Top stops for families in Arches National Park

Posted By Allison on Apr 17, 2012


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Hello!

Thinking about Arches? It’s one of my favorite national parks! It’s just a few hours from home, so we have been there with our kids, grandparents, and friends many times.

On one President’s Day weekend in Moab, Utah, we only had half a day to spend in Arches National Park, so we focused on our favorite places and saved the rest for another time. Our first stop was the visitor’s center where we got the kids information on the free Junior Ranger Program. Our children have collected at least a dozen Junior Ranger badges from national and state parks and this is a fun way to teach kids about the park, nature and being responsible with both.

There are several great short hikes for families in Arches. Here are our favorites.

Top spots for families in Arches National Park, Utah | tipsforfamilytrips.com | family hikes | Delicate Arch | spring break | fall break

Delicate Arch

Our next stop was the Delicate Arch hike.  This hike is about three miles round trip, uphill most of the way there and downhill most of the way back. There is not much shade along the way and that’s what great about hiking it in February, because the temperature is just right for hiking on sun-soaked red rock with a jacket or sweatshirt that can be peeled off when you get warm.

There are not many scary ledges or technical sections along the way, so Delicate Arch is a good hike for families.  However, at the arch itself, there are some big, unfenced drops.  My kids were fine and I grabbed their hands when I was anxious, but I recently spoke with a friend who took five young children on this hike and the risks worried her so much that she couldn’t enjoy it. You make the call for your family.

This was the first time my mom had hiked to Delicate Arch. The hike was strenuous for her – and me too – but she said that no photo can compare to walking around the bend and seeing the iconic arch in person. I agree completely.

The Windows

The Delicate Arch hike took most of our time, so we made just one more stop before calling it a day.  We drove to the Windows area and stopped at Double Arch.  Did you see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? These arches are one of the locations at the beginning of the film. You can see these arches clearly form the parking area and it’s a short walk. Climbing around underneath is an irresistible adventure for kids – and many adults too!

Top spots for families in Arches National Park, Utah | tipsforfamilytrips.com | family hikes | Delicate Arch | spring break | fall break

 

Sand Dune Arch

Another short hike that is great for kids is the Sand Dune Arch hike.  It is a third mile one way and is all flat on fine orange sand. The last time we did this hike, we brought sand toys and let the kids dig deep holes in the sand alongside the trail. It’s a fun place to stop and play!

Arches is great for everyone, whether you just want to spend an hour driving through or spend a full day or more exploring the remote corners of the wilderness on foot. We are always looking forward to our next trip to Arches National Park.

Good to Know

Where: Just outside of Moab, Utah on Highway 191

When: Year-round. Summers can be very warm. Visit in spring or fall for the best weather. We love visiting in winter! It’s often cool but sunny, with few crowds and low prices.

How Much: $25 per vehicle for 7 days

How Long: A few hours to a few days. You can easily do these three activities on the same day.

Amenities: visitor center, gift shop, bathrooms (mostly primitive), picnic areas, camping

Website: www.nps.gov/arch

How else can we help?

Need a hotel recommendation? We usually stay at Aarchway Inn, but there are lots of good options. Check rates and read reviews at TripAdvisor or Booking.com.

Need hiking boots or other outdoor gear? Look for deals at REI Outlet or Sierra Trading Post.

Want to save money on your trip? Learn about our FREE email deals club HERE.

 

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Allison
Hi there! I am the founder of Tips for Family Trips. I am a married mom of two children, ages 10 and 12, living near Salt Lake City, Utah. We took our first child on a two-week road trip when she was four weeks old and we have been traveling as a family ever since. We love to get out of the house to see and do fun things, both far away and in our own neighborhood.

3 Comments

  1. LOVE Arches National Park! Delicate Arch is one of my favorite hikes, too. For those who aren’t ready to do the full hike, there is another “back way” to see the arch that isn’t too difficult. You won’t get as close, but it’s still spectacular. Nice photos!

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    • Yep, it’s true. There is a Delicate Arch viewpoint just a short drive from the trailhead. It is well marked and easy to find. Thanks, Andi!

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  2. Arches National Park is a fond memory for me having gone there as a kid with my family. Great that you’re taking your kids there now. Wonderful photos.

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