Arches National Park at rush hour

Stupidly I ignored my own advice and we headed up to Arches National Park when we arrived in Moab at lunchtime.  It was like a nightmarish cross between buying  a new kitchen in ikea  and trying to shop on Oxford street on Christmas Eve – a positively vile and overcrowded experience.  We gave up after an hour of bumper to bumper traffic, slow moving tourists and crowded carparks and made a plan to return in the morning at 6am

Instead, we drove up the Potash rd to hike to the spectacular Corona Arch!   Not too many hikers and a lovely walk.

Corona Arch
We diligently got up the next day at 5.50am, fuelled up on the free biscuits and gravy and cinnamon buns in the hotel and arrived in the park at the Windows viewpoint at 6.50am.  I was less than amused to see 40 cars and a tour bus with a breakfast buffet laid out already occupying much of the room in the carpark.  A quick stop to see Double Arch and we headed to the next stop….


Double Arch
We went next to Landscape Arch (the header photo) and managed to get in to see it before the 100 or so people behind us – quite lovely and as long as a football field

Skyline Arch
Finally, we climbed up to the delicate arch – obligatory tourist photo below.   There was a queue to get under the arch and take your photo…… hmmmmmmf! by the time we got back to the carpark it was overflowing with cars and there was a queue to wait for people leaving.    By this point I had had enough of other people, so we headed out of the park (around 10am) and were bemused by the one mile line of cars waiting to come through the visitors entrance

Delicate Arch
So, if your idea of a great national park experience is to drive (in a long queue) from viewpoint to viewpoint (waiting to get a carpark), getting out occasionally to walk a 500m loop to see something and then scuttling back to the car, then Arches is the perfect national park for you!   Honestly, while there are lovely things to see – I would not come again!

Additional notes
  • we stayed in Moab – as was with hubby, we stayed at the Holiday Inn.  However there is ample free BLM camping with nice sites up to the Potash Rd
  • Moab was the first good food we had had in a while – we loved the eggs benedict at the Jailhouse cafe, the two pigs and cow burgers at the Spoke, or even better the cheese burgers at Milts, the icecream at Crystals cakes and cones and the Moab ribbon pie at sweet cravings