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There’s something about watching the sun come up that’s just so peaceful and calming. If you’re looking for the perfect spot to see a sunrise, Arches National Park in Utah is definitely one of the best places to go.
With its beautiful red rocks and arches, it’s no wonder why Arches is so popular among tourists. So if you’re looking to witness an amazing sunrise, be sure to add Arches National Park to your list of travel destinations!
There are many locations that are excellent locations to watch the sunrise at Arches National Park. You can see some epic sunrises from a scenic drive through the park, or a hike to some of the most popular landmarks.
Arches National Park Sunrise: Easy Hikes
Balanced Rock Sunrise
You can view Balanced Rock by doing one of Arches National Park’s scenic drives, but for sunrise, I recommend parking in the small parking lot and getting up closed to Balance Rock. The distance to walk all around Balanced Rock is .3 miles, is partially paved, and has relatively no elevation gain. This beautiful red rock really looks pretty with the light from the sunrise, making sunrise the best time to visit!
Double Arch Sunrise
Double Arch is the tallest arch in Arches National Park, standing at 124 feet tall, Double Arch is an excellent sunrise spot in Arches National Park. Park your car at the Windows section parking loop, and hike less than half a mile to Double Arch. This easy little hike has low elevation gain and has a round trip length of only .6 miles.
It is easy to get to Double Arch even if it’s still a bit dark. You’ll be able to get great photographs of the Double Arch sunrise, and there won’t be any people climbing on the rock formations!
The Windows Sunrise
You can visit Windows from the same parking lot as Double Arch. “Windows” is a trio of Arches all in the same 1.2-mile loop. You will be able to see North Window, South Window, and Turret Arch. This is one of the busiest areas in Arches National Park, which is another great reason to visit here at sunrise.
North and South Window
North and South Windows are part of the same formation that is sometimes also called spectacles, due to them looking like eyeglasses. North Window is the largest and you can climb up to it. South Window is a bit smaller, but higher up, so you won’t be able to climb up to it, but it is still definitely worth a look.
At Sunrise, you can stand at North Window and watch the light hit Turret Arch, making the red rock glow, and it is truly remarkable.
Turret Arch Sunrise
While hiking on the Windows trail, keep an eye open for the spur that leads off to Turret Arch. Turret Arch is smaller than windows but offers a really unique view that is beautiful, especially during sunrise. You can look back and view the windows and more of the beautiful Utah landscape.
Landscape Arch Sunrise
Landscape Arch is the longest arch in Arches National Park, and one of the longest natural stone arches in the world. Landscape Arch is over 300 feet long!
I’ve had a lot of people ask “Is Landscape Arch good for sunrise”? The answer is most definitely yes, Landscape Arch is beautiful at sunrise.
The trail to Landscape Arch is paved and wide and is 1.9 miles round trip. There are also sandy parts on the trail so be sure to wear close-toed shoes.
Arches National Park Sunrise: Hard Hikes
Delicate Arch Sunrise
The Delicate Arch hike is no doubt the most iconic and popular hike in Arches National Park, in fact, the Delicate Arch Trail is one of the most popular hikes in any of the National Parks!
Hiking Delicate Arch is one of the longer hikes in the park. It is strenuous and crowded and there is no shade. Delicate Arch is actually the most popular sunset destination in the park and can stay busy even in the dark with astrophotographers and people stargazing. All of these reasons are excellent reasons to hike the Delicate Arch hike for sunrise!
The Delicate Arch hike is 3 miles roundtrip and usually takes people about 2-3 hours to complete. You’ll want to take that into consideration when making this arches sunrise hike. There is a section of the hike that is a narrow ledge, you’ll want to bring a flashlight or headlamp since you will be doing this hike in the dark.
Sunrise at Arches National Park if you don’t want to hike
La Sal Viewpoint Sunrise
The best place to see the sunrise at Arches National Park if you don’t feel like hiking is La Sal Mountains Viewpoint. It is located close to the park entrance and offers a great view of the red rocks inside and outside of Arches. The viewpoint has a parking lot and a sidewalk, but you can also walk out onto the rocky bench for a better view of the La Sal Mountains.
Why sunrise at Arches?
There are many benefits to watching the sunrise at Arches National Park.
First, there are few crowds. The park is often crowded during the day, but you will see fewer people early in the morning and have the place almost to yourself.
Second, the scenery is beautiful. The red rocks are even more stunning when they are illuminated by the rising sun.
Third, the weather in Arches National Park can be very hot in the afternoon, especially in summer. By hiking to watch the sunrise, you will lessen your chances of becoming dehydrated or suffering from heat exhaustion.
Finally, it is a great way to start your day. Watching the sunrise can give you a sense of peace and calm that will last all day long.
Is Arches National Park better at sunrise or sunset?
Arches National Park is definitely better at sunrise. The colors are so much more intense and the light shines through the rocks in a way that is truly magical. If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, make sure to catch the sunrise at Arches National Park! The unique landscape of Arches National Park makes it one of the best National Parks for seeing the sunrise.
Can you enter Arches National Park before sunrise?
YES! Arches National Park is open 24 hours a day, and you can enter anytime. The best part about visiting Arches National Park early in the day is that you do not need a timed entry reservation. If you are planning to visit Arches and aren’t sure you will arrive before 6 am, be sure and check with the NPS website or app to see if reservations are required. Currently, reservations are needed from April to October if you arrive between 6 am and 5 pm.
What Time is Sunrise at Arches National Park
Sunrise in Arches National Park is generally right around 6 am. Of course, the exact time changes throughout the year. You can find out what time sunrise is before you go to help plan your trip and make sure your timing is perfect! Sunrise and sunset times in Arches National Park, is a great resource for planning.
Getting to Arches Early in the Morning
You’ll want to stay somewhere pretty close to Arches National Park if you intend to do any sunrise hikes. There are no lodges or hotels inside Arches National Park.
Where to Stay Near Arches to Catch the Sunrise
One way to be close by and ready to hike early is by camping inside the park. There is only one campground inside Arches National Park. The Devils Garden Campground fills up extremely quickly and can (and should) be booked 6 months in advance. You can make your Arches Camping reservations by clicking here.
There are also other campgrounds in the Moab area if Devils Garden is full. Staying outside the park is a great option if you planning on visiting other area attractions such as Canyonlands National Park. (Pssst, Mesa Arch in Canyonlands is awesome at sunrise too!)
I’m going to let you in on my secret weapon for finding the absolute BEST campgrounds, wherever we travel… I use The Dyrt. The Dyrt is such a great resource for finding the best campsites, and glamping sites anywhere you travel. You can even find free dispersed camping on the Dyrt. You should definitely add The Dyrt to your arsenal of travel planning resources!
When looking at options for where to stay in Moab you will find everything from luxury glamping, such as Under Canvas Moab, to free primitive sites with no amenities. There truly is an option for everyone when looking for accommodations near Arches National Park.
Another option if you don’t feel like tent camping is to rent a camper van for your Arches trip. Renting a camper and experiencing “van life” for a few days is a way to level up your adventure while exploring the beautiful area of Southern Utah.
You can pick up your campervan from Salt Lake, Las Vegas, or even Denver, and then road trip to Moab to explore the park!
If you aren’t the camping type, that’s A-ok! There are hotel and VRBO options available in Moab too! You’ll definitely want to book these accommodations early, as Moab is not a big town and it can get swamped.
What to do in Arches
Driving through Arches is easy! The roads are easy to navigate. There is plenty to do in the park. My suggestion is to go in with a game plan, so you can maximize your time in the park and hit all of your must-see locations. You’ll already have a head start on everyone else because you’ll be starting so early in the day.
My favorite way to explore new National Parks is through the GyPSy guide. This self-driven audio tour gives you a history of the area and tells you the best places to visit (and how to get there). The best part about this tour is it works even when you lose cell service. You can start and stop any time and it will pick up wherever you are to continue the tour. Using GyPSy guide will enhance your visit to Arches.
You can get the GyPsy guide for Arches or Canyonlands. You can also get one guide that includes both, or if you are visiting the Utah Big 5, you can get a guide that covers all 5 Utah National Parks.
Fee for Entering Arches National Park
The fee to enter Arches National Park is $30 for private vehicles and $25 for motorcycles. Between April and October, there is a $2 timed entry fee, and you need a reservation. The fee allows entry for 7 days.
I highly suggest purchasing an America The Beautiful Pass if you plan on visiting more than one National Park property this year. The fee is $80 and is good for one year. This will almost pay for itself if you plan on visiting Canyonlands and Arches National Park during your time in Moab.
Sunrise at Arches
If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, watching the sunrise at Arches National Park is a must. We’ve shown you some of the best places to watch this natural phenomenon, so all that’s left is for you to pick your favorite spot and enjoy it! Sunrise can be a beautiful and peaceful time, so don’t miss out on this opportunity to witness nature in all its glory.
Where will you go to see the sunrise next?
National Park Resources
When planning a National Park trip, these are the resources I use:
✅ First, grab an America the Beautiful Pass– this grants access to all NPS sites for 12 months
✅ Download the free NPS App to help you navigate the parks
✅ Check GyPSy Guide to see if there is an audio tour for your park
✅ Use Hotels.com for hotel stays and earn 1 free night after every 10 nights
✅ Use the DYRT or Harvest Hosts to look for camping sites
✅ Use RV Share or Escape Campervans to explore the parks
✅ Get Souvenirs and Parks Passport before you go using National Parks E-Store
➡️Read more about how to visit all 63 US National Parks
These are resources I trust and use in my travels. By purchasing through the links above, you help me keep my blog running at no additional cost to you, and I appreciate it so much!