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The Absolute Best Time to Visit Arches National Park in 2024

The Absolute Best Time to Visit Arches National Park in 2024

What's the best time to visit Arches National Park?

The best times to visit Arches National Park are spring (April-May) and early fall (September-October), when mild weather supports outdoor adventures without the summer heat or winter chill. These seasons offer ideal conditions for park activities, ranger-led programs, and exploring nearby Moab’s festivals. Despite occasional rain in fall, the climate is perfect for enjoying the park’s natural beauty and outdoor activities in the surrounding areas.

Arches National Park in Utah is one of the most famous national parks in the United States thanks to its unique eroded desert geography. The main attraction in Arches National Park is Delicate Arch, a stunning structure that seems impossible to balance.

The park is full of similar red rock arches and other formations, formed by erosion through thousands of years. Bring your hiking boots or your mountain bike and explore this unique landscape or try out other adventure activities such as river rafting.

The weather determines the best time to visit Arches since you’ll be spending all of your time outdoors. Keep reading to find out the best season to visit, when you can save money, and other tips.

Overall Best Time to Visit Arches National Park

Woman in hiking shorts wearing a backpack pictured holding her arms out toward either side of the canyon during the best time to visit Arches National Park


The best time to visit Arches National Park is in the spring (April-May) and early fall (September-October), when the weather is at its best for exploring.

The park has a desert climate, which means that it has fairly extreme weather. Winters can get chilly, especially at night, while summers are sweltering and dangerously hot. Visiting during the transitional seasons of spring and fall gives you the best weather.

While it’s warm enough to walk around, it’s not so hot that you can’t walk around. According to the National Park Service, average high temperatures in April are 71 degrees, and 82 degrees in May.

Temperatures at night are much chillier, but you won’t experience that if you’re not camping overnight. Fall has similarly mild temperatures. September is still hot, with average high temperatures of 88 degrees, but is a welcome cool-down after July and August.

October brings even more refreshment from the heat, with average high temperatures of 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Fall is one of the rainier seasons, but the occasional shower shouldn’t disrupt your hiking plans too much.

This weather is perfect for outdoor activities such as:

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Backpacking
  • Rafting

You can go on these adventures on your own or go on a ranger-led program. Park rangers host various programs such as guided walks, evening programs, and Fiery Furnace hikes. These programs are only offered from April to the early fall.

Spring and fall are also great times to explore some attractions close to Arche. The nearby city of Moab has plenty of restaurants and a cute downtown, and it hosts a lot of festivals catering to outdoor lover and adventurers.

Popular spring and summer events include:

Cheapest Time to Visit Arches National Park

Rain cloud looming over the butte, as seen from the view of a driver on a road during the cheapest time to visit Arches National Park

Andy Konieczny/Shutterstock

The cheapest time to visit Arches National Park is during the winter low season, from November to March. In general, visiting this part of Utah is less expensive during the winter, which means you will save on overall travel costs.

The most affordable way to get to Arches from out of state is to fly into Salt Lake City International Airport and then rent a car. Salt Lake City is not the closest airport to Arches, but it’s the closest big airport, and bigger airports tend to have lower-cost flights.

This airport has the least expensive flights in January, and you can also find good deals in late fall, from late October to November.

If you’d like to stay in nearby Moab, the most affordable time to stay is in the winter (November-March). By early November, most hotels and vacation rentals have dropped their prices from the peak season highs.

You can save 20-35% on your accommodation per night. By visiting in the winter, you’ll even save some money on your ticket. The entrance fee per car is $30.

By visiting during the off-season, you’ll be saving $2, which is the timed-entry reservation fee for popular times. Meanwhile, camping fees are the same all year round, $25 for an individual site.

Least Busy Time to Visit Arches National Park

Sand dune in with nobody around it pictured on a blue sky day with a few clouds in the sky during the least busy time to visit Arches National Park

Martina Birnbaum/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Arches National Park is during the winter, from November to March, whenever you don’t need a reservation.

It’s is so popular with visitors that the National Park Service had to create a timed reservation system for the park’s peak season, from April to October. Visitors reserve their time slots a few months in advance.

The goal is to limit crowding in the park, long lines at entrances, and overcrowded parking lots. The months that fall outside of the reservation system don’t have as many visitors, so there wasn’t a need to implement a visitor management system.

Visiting from November to March allows you to escape the worst of the crowds and the hassle of planning your trip so far in advance.

Winter can get cold, even if this is the desert. At night, temperatures are as low as 22-23 degrees Fahrenheit. During the day, they are much warmer, about 44 degrees Fahrenheit in January.

It is still warm enough to go on a day hike if you bundle up. There are plenty of benefits to visiting in the winter, besides getting the trails all to yourself. The red arches look even more beautiful when they are covered in a dusting of snow.

Although there are fewer ranger-led activities planned, visitor centers are still open. Most hiking trails are passable as well, although you may want to get trekking poles and traction devices to avoid slipping, according to a recommendation from the National Park Service.

Worst Time to Visit Arches National Park

Tons of people crowding in Arches National Park during peak season, the worst time to visit


The worst time to visit Arches National Park is during the height of summer, from June to August, when weather conditions are unpleasant, and the crowds make the visitor experience even worse.

The park is located in the desert of the Colorado Plateau, which has the typical desert climate of very hot summers. The average high temperature in July is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, with 16 days that are even hotter than that.

These conditions make hiking very unpleasant, and downright dangerous. Getting sweaty in your hiking outfit is the least of your worries when the sun is this hot, as you can easily succumb to dehydration and heat stroke.

Make sure that you bring several gallons of water to the park as consequences for not hydrating properly can be severe. If you want to visit in the summer, know that you won’t be alone.

Even with the reservation system, the park sees lots of visitors in June, July, and August. Expect snarling lines at entrance points, full parking lots, and sometimes entry delays of up to five hours as park authorities try to manage crowds.

There are ways to try and manage your experience even if you’re coming during the heat of summer. Visit early in the day and aim to park your car by 7:30 A.M. to avoid the worst of the crowds.

As the timed entry system gets into swing, it can limit the worst of summer’s excesses. However, if you can avoid visiting during this season, do so.

Arches National Park by Month: Climate & Activities

Giant cliff with a crater in the middle for a piece on the overall best time to go to Arches National Park

Moab, Utah, USA 10 19 2021 Crowds gather at Delicate Arch in Arches National Park to watch and photograph the sunrise/Photoguy1057/Shutterstock

Still unsure about the best time to visit Arches National Park? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:


January in Arches National Park offers cold winter weather, with temperatures ranging from -6 to 7°C (21-45°F). This month is ideal for experiencing the park’s iconic arches with fewer crowds, enjoying photography with the snow-capped red rocks, and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in nearby areas.


February continues with cold and possibly snowy conditions, perfect for quiet hikes to see the delicate arches and spires, stargazing in the clear, crisp night skies, and visiting the visitor center for educational exhibits.


As spring approaches, temperatures in Arches National Park range from 0 to 16°C (32-61°F). This month is great for exploring the park’s many trails, such as the Windows Loop and Park Avenue, and enjoying the blooming desert wildflowers.


April brings milder weather, with temperatures around 5 to 21°C (41-70°F). Enjoy hiking to popular sites like Delicate Arch and Landscape Arch, and witness the stunning desert landscape in full spring bloom.


May sees warmer temperatures from 10 to 27°C (50-81°F). It’s an excellent time for longer hikes in the Devils Garden area, enjoying scenic drives through the park, and participating in ranger-led programs.


June brings hot, dry weather, with temperatures between 16 to 33°C (61-91°F). Early morning or late evening hikes are best to avoid the heat, and stargazing opportunities abound in the park’s dark skies.


July is very hot in the park, with temperatures from 20 to 38°C (68-100°F). Morning is the best time to explore, with popular hikes like the Fiery Furnace hike (permit required) and visiting the Double Arch.


August continues with hot weather, offering temperatures from 20 to 36°C (68-97°F). Enjoy early morning walks to see the arches, cool off in the nearby Colorado River, and experience the unique beauty of the desert under a full moon.


As fall begins, temperatures in Arches range from 15 to 31°C (59-88°F). September is perfect for hiking and rock climbing, experiencing the park’s dramatic sunsets, and enjoying the cooler evenings.


October sees cooler temperatures from 8 to 22°C (46-72°F). The softer autumn light provides excellent photography conditions, and the cooler weather is ideal for longer hikes like the Devils Garden Primitive Loop.


Fall temperatures in November range from 0 to 15°C (32-59°F). This month is ideal for peaceful hikes, wildlife watching, and exploring the visitor center’s educational displays without the crowds.


Winter brings cooler temperatures ranging from -6 to 7°C (21-45°F). December offers a unique perspective of the park with fewer visitors, snow-covered arches, and a serene, quiet atmosphere perfect for reflection and photography.

Frequently Asked Questions

Hiking trail leading to delicate arch with amazing views with snow on the hill and rocks alongside the path

Nature’s Charm/Shutterstock

Here are a few additional questions people have asked about visiting Arches National Park:

When is the best time of year to go to Arches National Park?

The best time of year to visit Arches National Park for great weather is either in the spring (April-May) or in the fall (September-October). These seasons have the mildest weather.

How many days do you need in Arches National Park?

You need one or two days in Arches National Park. One day is enough to see the main landmarks but budget an extra day or two if you want to try the longer hikes.

How do you avoid crowds in Arches National Park?

Avoiding crowds at Arches National Park is all about timing. Visit in the winter, when there are far fewer visitors. If you’re visiting during peak visitor months, come very early in the morning.

When is the off-season for Arches National Park?

The off-season for Arches National Park is in the winter, from November to March. The temperatures are colder during this time, but you can avoid the worst of the crowds.

When is the busiest month for Arches National Park?

The busiest months for Arches National Park are the months between May and September. Many families take advantage of summer vacation to travel, which leads to crowds.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Arches National Park?

The best time to visit Arches National Park is in the spring or fall, when the weather isn’t too cold or too hot. This Park is one of the most popular in the United States, so consider visiting during the winter off-season to beat the worst of the crowds.

So, with so much to see and do and plenty of amazing times to visit, what are you waiting for — book your trip today and experience for yourself all that Arches National Park has to offer. Happy travels!