Andrew and I have set out on a journey to visit every state together. We are trying to do a meaningful adventure in every state, not just step foot in an airport or drive through without stopping. I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to see Utah than to visit Arches National Park and hike to the top of the Delicate Arch. You may recognize this iconic arch as it is seen on Utah’s license plates and the state’s sign that welcomes you.
Arches National Park is located near Moab, Utah and is rather difficult to visit unless you are driving through. The closest major airport is Salt Lake City, which is another 3 1/2 hour drive.
We flew into Denver on a Friday afternoon and drove across I-70 to stay with my sister in Parachute, CO. From Parachute, Arches National Park was a 2 1/2 hour drive. I would recommend staying in Grand Junction which would take your drive time to a little under two hours to the park.
We heeded the advice of many and decided to get an early start to our day at 5:30 AM. We arrived at Arches a little before 8 and headed straight to Wolfe Ranch parking lot to hike Delicate Arch. Even on a Saturday the weekend before Memorial Day, we were able to easily find a parking spot before the crowds arrived.
The hike itself says it is moderate, but we did not find it to be that bad. It took us about 30 minutes to the top and if you don’t linger too long for pictures, you can be back to the parking lot in under an hour. We had great weather, and if there is rain or icy conditions the slick rock could be dangerous so be careful and take your time.
After our hike, we drove back down the road to Balanced Rock, turned left and headed to the Windows section. We had a more difficult time find a parking spot by 10 AM, but somehow managed. In the windows section, you can walk around a path up close to several different arches.
Pictures don’t quite do it justice, the arch formations are absolutely breathtaking. Most definitely worth the drive. Utah you are beautiful and I have no doubt we will be back to see more!