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Are you planning a family trip to Arches National Park and wondering what to do in Arches National Park with kids? You’ve come to the right place! Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks you will visit. From amazing hikes to the scenic drive, there are lots of things to do in Arches National Park with kids. Here are the best things to see and do in Arches National Park for families.
How to get to Arches National Park
The closest major airport to Arches National Park is SLC, 3.5 hours away. Because we were road tripping from Las Vegas through the Mighty 5 Utah Parks, we started our trip in Vegas. There are also some regional airports you can fly into (CNY or GJT), but flights are limited to these airports.
Best time to visit Arches National Park
The best time to visit Arches National Park is the spring and fall, when weather is mild and temperatures are between 60-80 degrees. In the summer months, it’s not uncommon for temps to reach 100 or more degrees, making hiking uncomfortable and dangerous.
We visited in mid June and the mornings were nice and cool. You’re going to want to start your hikes early in the summer (we were in the park by 5:30) because once it reaches capacity, the gates shut down. This was at 7 am during our visit so plan ahead! We got to hike when it was nice and cool and we needed sweatshirts, vs. going out later in the day when the temps were in the 100s. No crowds, awesome temps and a quite enjoyable experience with some planning!
Where to stay when visiting Arches National Park
Camping in Arches National Park
Looking for a campground in Arches National Park? Devils Garden Campground is the only campground in Arches National Park. Reservations book up well in advance and the chance of getting a walk up spot is slim, so be sure to plan ahead if you plan to camp here.
Best family-friendly hotels near Arches National Park
Because Arches National Park is located near the very popular city of Moab, there are a ton of family friend hotels near Arches National Park. We personally chose the Hyatt Place Moab, which we booked with points making our stay free. This hotel was just 8 minutes to the park gate, making it a great option when visiting Arches National Park with kids.
Things to bring when visiting Arches National Park with kids
- Sunscreen: You’re going to want to apply sunscreen before heading out for the day. The sun is hot and there isn’t much shade on the hiking trails.
- National Parks Journal: We bring ours on all of the National Parks trips. Milana loves filling out the pages and can look back on her visits.
- Hiking Backpack: You’ll want a place to stow your stuff, so bring a hiking backpack. We love the Osprey brand so that is what we got and it’s been great on our many hiking adventures.
- Hydration Backpack: Milana uses this as her hydration backpack and it’s really nice to have free hands and be able to drink whenever she wants without stopping to open bottles.
Books and games about Arches National Park
Things to do in Arches National Park with kids
Best kid-friendly hiking trails in Arches National Park
- Delicate Arch: If you only do one hike in Arches National Park with kids, make it the Delicate Arch! We arrived on the trail by 5:30 am and the weather was amazing! Nice and cool and perfect for hiking. We were back by our car by 7:30 and it was already getting hot. Getting here early means low crowds and amazing sunrise views! The hike is uphill for the entire first 1.5 miles, so keep that in mind. The entire hike is just over 3 miles and so worth the amazing view!
- The Windows Section: This is a 1.2 mile loop trail with some amazing views. These “windows” were created by wind-blown sand and are amazing to see in person!
- Devil’s Garden: The best thing about this trail is you can do as much or as little as you want. The entire trail is 7.9 miles long, however you can choose to do a small portion of it.
- Sand Dune Arch Trail: If you haven’t made it to Delicate Arch, this is another arch that is just 0.3 miles from the parking lot. It’s perfect for those with toddlers!
- Double Arch Trail: Another easy hike if you have very young kids or if it’s getting too hot for longer hikes. This hike is just 0.6 miles long.
Scenic drive in Arches National Park
The scenic drive will take you along a road with lots of amazing views of Arches National Park and where you will find all of the popular trails and points of interest. We recommend doing the Delicate Arch trail first, then turning right at the stop sign after you leave and heading all the way to the end to the Devil’s Garden. From there, just head back toward the visitor center and stop wherever you want.
Junior Ranger Program in Arches National Park
Just like all the other National Parks, Arches has a Junior Ranger program. Be sure to pick up your Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitor Center before heading to the park so your kids can earn their badge.
Where to eat near Arches National Park with kids
If you like Indian food, this is the place for you! One of Milana’s favorite foods is chicken tikka masala, so we ate dinner here one night. We shared the chicken tikka masala, garlic naan and raita.
If you want a menu with lots of different food options, then check out the Moab Diner. They have breakfast all day and lots of lunch and dinner options. They also have an extensive shake menu, so be sure to try one!
MOYO-Moab Frozen Yogurt
For dessert, check out this self-serve frozen yogurt place. Lots of flavors and toppings means there’s something for everyone!
The Cowboy Grill
This was our favorite meal in Moab! Not only is the food really good, but the views from their patio are amazing! Be sure to make reservations, they were turning people away without them. This restaurant is located at the Red Cliffs Lodge, one of the best family friendly hotels in Moab. Had we found this place earlier, we would have spent our last night here. You are surrounded by nature with the Colorado river right by your room. Perfect place when visiting Moab with kids.
The Cowboy Grill is the best kid-friendly restaurant in Moab and we highly recommend visiting if in the area. The drive there is stunning too, you are driving with beautiful cliffs and red rocks on both sides with the Colorado river along the entire route. While the restaurant does have a kid menu, Milana wanted salmon so we ordered her meal off of the adult menu. I had the trout and we both loved our meal.
We hope our guide to visiting Arches National Park with kids has been helpful in planning your trip to Moab with kids. Be sure to check out our other National Parks with kids guides to help plan your next trip to a National Park. And if you’re visiting all 5 Utah parks on this trip, check out our Mighty 5 road trip with kids itinerary. Want to read this later? Pin one of the images below!