Two Days In Arches National Park Itinerary
Day 2: Klondike Bluffs, The Windows Section, and Moab
The last day on this two days in Arches National Park itinerary is first dedicated to the park’s only “off-the-beaten-track” area. We’ll then explore the Windows Section with its large arches before hitting the road to our next destination or seeing what Moab has to offer.
Head back to the park but don’t worry too much about getting a very early start. Drive towards Devils Garden but just after Sand Dune Arch, turn left and follow the eight-mile dirt road across the Salt Valley to Klondike Bluffs. This is the most remote section of Arches National Park, perfect for hikers seeking to escape the crowds. The dirt road is accessible with a regular 2WD in the dry months of the year.
From the parking area, hike the Tower Arch Trail, which has it all, including climbing steep rock walls, hiking through sand dunes, and walking between sandstone fins. On the hike, you’ll also see the Marching Men, orange and white rocky needles seen in greater numbers in the Needles section of Canyonlands National Park.
The Windows Section
Yesterday, we explored Delicate Arch and Devils Garden, two of Arches National Park’s three main sections. We’ll now visit the Windows Section to complete the grand tour. Head back to the paved road and turn left on the Windows Roads just before Balanced Rock. Windows are robust arches, unlike what we saw yesterday at Landscape Arch.
Garden of Eden Viewpoint
The first viewpoint en route to the North and South Windows is one of the finest in the park. The Garden of Eden Viewpoint looks towards the Parade of Elephants, an impressive series of sandstone pinnacles that resemble something from a distant planet.
North and South Windows
The paved road ends at a parking lot, where trailheads to the North and South Windows and the Double Arch begin. Start with the Windows Loop Trail and explore the mighty North and South Windows. Don’t forget to look back and savor the distant views of Double Arch from the high ground.
The North and South Windows are among the most impressive arches in the park. To extend your experience, continue walking to Turret Arch. For a longer tour, return to the parking lot via the Primitive Trail, which basically takes the “back road” behind the North and South Windows and offers a different look.
Back in the parking lot, pick up the short trail to Double Arch. This is the third largest arch in the park, with an opening of 144 feet (49m). Height-wise, the Double Arch is the tallest in Arches NP, at 112 feet (33m). The Double Arch was originally a “pothole arch” created by water accumulation on the cliff face. The weight of the water deepened the pothole, and erosion did the rest.
Revisit any sites you didn’t have enough time for or optimal lighting yesterday as you drive out of the park. You can spend more time in the Courthouse Towers and Park Avenue or take a closer look at Balanced Rock.
Afternoon in Moab
At this point, you can leave Moab and drive to your next destination, but if you’re spending the next day or two in Canyonlands National Park, get a bit of downtime in Moab.
Main Street in Moab is the main attraction, lined with trendy restaurants, shops, and cafes. Head to the Moab Museum to learn about the region’s history or do some shopping. For local crafts, visit Lema’s Kokopelli Gallery, and cross the street to Cowboys and Indians Trading Co for Western fashion.
If you still want to connect with nature, drive along State Route 128, which follows the bank of the Colorado River. There are many quiet spots along the way where you can take a break and enjoy the scenery.
For dinner, head to one of yesterday’s recommended restaurants. Additional options worth mentioning include the Trailhead Public House and Eatery, Dewey’s Restaurant and Bar, The Broken Oar, and Susie’s Branding Iron Restaurant.
We’ve covered all the top highlights and even escaped the crowds on this two days in Arches National Park itinerary. Be sure to explore additional Arches NP resources and check out additional travel guides to the region if you’re visiting other parts of Southern Utah.
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