The otherworldly landscape of Arches National Park is a desert dream painted in red sandstone, faded green juniper and pastel twilight sky. Exploring the namesake arches, fantastic pillars and remote canyons make this one of America's most exotic national parks.
"The otherworldly landscape of Arches National Park is a desert dream painted in red sandstone, faded green juniper and pastel twilight sky."
Backcountry and BLM Camping Near Arches
If you want to delve into the backcountry of Arches National Park, a permit ($7 per person) is required from the visitor center. The backcountry at Arches is notoriously rugged, dry and definitely not beginner-friendly. Human waste must be packed out using an approved commercial bag system. Besides the burly terrain, certain areas of the park are subject to flash floods and lightning storms — be vigilant of the forecast before heading out.
Outside of Arches, Moab has a wealth of Bureau of Land Management land (BLM) that’s just as popular (and often as busy) as Devils Garden. The BLM supports a whopping 26 campgrounds in the Moab area.
The collection of developed sites are $20 per night and most feature vault toilets, fire pits and picnic tables. These range from 4,000 feet above sea level near town to over 6,000 feet at the Cowboy Campground.
The BLM campgrounds are required to be located 20 miles from town, which often means they are actually closer to the famous Moab destinations than in-town lodging. Nearly all are a short 10- to 20-minute drive to Arches National Park.
RV Camping and Glamping
RVs are welcome in the Devils Garden Campground, though getting a reservation can be a challenging affair. Utilizing the numerous RV parks in Moab is just as good an option. They offer RV hookups and easy access to the town itself.
There are also several hotels, resorts and even a glamping option in Moab, for those looking for a few more amenities.
While venturing beyond the more predictable, and sometimes crowded, public campgrounds to camp in the backcountry can be a thrilling adventure — remember to travel responsibly, a shared ethic we call "Forever Mighty."
No matter what Utah activities you take on, remember to follow the seven principles of Leave No Trace:
Plan ahead and prepare.
Travel and camp on durable surfaces.
Dispose of waste properly.
Leave what you find.
Minimize campfire impacts (be careful with fire).
Be considerate of other visitors.
When To Visit, Pet Policies & Other Things To Know
Arches National Park is an excellent destination for a winter visit. Crowds are much smaller than in prime season (March-May and September-November). Seeing the desert landscape with a delicate powdering of snow makes for excellent photography.
Even though reservations are often packed mid-summer, Arches National Park can be extremely hot at this time of year. Many summer visitors combine a visit to Arches with river activities in Moab. Hikers will likely enjoy the cooler non-summer months.
Pets are allowed on-leash in parking areas, picnic areas and at the Devils Garden Campground, but not on any trails or backcountry terrain (it may be better to leave Fido at home for your visit).
Utah’s National Parks see millions of travelers each year. As you plan your next trip to Arches, consider ways to support its basecamp communities and keep the park Forever Mighty.