Traffic & Travel Tips

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Even during the Timed Entry Pilot Program (April–October, 7am–4pm), visitors may still encounter long lines at the entrance booth and busy parking lots. Hikers wisely avoiding summer heat may fill up trailhead parking lots before 8 am. Outside of the Timed Entry Pilot Program hours/months, full parking lots may cause the park to temporarily restrict access until congestion lessens. Periods of restricted access can last 3-5 hours.

Plan ahead. Use the restroom prior to getting in line, and 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. Plan alternative options for places to visit if the park is restricting access when you arrive.


Current Conditions


Content Notice

The website content below may not reflect park conditions and operations during the Timed Entry Pilot Program (April through October, 7am to 4pm), yet may become accurate again at the program's end. We are keeping the content here for reference by people planning visits at other times of year.

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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.


Early morning and evening visits provide their own benefits. The lighting is better for photography and viewing the park features, temperatures are cooler, and the parking areas and trails may be less crowded.

More than 1.5 million visitors come to Arches National Park each year, and that number is growing. During Arches' busy season (March through October), you may experience limited parking at all destinations in the park.


What are the best times to arrive?

The park is open 24 hours a day. Late afternoon and evening hours offer beautiful sunsets and reduced crowding, and naturally dark night skies sparkle overhead. During summer months, many trailhead parking lots fill by 7:30 am.

Temporary entry delays

Once parking lots fill up, staff may delay vehicles from entering the park until space opens to accommodate more people and vehicles. During these temporary delays (which may last three to five hours), vehicles may not park near the entrance sign or anywhere along the road to wait. Consider visiting other nearby attractions.

Lines at the entrance station

As soon as the park reopens from a temporary restrictions, long lines form on the entrance road and may continue into the afternoon. If the line backs up to the park entrance sign, your wait can last up to an hour. 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.

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 regularly work 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 2022: April 10-23)
  • Memorial Day weekend (leading to the last Monday in May)
  • Labor Day weekend (leading to the first Monday in September)
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: August 2, 2023

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PO Box 907
Moab, UT 84532


435 719-2299

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