At first glance Arches National Park looks like it is full of large-scale sand sculptures that have hardened under the desert sun. But these amazing sculptures aren’t the work of artists, but of nature whose wind and water over the ages have sculpted Utah sandstone into more than 2,000 natural arches—the largest collection on earth.
Some arches have whimsical shapes, leading to names such as Parade of Elephants, Sheep Rock and the Garden of Eden. Others seem to defy gravity, with balanced rocks, spires and pinnacles jutting into the air. And perhaps most amazing of all is the Delicate Arch, which will take your breath away with its size and grandeur.
You can view hundreds of the arches close-up on a hike or from a distance in an RV or car.
Hiking trails are varied. Some arches can be approached with a 10-minute leisurely stroll suitable for all ages; others more challenging may require three – to five-hour excursions across narrow ledges, hiking on rocky surfaces and scrambling on slick rock.
An 18-mile paved scenic drive allows you to sightsee from the comfort of your RV, taking you to Devils Garden Campground, which is open year-round. There are no showers, hookups, or RV dump station, but the facilities include potable water, picnic tables, toilets and grills, though you need to bring your own wood or charcoal for the grills. With 50 sites available, some can accommodate RVs up to 30 feet in length and up to 10 people. Reservations must be made at least four days in advance for stays during March through October. It’s a great place to meet your friends and family. The campground is open on a self-serve basis the rest of the year.
Over 1 million people visit Arches National Park every year, and although traffic can be congested during peak vacation times such as Easter week and the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, being patient is worth the effort. The entrance to Arches National Park is five miles north of Moab on U.S. 191. For information on the park, visit nps.gov/Arches. For camping reservations, visit recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. And for information on all attractions in the Moab area, visit discovermoab.com
Nikki is a writer and editor for Do It Yourself RV, RV LIFE, and Camper Report. She is based on the Oregon Coast and has traveled all over the Pacific Northwest.