Arches National Park, located in Utah, is renowned for its stunning natural beauty and unique geological formations. With over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, towering red rock cliffs, and breathtaking vistas, it’s no wonder that this park attracts millions of visitors each year. While hiking and exploring the park on foot is a popular activity, there’s another way to experience the beauty of Arches National Park – through scenic drives. In this guidebook, we will take you on a journey through some of the most spectacular scenic drives around Arches National Park, allowing you to soak in the awe-inspiring landscapes from the comfort of your car.
Arches Scenic Drive
The Arches Scenic Drive is a must-do for any visitor to Arches National Park. This 18-mile paved road takes you through the heart of the park, offering stunning views of the iconic Delicate Arch, Balanced Rock, and other famous arches. Along the way, you’ll also pass by towering sandstone fins, towering cliffs, and the mighty Colorado River. Be sure to stop at the various overlooks and viewpoints to capture the beauty of the park on camera.
Park Avenue is a scenic drive that takes you through a canyon-like landscape, with towering sandstone walls on either side. The drive is named after the famous New York City street, as the sandstone formations resemble skyscrapers. As you drive along this 1.9-mile road, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the red rock formations, including the iconic Courthouse Towers. This drive is particularly beautiful during sunrise and sunset when the rocks are bathed in golden light.
The Windows Section of Arches National Park is home to some of the largest and most impressive arches in the park. The scenic drive through this section takes you past famous arches like the North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. The road is paved and offers several pullouts where you can park your car and take short hikes to get closer to these magnificent natural wonders. Don’t forget your camera, as the views from this section are truly breathtaking.
For those looking for a longer and more adventurous scenic drive, Devil’s Garden is the perfect choice. This 18-mile unpaved road takes you deep into the heart of Arches National Park, where you’ll find a variety of stunning arches, including the Landscape Arch, which is one of the longest natural arches in the world. The drive can be challenging at times, with steep and narrow sections, but the reward is well worth it. Be sure to bring plenty of water, snacks, and a good map or GPS device, as there are few services in this remote area.
La Sal Mountain Loop Road
If you’re looking to escape the desert heat and explore a different landscape, the La Sal Mountain Loop Road is a great option. This scenic drive takes you through the beautiful La Sal Mountains, which offer a stark contrast to the red rock formations of Arches National Park. Along the way, you’ll pass through dense forests, alpine meadows, and picturesque mountain vistas. The road is paved and well-maintained, making it accessible to most vehicles. Be sure to stop at the various viewpoints and picnic areas to fully appreciate the beauty of this mountainous region.
Exploring Arches National Park through scenic drives is a fantastic way to experience the beauty and grandeur of this iconic park. Whether you choose to drive along the Arches Scenic Drive, explore the canyon-like landscape of Park Avenue, marvel at the impressive arches in the Windows Section, venture deep into Devil’s Garden, or escape to the cool mountain air of the La Sal Mountains, each scenic drive offers its own unique perspectives and breathtaking views. So, grab your car keys, pack your camera, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey through the stunning landscapes of Arches National Park.
Q: Are the scenic drives in Arches National Park suitable for RVs?
A: Most of the scenic drives in Arches National Park are suitable for RVs, except for Devil’s Garden, which is an unpaved road with steep and narrow sections. It is recommended to check the park’s website or contact the visitor center for the most up-to-date information on road conditions and RV restrictions.
Q: Can I hike to the arches along the scenic drives?
A: Yes, there are several short hikes and trails that lead to the arches along the scenic drives. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear, carry plenty of water, and follow all safety guidelines and trail markers.
Q: Are there any entrance fees for the scenic drives in Arches National Park?
A: Yes, there is an entrance fee to enter Arches National Park. The fee is per vehicle and is valid for seven consecutive days. For the most up-to-date information on entrance fees, visit the park’s website or contact the visitor center.
Q: Can I camp along the scenic drives in Arches National Park?
A: Camping is not allowed along the scenic drives in Arches National Park. However, there are several campgrounds within the park where you can spend the night. It is recommended to make reservations in advance, especially during peak seasons.