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When you visit Arches in the busy season, you can expect long lines, busy parking, and delays. Rangers at Arches tell you what to expect and ways to avoid the crowds.
To avoid long lines at the entrance gate and parking congestion, plan to arrive early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Late afternoon and evening visits can be the most enjoyable. The lighting is better for photography and viewing the park features, temperatures are cooler, and the parking areas and trails are less crowded.
More than 1.5 million visitors come to Arches National Park each year, and that number is growing. Between March and October, you can expect limited parking at all destinations. Parking at popular trailheads are usually full most of the day.
What time of day is busiest?
At the entrance station
During high visitation, there may be significant delays entering the park. You may experience long waits at the entrance station, usually between 9 am and 2 pm. Long lines may continue into the afternoon. At peak visitation, your wait can last up to an hour.
We recommend entering the park before 9 am or after 2 pm to avoid the longest lines. If you enter the park between 9 am and 2 pm, you should prepare for a wait in the car. Use the restrooms before waiting in line; there are no restrooms along the entrance road.
If the entrance road is backed up, you may not stop on the highway or near the entrance sign to wait. Come back at another time, or consider visiting other nearby attractions
You can check traffic conditions in the area around Moab and Arches National Park at the Utah Department of Transportation Traffic Site.
Temporary entry delays
If the park becomes full, staff may delay vehicles from entering the park until space opens to accommodate more people and vehicles. During these temporary delays, vehicles may not park near the entrance sign or anywhere along the road to wait. Consider visiting other nearby attractions.
Inside the park
Once inside the park, you can expect increased travel times and congestion along the scenic drive. Parking lots may be full for much of the day. Park rangers may be working in parking lots to help you find your way. Please follow their instructions.
What time of year is busiest?
From March through October, visitation at Arches is extremely high. These holidays and weekends are especially busy:
Where are the crowds?
When parking lots are full, please remember:
If you do find a parking spot and go for a hike, expect to see a lot of other people on the trail. It is not uncommon for hundreds of people to visit Delicate Arch at sunset.
How can I avoid the crowds?
Last updated: May 29, 2020