Arches National Park located in Moab, Utah is one of my family’s favorite travel destinations. Arches is home to one of the most unique landscapes on Earth that includes more than 2,000 natural stone arches and other amazing rock formations. You almost feel like you are on another planet when you visit this place! The natural red sandstone rock creates a true wonderland that your family must go and see for yourselves.
The park is open year round, 24 hours a day and the entrance fee is $10 per vehicle. The Visitors Center is open every day except Christmas Day. We love that you can drive your own vehicle into the park and spend as much time as you want exploring the area. There are campgrounds located inside Arches National Park, however we usually stay in the nearby town of Moab. Request a free Moab travel guide that contains a directory to lodges, campgrounds, outfitters, services and attractions. One thing I can guarantee you is that if you love the outdoors, you will never get bored in Moab.
The Delicate Arch Hike
Many of the beautiful Arches rock formations can be seen from car accessible scenic viewpoints. There are also several hiking trails that are an Easy level of difficulty. My family’s favorite Arches hike is the Moderate level hike to the Delicate Arch, a 65-foot arch that is one of the most recognizable arches because it is featured on Utah’s license plate.
This is a 3.2 mile long round trip hike with a 480 foot elevation change. The hike is very popular and may be crowded during peak season weekends and holidays. Spring and fall are the best time to hike this trail because the mid-summer temperatures can be super hot!
Can a family with young children do this hike? Yes, it is possible. We took our 11-month-old baby, 2-year-old, 4-year-old and 8-year-old on the Delicate Arch hike successfully. Our youngest rode in a baby hiking backpack the entire way. Our 2-year-old was a super trooper and actually out-hiked his older brothers most of the way, although I did carry him on my shoulders on the steeper parts.
What To Bring:
- Water bottles(at least 1 quart of water per person)
- Sunscreen – There is NO SHADE along this trail. You may even want to bring a hat.
- Comfortable Shoes for hiking
About the hike: Starting Point: Wolfe Ranch parking lot. The first part of the hike is a trail you will have no problem staying on for about half a mile. Then the trail switches to “slick rock,” which is rock that is naturally smooth. (It’s not slippery unless it is wet.) Follow the rock cairns for the next part of the trail that gradually increases in elevation. The last 200 yards of the trail has a rock cliff on the left side and a sheer rock wall to your right. The trail is about 3 feet wide here, so you don’t feel too unsafe. There are amazing desert views all along the trail, but you don’t get a view of the Delicate Arch until the very end.
Heading up the Slick Rock part of the Delicate Arch Hike
The last 200 yards has a rock cliff on one side and a sheer rock wall on the other. A little scary – watch the kids on this part!
We made it!!!
Be sure to take pictures once you get there! You can hike right up to and underneath the arch for a stunning photo opp. Once you are ready to leave, follow the trail back the way you came. The way out seems easier since it’s all downhill.
Have you ever visited Arches National Park? Feel free to leave a comment and share your suggestions for a great family trip.
Check out our day trip to see the Great Salt Lake, Utah at Antelope Island State Park.
We also had a really fun family summer vacation at Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Denise Taylor-Dennis says
How fun sounds like a great place for a family outing. The pictures are beautiful, I would love to go there.
Darlene Ysaguirre says
What a great family outing for all ages i have an 10 month old and 2 year old and 6 year old so if you can brave the trails and be successful im sure i can give it a try lol. Its also great that the park is open 24hrs lets the kids go at their own pace.
Robin O says
I adore Edward Abbey and regard his book, Desert Solitaire, as one of the most influential on me. Ever since I read it back in college I have wanted to visit Arches National Park. How wonderful that you were able to take your family! I hope to do the same someday.
Jo-Ann Brightman says
Many, many years ago I remeber how impressed I was by the red sandstone and geological formations of several of the national Parks. I wish that I could go and visit the Arches and others agina.
Tammy S says
I have never been there. It looks amazing. I would love to take the kids there an spend a few days searching and discovering all the beautiful sites.
Julie Wood says
This is such a pretty place to take a hike. You sure have a nice cute bunch of kids. It looked like a really nice day to go hiking with the family! I would love to visit this place someday! That is not a bad price at $10 dollars a vehicle.
I’m so glad I found this online. We’re going here in April with our three daughters (all three are pretty experienced hikers for their ages). A friend of mine had me convinced this hike was unsafe. Thanks to seeing the pictures from your hike I realized we’ll be fine.
Hi Caroline, You will have such a great time at Arches. April is a very nice time of year to visit and hike. I’m glad my photos helped you decide to go. The hike to Delicate Arch is one of my favorites! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment to let me know. I think as long as you stick together with the girls and are careful on the narrower parts of the trail, you’ll all be able to make the hike safely. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. Have a wonderful trip! –Nicole