You can help preserve the park's unique features and landscapes by knowing and adhering to these basic regulations. More policies, such as the Superintendent's Compendium, can be found on the Laws & Policies page.
Artificial Light Sources
Night photography is a great way to enjoy the park, but please note that using artificial light sources to light up landscapes, rock formations, or other park features is prohibited. Artificial light sources may be used for personal route-finding or minimum impact camping only. Help us preserve our night skies! Learn more about stargazing in the park, or read up on night photography tips.
In order to backpack in Arches, you must obtain a free backcountry permit at the visitor center. The maximum group size is 7, but we recommend smaller groups to reduce impacts. Permits may not be reserved in advance. More requirements for backpacking.
Canyoneering is an adventure sport using climbing equipment for rappels and other technical descents through canyons. While Arches has no real "slot canyons," many of its sandstone walls are cross-hatched with narrow passages appropriate for this type of exploration. Permits are required. It is the responsibility of all canyoneers to know and obey the park regulations. Please visit the canyoneering page for more information.
The rock at Arches offers excellent climbing opportunities, despite its sandy nature. Most climbing routes in the park require advanced techniques. Permits are advised but not required, unless the trip involves canyoneering or an overnight stay in the backcountry. It is the responsibility of all climbers to know and obey the park regulations. Please visit the climbing page for information regarding specific closures and restrictions.
Using firearms is prohibited in the park. However, people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws may legally possess firearms in this park. You must understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering the park. Read more about firearms regulations in national parks.
Motorcycles are only allowed on park roads and must be equipped and licensed for interstate travel in the state of Utah. This means they must not only be licensed with a visible plate, but they must have a headlight (low & high beam), horn, tail/brake light, at least one side mirror and tires must meet Department of Transportation (DOT) specifications for street use. The driver must have a valid state license with a motorcycle endorsement.
The use of off-highway vehicles (ATVs, OHV, UTVs, etc.) is not allowed in Arches National Park. Superintendent's determination. There are many roads for these types of vehicles located on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. Find more information on the Grand County Travel Council website.
On the public lands around Moab you must stay on roads and established routes. There is no cross-country travel allowed as it destroys the living biological soil crust which prevents erosion and sustains plant growth throughout canyon country.
Some activities like weddings, commercial flilming, may require permits. Read more about the permits you may need before your visit.
Activities with pets are very limited at Arches. You may not take a pet on any hiking trails. You may have your pet with you in the campground, and at pullouts along the paved scenic drives. You may walk your pets on roads or in parking lots, but they must be leashed at all times when outside a vehicle. You may not leave your pets unattended (except in a paid-for campsite in the Devils Garden Campground, where they must not cause a disturbance). Read more about pets.
Rock Scratches = Graffiti
Even though graffiti is prohibited by law, rangers and volunteer groups spend hundreds of hours every year removing scratches and drawings on the rock in Arches. Please join us in protecting the park by not leaving your mark. If you discover graffiti in the park, please let us know. Otherwise, make memories, take pictures, but leave no visible trace of your visit. More on the impacts of graffiti. Learn how to be a good visitor to archeological sites.
Unmanned Aircraft (Drones)
You may not use any unmanned aircraft, like drones, in the park. The use of unmanned aircraft is prohibited to protect public safety, minimize visitor-use conflicts, and prevent unacceptable impacts to scenic values, natural soundscapes, and wildlife. Superintendent's determination
Walking on Arches
Climbing, scrambling, walking or standing upon, or rapelling off any named or unnamed arch with an opening greater than three feet is prohibited in the park. This is to promote visitor safety and the opportunity to view natural features undisturbed. Balanced Rock is also closed to climbing. Read the superintendent's determination. Learn more about rock climbing.