Arches National Park in central-eastern Utah features more than 2,000 natural stone arches across nearly 120 square miles. It’s one of the best RV-friendly parks, thanks to over 18 miles of stunning scenic roads. The unique landscape is the perfect place for RV owners to go hiking and marvel at the Colorado Plateau. Here is a guide to help you decide which trails to take and where to stay.
Walk from Devil’s Garden campground to the Sand Dune Arch parking area for an easy day hike. This two-mile trail includes a meadow, sand dunes, and slickrock. Expect to do some scrambling over rocks on the northern part. This hike takes many people around an hour to complete.
This free-standing arch is 46-feet-high and 32-feet-wide. It’s one of the most popular natural features in the area and is recognizable by people worldwide—it even features prominently on the Utah license plate. To see the arch up close, take the three-mile Delicate Arch trail. The first half-mile of the trail is easy to see, but it becomes more difficult as you climb higher. Look for rock stacks called cairns to point the way. You’ll have to walk a narrow ledge for about 200 yards right before the arch.
The National Park Service recommends each hiker bring at least two liters of water as this area gets very hot and does not have shade. Do this day hike in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the hottest part of the day. Wear sunscreen and prepare to spend around 2.5 hours on open slickrock in the sun.
Head to Balanced Rock Picnic Area to see Balanced Rock, a 128-foot-tall slickrock boulder that weighs 3,600 tons. It’s a section of Dewey Bridge mudstone topped by Entrada Sandstone. This combination of rock layers is common among the arches in the region. The massive structure will not last forever: a similar rock called “Chip-Off-the-Old Block” collapsed in the winter of 1975-1976.
While the park is popular during the day, the landscape is equally enchanting at night. Arches National Park was recognized as an International Dark Sky Park in 2019. That means it has one of the darkest skies—with the least light pollution—in the U.S.
You can see thousands of stars with your naked eyes, but bring a telescope or binoculars if you want a little help to see features like Saturn’s rings. Not well-versed in the stars? Download an app like Night Sky to help you identify constellations, planets, and planetary moons based on your location and orientation.
Sitting just outside Moab and minutes from Arches National Park, The Portal is a gateway to luxurious camping. There are massively comfortable vacation homes with plenty of parking for a large rig, or paved spaces that include electric, sewer, and water hookups that can accommodate even the largest of coaches.
To book, visit their website. Prices vary per site up to $89 a night. You can make a reservation by phone or online.
Want to stay close to Arches National Park? This Moab campground is 6 miles away from the visitor center. It’s an excellent place for RV experts and newbies, thanks to full hook-up pull-through sites. Choose from 30- or 50-amp electric and park your rig on a cement pad up to 34-feet long. Each site has cable and a picnic table. There is on-site wi-fi and laundry, along with a pool and a pavilion with a grill.
Your kids or grandkids will love spending time at the playground, splash pad, and campfire areas. Don’t worry about finding a gas station—there’s a Texaco at the campsite. The general store carries firewood, ice, and other camping must-haves. It can only accommodate rigs up to 34 feet in length. Visit the campground website to make a reservation. Sites cost between $54 and $61 per night.
Need a campsite with room for slide-outs? These deluxe pull-through sites have gravel pads for RVs up to 35-feet-long and offer a concrete patio, picnic table, and charcoal grill at every site. Kick back and access the cable or wi-fi via 20-, 30-, or 50-amp electric hook-ups.
The campground is pet-friendly and has plenty of grass for pups to play and take care of business – there’s even a dog park. This is a great spot to stay if you’re planning on hiking with dogs. Bring your kids or grandkids to the pavilion to play life-size chess or checkers, or take a dip in the pool. Mountain bikers dig the bike cleaning station to remove all that red dirt. Campsite prices average $54 a night. Reserve your spot online
You may also find a number of resorts nearby—or on the way there—in the Newmar RV Resorts Guide. Every year, we ask campers like you to tell us your favorite resorts across the country. Then we compile them into a handy guide. Check it out.
Dogs are not allowed on trails in the park. You can bring canines to some campsites, but they must be on 6-foot-or-shorter leashes at all times. You can go hiking with dogs along the roadways, but they are not allowed at overlooks or in the visitor center. This is to prevent run-ins with the park’s natural wildlife.
Temperatures in Arches National Park regularly reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit, so dogs cannot be left in vehicles. Keep the temperature in mind when walking on paved areas as hot asphalt can harm your dog’s paws. Some visiting pups wear special booties to protect their feet from the hot pavement. Plan to bring plenty of extra water to keep your pup hydrated and cool them down. Consider avoiding hiking with dogs during the afternoon as it’s the hottest time of day.