Places to Visit: Arches National Park

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Arches National Park

Nature never ceases to amaze; that is a fact. At the Arches National Park, get ready to be gob smacked. Awesome natural rock art, Native American inscriptions, elusive wildlife, and some early settler history should be enough reasons to add this park to your travel plans. It is an incredible stop over if you happen to pass by, or even a great destination for a short vacation. Make sure you get all information as to dos and don'ts from the Visitor Centre.

The Arches National Park is certainly a park with a difference. It's an amazing collection of about 2000 catalogued sandstone arches of varying sizes and shapes that would have a yoga instructor stare in slit-eyed envy. Crafted by eons of meticulous erosion by wind and water, it remains a popular destination in almost all Utah vacation plans. Though named for the arches, there are other equally intriguing formations such as precariously balancing rocks that make you wonder how it could've been possibly achieved.

If you plan to travel by car you need to hit Highway 191. The Park lies on the right of the highway about 5 miles north of Moab. You are greeted by the Visitor Centre atop a plateau as you drive in. Fantastic views give you an idea of what's in store as you progress along the entrance road.

If you're loathe to drive, a viable option is of course public transport. But unfortunately, there's no public transport that takes you up to the Arches Park to date. Greyhound Bus Lines takes you along I-70 up to Green River east of Highway 191 or Grand Junction to the west. From these spots you would have to take the van services that shuttle to Moab and back. Amtrak rail services, again can only take you up to these same points from where you'd have to continue on the aforementioned van services.

If you're flying in from other states, you'll touch down at Grand Junction or Salt Lake City. You have another 2 hours by car from Grand Junction to the Arches. From Salt Lake it would be about 4 hours. From the Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona you're looking at a 6 hour drive that takes you over 350 miles along US-180, US-89, US-160, and the last leg of just over a 100 miles on US-191.

Although hot during daytime, temperatures drop drastically at sundown. So come prepared for that. Summer would be the ideal time to visit and this is what prompts thousands to fit this Park into their summer travel plans. Any information you need as to fees, tours, hikes, biking, picnics, and camping can be had at the Visitor Centre near the car park.