Is Arches National Park a good place to take kids? YES! Arches is a wonderful national park for kids and has many doable hikes for a young family. Read on and I will break down for you all you need to know when visiting Arches National Park with kids.
Getting to Arches National Park
The two closest airports are Grand Junction (109 miles away) and Salt Lake City (about 230 miles away). We flew into Grand Junction, rented a car, and then drove about 1 hour and 40 min to Moab. It was a very easy drive and there were even a few scenic stops we did along the way.
Where to Stay with Kids
We stayed at the Springhill Suites by Marriott, and it was AWESOME! It is SO close to Arches. It is just a five minute drive to the park. A few things we loved about this hotel–
Best Time to Visit with Kids
The best months temperature wise to visit are April-May and mid September-October. During these times the weather is about perfect. We visited during Memorial weekend and the weather was phenomenal. We wore sweatshirts and the temperatures were so comfortable to hike in.
Best Sights to See with Kids
Arches Visitor Center
We always love national park visitor centers. It is a great place to find a souvenir and do some interactive learning about the park. On a busy day at the park I would probably suggest spending most of your time at the visitor center towards the end of your day.
Park Avenue Viewpoint
This is the closest spot to the visitor center. It has stunning views. Depending on how busy the park is that day I may suggest visiting this viewpoint on your way out of the park. We visited this spot the first evening we arrived at Arches. We only had about a half hour until dark so it was a perfect opportunity to drive into the park quick and stop at this amazing viewpoint for a few minutes.
This can be seen from the main park road. It is a great little place to hike if there is available parking. It is only .3 miles round trip and you could even take a stroller on this one if you wanted!
The Windows Section
This area has the Windows Loop Trail, and on this 1 mile hike you can see the North and South Windows as well as Turret Arch. It is a very easy hike to do with kids! I definitely recommend it.
This is right next to the Windows section. The parking lot is even the same. This hike is just .5 miles round trip so another great one to do with the kids.
This is the arch that you probably picture when you think of Arches National Park. It is definitely the most iconic arch and considered a symbol of the state of Utah. Unfortunately you cannot see this arch from the main road. There are a couple of options of ways to see part of it. I would suggest stopping at the Upper Viewpoint which is about a .5 mile walk with stairs to see a view of it. The hike to the Delicate Arch is 3 miles round trip. I did this hike with my sister on our trip and left the kids at the hotel with my husband.
Sand Dune Arch
This is the kids’ favorite hike! It is about .3 miles each way. There is so much sand to hike through and play in. Basically it’s a beach in the middle of Arches National Park. The kids loved playing in the sand. Some people even brought sand toys. It is a super fun stop.
This is in the area called Devils Garden. This arch is the longest arch in North America. A 1.6 mile round trip hike will take you to this arch. This is another doable hike with kids.
These are the main stops in Arches National Park that we did and all of them were very doable with young kids. I love Arches National Park. It is definitely one of my favorite national parks and it is a great one to take the kids!
Top Tips for Visiting Arches National Park with Kids
- If you can, I would suggest planning on doing this park over about 3 days. This will allow you to go to the park in shorter bursts of time instead of cramming it into all one day. Also you can be more strategic with the crowds. You can come back in the evening and do a hike to a certain arch if the parking lot was too busy earlier in the day.
- If you have plenty of time and multiple days you can also avoid the crowds by driving past the most crowded parking lots and continuing on into the park especially if you arrive in the mornings. You can definitely be strategic about where you stop.
- This past year there was a timed entry advance reservation from the beginning of April to the beginning of October. I would suggest looking into this if you plan to go during this time.
- There are rock piles that you may see along many of the trails in the park that are placed there by park rangers to help mark the route. These rock piles are called cairns. The kids enjoy looking for them but make sure no one moves them or knocks them down.
- Scenic Drive is Arches National Park’s main 36 mile out and back paved road. If you only have a day in the park you could simply drive this road and stop a few minutes at each viewpoint. You can access all the best sights and trailheads from this road.
If you are thinking about taking a trip to Arches National Park with kids, I would tell you without a doubt that you SHOULD do it. I would suggest making a game plan for what sights you want to see and hikes you want to do. I would familiarize yourself with the park ahead of time by printing out an online map. This can help you make quicker decisions when you are in the park if you need to modify your game plan due to crowds and/or lack of parking.
If you only have one day to visit Arches, read my post Arches National Park in One Day for tips on how to best spend your day!
Besides Arches National Park, do you want to know more about what to do with kids in Moab? Read my post Things to do in Moab with Kids for some other awesome sights and attractions to visit on your trip.
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