The entire rock span is around 60 feet (18 m) tall.


Why are the rocks red?
Most of the sandstones in the park contain iron oxide. It takes as little as 1-3% iron to color the rocks red.


Why is some rock green near Delicate Arch and along Highway 191?
Those rocks contain iron in a reduced (non-oxidized) state. Depending on the conditions under which a rock was formed, iron can color rocks red, black, orange, purple, or greenish grey.


How much (or how little) rain falls here?
Arches averages 8-10 inches (20-25 cm) of precipitation annually. Most of that water falls in spring and late-summer rains, though the park also receives snowfalls of 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) most winters. Read more about park weather.


How many visitors come to Arches every year?
In 2015, almost 1.4 million people visited the park. Our visitation numbers are increasing every year. Read more about park visitation statistics.

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Volunteering & Employment

Can I volunteer at Arches?
Yes! The National Park Service needs volunteers throughout the year to assist with all aspects of park management. Read more about volunteer opportunities.


How do I get a job at Arches?
Learn more about Working With Us

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Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532

Phone:

(435) 719-2299

Contact Us