Arches National Park Tours
4 days rafting & exploring in Canyonlands & Arches, including 3 nights camping & 2 nights lodging. Save $398/person when you book by December 31st! Learn more >>
Outdoor Adventures in Arches National Park
Imagine stepping into the rugged desert landscape and peering into the maze of colorful canyons. Walk among red, orange, salmon and tan-colored arches, spires, balanced rocks, fins and monoliths. Linger in the long light of late afternoon when time seems to stand still and colors deepen and shadows grow long.
Utah's Arches National Park showcases over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including the world-famous Delicate Arch, as well as a host of other bizarre rock formations preserved in pristine condition. In some areas, the forces of nature have exposed millions of years of geologic history.
Arches National Park is located approximately four hours by car from Salt Lake City, and is easily accessed from Moab in Southern Utah. At nearly 77,000 acres in size, Arches National Park offers a wide variety of hiking trails, from a five-minute walk to full day hikes. President Herbert Hoover originally set land aside in 1929, calling it Arches National Monument. It wasn't until the fall of 1969 that Richard Nixon signed a bill making Arches a National Park.
Hunter-gatherers migrated into the Arches area about 10,000 years ago at the end of the Ice Age. They created knives and weaponry from the rocks found in the region. Approximately 2,000 years ago the Puebloan and Fremont people began cultivating plants and settled in the area. They raised domesticated maize, beans, and squash, and lived in villages like those preserved at Mesa Verde National Park. As they were leaving, the Ute and Paiute arrived, meeting the first Europeans in 1776.
Wildlife, typically more active in mornings and late afternoons, often spotted in the park are: squirrels, packrats, chipmunks, porcupines, as well as desert cottontails and black-tailed jackrabbits. More elusive, but also located in the park are Mule deer, coyotes, bobcats and mountain lions.
Join O.A.R.S. on an Arches National Park vacation for our Utah Guest Ranch and Raft on the Colorado River. We spend the first half of the week rafting the rapids of Cataract Canyon, home to Utah's best whitewater rafting. After our Colorado River rafting experience, we enjoy a backcountry hiking tour through miles of terrain unseen by most Arches National Park visitors, and we observe some of the area's more famous landmarks, such as Delicate Arch and Balanced Rock.