Traffic & Travel Tips

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Visitors should expect long wait times to enter the park during peak visitation, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Plan ahead. Use the restroom prior to entering the park, have snacks and water on hand. Ensure you have a full tank of gas prior to your arrival, as there are no opportunities to get gas inside the park.

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When you visit Arches in the busy season, you can expect long lines, busy parking, and delays. Rangers at Arches tell you what to expect and ways to avoid the crowds.


To avoid long lines at the entrance gate and parking congestion, plan to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Late afternoon and evening visits can be the most enjoyable. The lighting is better for photography and viewing the park features, temperatures are cooler, and the parking areas and trails are less crowded.

More than 1.5 million visitors come to Arches National Park each year, and that number is growing. Between March and October, you can expect limited parking at all destinations. Parking at popular trailheads are usually full most of the day.


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What time of day is busiest?

At the entrance station

During high visitation, there may be significant delays entering the park. You may experience long waits at the entrance station, usually between 9 am and 2 pm. Long lines may continue into the afternoon. At peak visitation, your wait can last up to an hour.

We recommend entering the park before 9 am or after 2 pm to avoid the longest lines. If you enter the park between 9 am and 2 pm, you should prepare for a wait in the car. Use the restrooms before waiting in line; there are no restrooms along the entrance road.

If the entrance road is backed up, you may not stop on the highway or near the entrance sign to wait. Come back at another time, or consider visiting other nearby attractions

You can check traffic conditions in the area around Moab and Arches National Park at the Utah Department of Transportation Traffic Site.

Temporary entry delays

If the park becomes full, staff may delay vehicles from entering the park until space opens to accommodate more people and vehicles. During these temporary delays, vehicles may not park near the entrance sign or anywhere along the road to wait. Consider visiting other nearby attractions.

Inside the park

Once inside the park, you can expect increased travel times and congestion along the scenic drive. Parking lots may be full for much of the day. Park rangers may be working in parking lots to help you find your way. Please follow their instructions.


What time of year is busiest?

From March through October, visitation at Arches is extremely high. These holidays and weekends are especially busy:

  • The weeks surrounding Easter (date varies, in 2020: April 5-19)
  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Labor Day (first Monday in September)
  • Utah Education Association break (dates vary, usually third weekend in October)
a graph shows visitation levels throughout the year. The line peaks at Memorial Day and Labor Day with high levels in between.
This chart shows the daily vehicle entrances into Arches National Park throughout the year. Times of heavy visitation include Easter week, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Utah Education Association (UEA) weekend.



Where are the crowds?

Parking lots at popular trailheads and viewpoints such as Devils Garden, Delicate Arch, and The Windows are usually full for much of the day.

When parking lots are full, please remember:

  • Park in designated areas only.
  • Do not drive off roads.
  • If a lot is full, do not wait for spots to open; move on, and try again later. More Places to Go
  • Never park on vegetation or in a manner that blocks traffic.
  • Don't block the flow of traffic by waiting for a parking spot.

If you do find a parking spot and go for a hike, expect to see a lot of other people on the trail. It is not uncommon for hundreds of people to visit Delicate Arch at sunset.


How can I avoid the crowds?

  • Avoid visiting on the holidays/weekends listed above.
  • To beat the crowds, try entering the park early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Temperatures are cooler and the light is better for photography.
  • Carpool if you can. Consider hiring a company to shuttle you to and from the park (visit to see what's available).
  • Parking for oversize vehicles (RVs, trailers) is extremely limited. Leave oversized vehicles in town, or in the visitor center parking lot.

Stay Informed


Last updated: October 18, 2020

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


(435) 719-2299

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