Nov 6, 2012

Arches National Park

When we think of Arches NP, what comes to mind are the 2000 + rock formations and the spectacular night sky. A trip to Southern Utah? Make sure you include Arches NP on your itinerary.  It is a 5 1\2 drive from Bryce Canyon NP. Nearby places to include are the Canyonlands NP.  For ideas on how to plan your drive, here is a map that you can refer to.

If you have two days in Arches, here is what we recommend:

We spent 1 1\2 days here and decided to spend the first evening/night out at the park to take in the sunset and view the spectacular night sky (yes you can see the Milky Way on a dark and clear night!).

Many photographers and National park enthusiasts, hike to Delicate Arch earlier in the evening to photograph the sunset and stay on to photograph the night sky. The picture below was taken around 11.30 -12:00 midnight. The best time to get milky way pictures is recommended around 2-3 AM. You would get the milky way center vertically aligned with the earth as governed by the earths rotation. But note it can be eerie, and lonely out there especially if you are by yourself. The Milky Way is one of the greatest things to see in nature. Its spectacular and our amateur attempt to capture it (below) doesn't do sufficient  justice to it. Imagine being able to see millions of stars in the galaxy and the galactic center with your naked eyes (something you can only wish for from our cities)!

Night Sky @ Arches
The Milky way in the backdrop of Balanced Rock ( Do not miss the shooting star !)

Arches is a photographer's favorite place. Some beautiful and common places to photograph are mentioned on the National park service website. Here are some of the not to miss points as well as easily accessible if you are travelling with small children:

1. Courthouse Towers Viewpoint
2. The Three Gossips
3. Balanced Rock
4. The Windows Section: North & South Windows, Turret Arch:

Parking is usually difficult in summer. It is recommended to complete this early in the morning or late in the evening as it gets very hot. There is no shade and taking water is recommended. Restrooms are available. 
5. Delicate Arch
A 3 mile round trip hike up is recommended. If you are travelling with smaller kids, this hike up is not stroller accessible. There is an alternative viewpoint near the parking lot of Delicate Arch which is also stroller inaccessible. It has some steep steps to climb. Early morning or late evening hike up here is recommended. 

For details on more hikes check out this link. 

Here are some pictures of the above view-points we took at Arches:

Arches Courthouse
Courthouse Viewpoint

Arches road
Arches road once on the top

Baanced Rock
Balanced Rock
Arches Windows
Windows Section

Windows entrance @ Arches
Entrance to the Windows!
Arches NP

The Windows @ Arches

Delicate Arch ( from viewpoint )
View of Delicate Arch from the viewpoint
What do you think of Arches? Would this location be your next visit?


  1. Nice photos! Thank you for this post.Arches National Park was really beautiful. I am more than happy to share with you several images which I have captured from this beautiful place.

    Here are the links:

    1. Thanks Tyra..Viewed your pictures too.. They are amazing.. Very well captured. Thanks for visiting our blog!!