GDRV on the Road: Arches National Park is a gorgeous place to visit

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With more than 70,000 acres, Utah's Arches National Park is a destination every American should see.

With scenic arches made of sandstone and balanced rock that seems to defy the laws of gravity, Mother Nature did a fabulous job carving out this national park. Arches originally started as a national monument in 1929 before becoming a national park in 1971. The park is at quite the altitude with some parts more than 5,000 feet above sea level.

Our Grand Design marketing team spent two days at Arches National Park for a video and photo shoot with the Transcend 'Xplor'. Along the way, they captured this video review of some of the top places to visit in the park.

How to get started

  • Watch our video above for an overview of some of the top places to visit at Arches.
  • check the weather -- storms and flash floods can roll in quickly and be powerful and sudden. 
  • Check out the visitor center for some helpful tips & be sure to pick up a map.
  • Always bring plenty of water to walk around with and stay hydrated.
  • You'll want to have food & snacks with you.
  • Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. If you are planning to get out and explore you will be on foot quite a bit.

How Arches are formed

The Arches are made from Entrada Sandstone. That rock was deposited in these areas more than 150 million years ago as sand. Over time, it was buried by new layers, hardened into rock and shaped by the powerful forces of erosion.

Some of the top spots to visit

Delicate Arch: This is one of the most popular and iconic spot in the entire park. Because it is considered 'wilderness', the restrictions for commercial filming are strong so that is why in our video, you will not see Delicate Arch. With that said, you as a visitor can explore Delicate Arch, take photos & videos and see first-hand what makes it so popular.

Windows Area: This was one of our first stops and it's a beautiful one. The North Window, South Window and Turret Arch are all on this trail although the North Window is the only one you will see immediately from the parking lot. The walk to the North Window is very easy and if you are able to make the simple climb up, it's an amazing picture location. As you turn to face the camera for your picture, you will see the Turret Arch for the first time. As you walk around the path, you will then see the South Window. Because you can't see the South Window from the parking lot, you will be surprised by how close it is to the North Window once you make that turn. 

North Window
North Window

Double Arch: Double Arch is just a short walk away from the entrance of the windows area, allowing you to see multiple locations in one stop. Double Arch was our favorite spot to visit. The largest opening spans 144 feet, which is the 3rd largest in the park. Its height is 112 feet and the views are spectacular here. There is more climbing involved, but a beginner can still climb to the top if they choose. After all, I was able to do it! Also, near the double arch is an area where they filmed the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. At the beginning of the movie, River Phoenix's character playing young Indiana Jones slides down the rock in this area. It's a pretty cool visual to see how he did this on his own with no stunt man. By the way... there is no actual cave here like in the movie! That was Hollywood magic. Several films were made in this area.

Double Arch

Balanced Rock: Mother Nature didn't just build Arches in this national park. Balanced Rock is another beauty. This two-story 3,500-ton rock sits perfectly balanced on top of mudstone. It's kind of crazy to see. When a recent earthquake occurred in the area, park officials immediately went to check out Balanced Rock to see if it fell but it was doing just fine.

Balanced Rock

Park Avenue: If you are looking for a good walk, this is one of the best spots. It's a hike along a canyon floor, offering close-up views of a number of beauties including balanced rocks, fins and monoliths.

Other popular spots you can visit that we didn't get to: Devils Garden, Landscape Arch, Petrified Dunes and Wall Arch.

You can spend quite a few days at Arches National Park on its own but make room to visit the Moab area as well. There are ton of great activities outside of Arches as well.

Grand Design RV is proud to partner with the National Park Foundation. Learn more about the National Park Foundation by clicking here.