4 Arches National Park Campgrounds & More (Southern Utah)

 4 Arches National Park Campgrounds & More (Southern Utah)

Arches National Park, as the name would imply, contains the largest concentration of natural arches and bridges in the world.

The park is home to over 2,000 of them, including the iconic Delicate Arch, the stunning Double Arch, and Landscape Arch– the fifth-longest arch in the world.

The park is relatively small compared to most national parks but is one of the most popular parks in Utah, so expect some crowds, especially in the summertime.

The entrance fee is $30 for the day if you didn’t pick up an America The Beautiful Pass (although you should be able to right at the entrance).

Arches is dramatic and a must-see place for RVers. Best yet, it is close to many other national and state parks in Utah.

A Few Tips

Traditionally busy weekends include the week surrounding Easter, Memorial Day (last Monday in May), Labor Day (first Monday in Sept), Utah Education Association break (Oct 17th-19th).

If you can, avoid these dates for your trip. 

Additionally, the early bird gets the worm so try to show up to the park earlier than later, there are usually long waits at the entrance between 8 am-12 pm (wait can last up to an hour).

Just down the road is the town of Moab, which is the main hub for people visiting the park.

If you’re planning on staying in the park be sure to grab fuel and water in Moab before you go in as it’s an hour drive from the campground.

Dogs are allowed in paved areas however they are not allowed on trails in the National Parks.

Things to Do at Arches National Park

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Photo by Stephen Walker on Unsplash

Arches National Park is forested with mixed stands of Utah juniper and pinyon pine. Flowering prickly pear cacti, yucca, and other desert wildflowers dot the landscape, offering vivid color to the surrounding red rock desert.

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Towering spires, fins, and balanced rocks complement the arches, creating a remarkable assortment of landforms in a relatively small area.

There are tons of great hiking trails in Arches, including the Broken Arch Trail, a scenic loop with a
trailhead conveniently located within the campground.

There are several levels of difficulty for trails so they offer something for everyone, from the easy 0.3-mile loop around Balanced Rock to the steep and strenuous 3-mile round-trip trail to Delicate Arch.

Visit the NPS website for all of the trails in Arches National Park

Here is the full map of Arches National Park.

 

4 Arches National Park Campgrounds to Explore

Remember, there are no services inside Arches National Park. The nearest place to get food, fuel, and supplies is Moab, which is about an hour drive from the campground so plan accordingly.

Outside of Arches in the greater Moab area, there are a plethora of RV Parks and Campgrounds. We’ll share three RV Parks and three boondocking spots here but know if those are full, there are many, many others.

Devil's Garden Campground

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NPS/Chris Wonderly

Devils Garden has 51 sites. The campground does not have dump stations, or electric, water, or sewer hookups. However, flush toilets and drinking water are provided, and campsites contain picnic tables and fire rings.

Season: Reservation only March 1st – Oct 31st
Can be reserved 6 months in advance. Between Nov 1st and Feb 28th, sites are first-come, first-served.

Rates: $25/night

Sand Flats Recreation Area

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Located on BLM land, the Sand Flats Recreation Area is a few miles East of Moab. This area is home to the Slickrock Bike Trail, a world-renowned mountain biking destination, and is a premier destination for 4×4 and backcountry motorcycle enthusiasts.

There are nearly 40 miles of off-highway vehicle trails to explore within the recreation area.

This site is rustic with 120 sites dotted around miles of road – if you don’t want neighbors you can definitely getaway. There are picnic tables, fire rings, vault toilets at each site however there are no showers, electricity, dump stations, or drinking water at these sites. Make sure to bring drinking water.

Know that campsites have limited shade and if you are planning on camping mid-May to mid-September, daytime temps can range from the mid-90s to 105 F.

Season: Open year-round

Rates: Group sites are $60/night. All other sites are first-come, first-served with a $15 camping use fee per vehicle. Annual and Senior passes are not accepted. There is a day-use fee ($5 per vehicle). Access passes are accepted.

Goose Island Campground

The Goose Island Campground offers spectacular views of the Colorado River and massive red rock cliffs. Individual sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Two reservable group sites, Goose Island Group Sites A and B, are available through this website

Typically fills in the morning from March-October due to its proximity to Moab, its shade in the summer, and beautiful scenery.

There are 18 sites here, all rustic so you’re boondocking. There are no showers, electricity, dump stations, or drinking water at these sites.

Season: Open year-round

Rates: $20/night all sites are first-come, first-served

King's Bottom Campground

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Located again right on the Colorado River, there are 11 sites here. All sites are rustic each site has a
picnic table and fire ring. There are no showers, electricity, dump stations, or drinking water at these sites.

Season: Open year-round

Rates: $20/night all sites are first-come, first-served

More Campgrounds & Boondocking Options

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There are a lot of RV campgrounds with hookups in the greater Moab area, here is a good complete list of RV campgrounds.

There are a lot of other BLM rustic campgrounds for boondocking in the greater Moab area, here is a good complete list of BLM campgrounds.
website: 

Lastly, here is a map shows several other campgrounds located on the Colorado River below Arches.

 

Have You Visited the Arches National Park?

We'd love to hear about your experience. Please share your stories and recommendations of Arches National Park in the comments below.

If you love state parks as much as Jennifer and I do, you should listen to RV Podcast #209: America's National Parks in Crisis to learn what we can do to help preserve our nation's treasures.

4 Arches National Park Campgrounds & More (Southern Utah) 12Southern Utah RV Adventure Guide

Arches National Park is just one gorgeous stop on our 7-Day tour of Southern Utah. If you'd like to save yourself a LOT of trouble, you can rely on our complete guide instead of doing the grunt work yourself.

We provide a suggested route, itinerary, links to multiple campgrounds and boondocking sites (even more than in this article!), and the best sights to see along the way!

The sheer size of the National Parks, the canyons, and the desert of Southern Utah is enchanting. The image of the red rocks that rise like towers jutting out of the ground will surely be etched in your memory for a lifetime.

If you’ve never been to Southern Utah, you need to go, at least once in your life.

Get My 7 Day Southern Utah Adventure Guide

4 Arches National Park Campgrounds & More (Southern Utah)

Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

2 Comments

  • We are boondockers, traveling simply in a Chevy cargo van. On our Great Western Road Trip last summer/fall, we were blessed to visit Arches, along with nearby Canyonlands, Zion, Capitol Reef, Grand Staircase, Bryce, and even Grand Canyon north rim. We do not plan in advance, and never use commercial campgrounds, so were pleasantly surprised to find that national park/forest campgrounds and BLM land were quite often available along our route, without reservations. We realized too late that we were arriving at Arches on a weekend, and that the city of Moab is pretty strict about not allowing boondocking in town, which is true of many border cities in the areas around more popular parks. We also realized that driving very far into the nearby BLM land was nearly impossible with our vehicle. There are several national forest campgrounds near Arches along the Colorado River, but these were full, so we continued driving out along Route 128 until we transitioned from National Forest land to BLM land, and immediately found a lovely spot just off the road, and just across the river from the last federal campground. It was about 30 miles out, but we had tremendous views both going to and coming back from the park.

    I agree with you, Mike and Jennifer, everyone needs to visit southern Utah at least once in their life. Each park is unique, and they are close enough to each other that you can see them all in a week or ten days, but interesting enough that you could spend weeks in each one.

  • We have been to Arches and as cool as some of the sights are, we enjoyed some of the less populated National Parks such as Natural Bridges just as well. Much easier to find campground space as well. Plenty of BLM too. Considering we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the less busy parks are much more enjoyable.

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