Arches National Park with Kids – How best to visit

kids sitting in front of the delicate arch in arches national park

Arches National Park with Kids

  • Arches national Park pin

    Arches NP, How best to visit with kids

  • You’re planning a family trip to the most amazing Arches National Park in Moab, so I am sure you have plenty of questions!

    Where should I start? What should we visit? How hot will it be? How long should we visit the Arches National Park? How best to visit with kids?

    I have put together this detailed guide so you can find all your questions about Arches National Park with kids – How best to visit, right here in this blog post.

    Beautiful Arches National Park

The most important fact, I can assure you is, visiting Arches National Park with kids in just two days, is not enough! And this is my first advice, make sure you have at least 4 days.

We spent 8 days in Moab and there was not a single day where we were bored, or just had nothing to do. This place is amazing! Not only the Arches National Park, Moab in general has plenty of other great family attractions and places to see.

friends walking down the road in Arches Nation Park Utah

Arches National Park, Moab. A unique place

Arches National Park – what is it?

In simple words, it is a wonderland of red rocks and blue sky. Arches, towers, pinnacles, and balanced rocks make this park an endless playground and wonderful attraction. Over 2,000 arches have been cataloged in Arches National Park. Therefore  plenty to see for everyone.

Located in southeast Utah, five miles north of Moab, Arches National Park protects an amazing landscape that includes the largest proliferation of arches in the world.

picture of the inside

The Courthouse Towers – Arches National Park

Plan your trip to the Arches National Park with kids

 

  • map of the Arches National Park

    Arches National Park Map

  • One of America’s youngest but also most visited National Parks. In peak season – March until October- reality will hit you when you’re sitting in a traffic jam, and that is just to enter the park. Suddenly your dream destination becomes a nightmare.

    But STOP, it does not have to be like that, with a bit of planning ahead and utilising your time you can have the most amazing time in the Arches National Park with kids, like we had. And photos without anybody in your background will become a reality.

    Arches National Park with kids is best visited by hiking. This allows you to see more, get away from the cars and the kids will be able to run around freely.

    Click on Map to enlarge

Good to know before you visit

Make sure you have your admission to Arches National Park before arriving. Sometimes there is a line just for cars that already have the admission into the park. This avoids using the longer queue and the ticket is good for seven days. You can come and go any time with your seven-day pass. The price may change but when we visited it was US$ 30.- per car. If you visit several parks during your holiday you may want to get a yearly National Park pass. Check their website for more information on different passes and which NP’s are covered.

When to visit Arches National Park with kids

Choose your time wisely, if possible avoid peak holiday times and bank holiday weekends. If this is absolutely not possible due to your travel arrangements then TIME is your next most important factor.

If you have plenty of time you can choose your destination, enter the park early in the morning and head out again after a couple of hours and finish the day by the lake, or with a hike along the Colorado river. 

kids in the water at Kens Lake in Moab

Cooling down at Kens Lake in Moab, Utah

People who only have 2 days, have not got this luxury and will have to stay in the Arches National Park. Whether it is jammed pack with tourists or empty. The pressure to drive and stop at all the main attractions is high and when there is no parking at your chosen stop, frustration rises and the level of enjoyment drops.

We have not experienced the stress and frustration as we had plenty of time, but we have witnessed plenty of families where it was clear that they are on a tight time schedule, the kids are hot, crying, dad is fuming and mum is just about to lose her patience. Is this how you want to visit the Arches National Park? Nope.

We visited 1st week in June, and although I believe we were lucky, as the temperature was around 25 degrees C, and only a few tourists. Only at the end of our stay (USA holidays starting) the park filled up and the temperature was rising well above 30 degrees.

I would absolutely LOVE to visit Arches National Park during winter time or early spring. To see the contrast of the white snow and the red rocks must be just beautiful.

showing the double arch at arches National Park

Approaching Double Arch, Arches National Park

How to avoid the crowds in Arches National Park

  • PLAN; If you only have limited time, plan what you would really like to see, drive and hike. You may not be able to see it all, due to full parking places and congestion in the park.
  • TIMING; Enter the park very early or as late as possible. Light is better if you are a photographer and temperatures will be lower.
  • WEBCAMS; Before entering check the Arches National Park webcams. This can help you decide on whether you will enter now or wait.
  • ADAPT; Be prepared to change your plan. Instead of visiting the famous Delicate Arch, head over and walk to the Window. I am sure you also have an amazing time.
  • CAR POOLING; If you are a group, try to only go with one car as parking can be very limited.
  • TAKE TIME; Also take your time. Quite often even with a lot of people, you can be at an attraction and as time goes on you do find yourself suddenly alone. Even if it is only for 30 min or so. This is now your time to snap away all these amazing family photos and make the most out of it. It happened to us at Double Arch. We had the whole site for us and it was amazing.

skyline with arches, pinnacles and rocks at the arches national park

View to the Window in the far back at Arches National Park

Tips & suggestions at Arches National Park with kids

  • BUSY PLACES; These are the busy parking lots at most times in the Arches National Park:
    • Devils Garden
    • Delicate Arch
    • The Windows
  • CAMPERS & RV’s: If you have a large RV try to rent a smaller car. The parking is very, very limited for large vehicle and it will just bring you even more stress in finding a proper place during busy season.
  • GUIDED HIKE: If your kids are older and you’re up for an adventure you may want to hike the Fiery Furnace. This needs to be pre-booked well in advance as it sells out super quickly. A natural labyrinth of narrow passages between towering sandstone walls. You must partake in a guided tour or obtain a hiking permit at the visitor center.

hiking family standing in front of the window arch in arches National Park

our crew at the Windows, Arches NP, Moab


If you prefer a campsite, no worries Moab has plenty of campsites for you.

Accommodation within Arches National Park

Devils Garden Campground is the only designated accommodation within Arches National Park. Sites are often reserved months ahead, and the campground is normally full during peak season.


family standing under the Delicate Arch

Below the 16m high amazing Delicate Arch, Arches National Park

Attractions around Arches National Park

And another reason why you should slow travel and make sure to have plenty of time when visiting Arches National Park with kids is to ensure not to miss the nearby attractions.

No matter what brought you to Arches NP, you will be surprised how much more there is.

I will link to this guide some other of our blogs later on when I have finished writing them, but for now check out these nearby beauties which I highly recommend.

collection of different attractions around Moab

other attractions around the Arches NP. Dead Horse Point, Moabs Giants, Corona Arch



I hope that the information provided here will prove itself useful when planning Arches National Park with Kids

If I have left anything out, please ask your questions in the comments below so that other readers can join in the conversation and benefit from your queries also.

Thank you & Never Forget to Travel

Hi, my name is Corina, a mum of twins, a wife and founder of Packed Again – a Family Travel & Adventure Blog. We live in the most amazing mountain valley in Switzerland, the Valais.

It is outdoors where we feel the most connected and happy with each other.

The Blog will give you lots of information on Swiss Adventures and Beyond.

Never forget to travel!
Thank you Corina

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