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17 Top Arches National Park Packing List Items for 2024 + What to Wear & NOT to Bring

what to pack for Arches National Park
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Arches National Park, located 5 miles north of Moab, Utah, is home to some of the most spectacular geologic formations in the United States of America – sandstone arches. Crafted by erosion and time, these unique arches draw over 1.5 million visitors a year! Make sure that you’re the most prepared visitor in the park with these Top 17 Most Essential Items for Arches National Park.

Bonus Arches National Park packing lists: Other Items Not to Forget, Essentials for Men & Women, Dressing for the Seasons, Popular Activities, and more!

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What to Pack for Arches National Park – 17 Essentials

  • 1. Packing Cubes

    Keep your clothes and supplies organized with these handy dandy packing cubes! These space and time savers are great for those of us who live out of our backpacks. Gone are the days of dumping the contents of your bag haphazardly in the back of your car when you want to find something or lighten your load. Packing cubes to the rescue!

    Packing Cubes

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  • 2. Hanging Toiletry Bag

    Speaking of organization, this hanging toiletry bag is a travel necessity for overnighters, camping trips, and jet setting. Keep all your bathroom needs neatly organized, so you aren’t digging through your backpack looking for your toothbrush in the dark. Bonus, this lightweight, compact, multi-compartment bag comes with a sturdy hook to keep your goodies off questionable bathroom floors. We’ve all been there, right?

    Hanging Toiletry Bag

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  • 3. Neck Wallet

    So you want to keep your important cards and documents safe while traveling, but you also want to have your hands free while hiking through Arches. Get the best of both worlds with this radio frequency identification (RFID) blocking passport holder. Plus, there’s room for your phone, so you have easy access to snap pics of your trip.

    Neck Wallet

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  • 4. Daypack

    Whether you’re hiking, backpacking, or simply walking on the main trails, you’ll need a daypack to store your daily essentials. Best to keep your hands free when walking (and sometimes climbing) around the park to see the fantastic arches. This bag is fantastic because it’s lightweight, incredibly durable, and folds up nicely when not in use.


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  • 5. Cooling Towel

    This premium cooling towel is a perfect way to beat the desert heat. Just soak the soft microfiber in cool water before your hike and get 30-60 minutes of instant cooling relief while you’re huffing and puffing up the many stairs and ramps to the Delicate Arch. This bad boy is lightweight, ultra-portable, and comes in a convenient travel tube.

    cooling towel

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  • 6. Hydration Bladder

    Staying hydrated is a top priority in the desert, no matter the season. Lifestraw’s gravity bag with water filter is the perfect way to make sure you have safe, tasty water on dusty desert trails. Just drop it in your daypack, thread the straw through your strap, and you’ll have easy access to fresh water on your traverse.

    Hydration Bladder

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  • 7. Sunscreen

    No matter what time of the year you decide to visit the arches, sunscreen is a must. This is a desert region, and there is very little shade around the park. Protect your skin with this water-resistant, invisible 50 SPF spray.


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  • 8. Windproof Travel Umbrella

    If you’re visiting Arches during the rainy season, you’ll want a lightweight, portable umbrella – like this one! It also offers wind and sun protection; two things Arches has plenty of during any time of year.

    Windproof Travel Umbrella

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  • 9. Universal Weatherproof Phone Case

    Protect your phone from the desert dust with this nifty phone case! Waterproof cases are great for so much more than just keeping your phone dry; they protect your phone from sweat, sand, snow, and water. With this case, you’ll be prepared for anything the ever-changing desert climate throws your way.

    Universa Waterproof

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  • 10. Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

    Keep your phones and cameras fully charged with this portable charger. Let’s be real, you’re going to have your phone on full brightness under the desert sun, which drains battery FAST. This Anker Power Bank packs enough power to fully recharge your smartphone so you can continue snapping pics and taking videos of your awesome Arches adventure!

    Lipstick-Sized Portable Charger

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  • 11. LifeStraw Water Bottle

    I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again. Staying hydrated in the desert is VITAL. While Arches National Park provides fresh, filtered water at the visitor center and campground, a LifeStraw water bottle is a great way to make sure you have clean and tasty water wherever you go while reducing waste from single-use plastics.

    LifeStraw Water Bottle

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  • 12. Quick-Dry Hiking Pants

    Hiking in the desert is no joke. Every article of clothing on you should be quick dry material, especially your pants. You don’t want to deal with chafed thighs or wet jeans while you’re trying to enjoy the majesty of this national park. Pack smart with these lightweight, water-resistant joggers! Don’t worry, boys; I’ve listed links to similar options for you below.

    Quick-Dry Hiking Pants

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  • 13. Quick-Dry Hiking Shirts

    These quick dry shirts are a must if you don’t want to be stinking up the car on your way home. It may sound crazy, but long sleeves are the way to go when visiting the desert. These UV-blocking, quick-drying shirts will keep your shoulders safe from the sun and keep you cool. Gentlemen, I’ve included some options for you as well in the section below.

    Quick-Dry Hiking Shirts

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  • 14. Hiking Boots

    I highly recommend investing in a good pair of hiking boots to take you across all the natural wonders of our National Parks. Having a sprained ankle or a broken toenail can really take away from the whole experience. These comfortable, water-resistant boots come in all different colors and are great for protecting your feet on the trails.

    Hiking Boots

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  • 15. Hiking Socks

    Blisters are the last thing you want on a hiking trip, especially if it’s a multiday trip. Avoid rubbed skin and sweaty feet with these comfortable, moisture-wicking hiking socks. They’ll help your feet stay safe and dry while breaking in new hiking boots on Arches’ various hiking trails.

    Hiking Socks

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  • 16. Wide Brimmed Hat

    The hike to the Delicate Arch will bring you face to face with winds strong enough to blow the hat right off your head. However, hats are important for keeping the desert sun off your face, neck, and ears. Make sure you pack a wide-brimmed hat to protect your skin, preferably one with a chin string to prevent it from being swept into the valley with all the hats of tourists who didn’t read this packing list.

    Wide Brimmed Hat

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  • 17. Travel Insurance for Arches National Park

    Make sure you’re covered for medical emergencies, trip interruptions, unexpected quarantines, baggage delays, theft, and more. This is especially important for visitors flying in. can help you make sure you have the best trip insurance. On their site, you can compare policies from top companies to find the best option for you.

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What to Wear to Arches National Park

What you should wear to Arches totally depends on the season you visit. During the summer, it can be scorching hot, yet in the winter, it’s not uncommon to encounter a snow flurry. First and foremost, you’ll want to wear clothes that you’re comfortable hiking and exploring outdoors in. Sun protection is almost always necessary and so are good hiking boots.
What Should Women Wear to Arches National Park?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample women’s clothing list.(All items link to for your convenience).

Arches National Park has so much to see and do. You could spend days there. You definitely don’t want your trip cut short because you’re uncomfortable or unprepared. The desert dress code is comfortable and casual. Be sure to pack activewear, UV-blocking clothing, hiking clothes, and hiking boots or shoes so you can make the most of your trip. Desert temperatures vary greatly depending on the season and time of day, so layers are a must. Bring lightweight clothing like tanks and T-shirts to layer your sweatshirts and jackets onto. If you plan on spending some time in Moab, the closest town to Arches National Park, don’t worry about packing fancy clothes – opt for a relaxed dress or romper for a laid-back night on the town.

What Should Men Wear to Arches National Park?- (Click to expand)

Below is a sample men’s clothing list.(All items link to for your convenience).

Packing for a trip to Arches doesn’t require a giant suitcase. You could probably fit all the clothes you need in a backpack. Be sure to pack comfortable activewear, UV-blocking clothing, hiking clothes, and hiking boots or shoes to protect your skin and feet. Since Arches is in the desert, temperatures vary depending on the season and time of day, so layers are a must. Start with a cool base layer that you can easily throw a sweatshirt over. If you plan on spending some time in Moab, a T-shirt or button-down with lowkey shorts or pants oughta do the trick.

Packing for the Seasons at Arches National Park

SPRING – March, April, May

In a desert spring, you can expect warm days, cool nights, and possibly some rain. Pack plenty of layers, a rain jacket, hiking pants, and hiking boots. Plan for daytime highs averaging 60º to 80º F and lows averaging 30º to 50º F.

SUMMER – June, July, August

Summer in the desert means high temperatures and monsoon season. Pack lightweight & moisture-wicking clothes, a rain jacket, hiking shorts, hiking shoes or sandals, and rain boots. Daytime highs average around 90º F but can exceed 100º F, and lows average around 60º F.

FALL – September, October, November

Possibly the best time to visit the park is in the fall when you can expect warm days and cool nights. Pack layers, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hiking pants, hiking shoes or boots, and a rain jacket (just in case). Plan for daytime highs averaging 60º to 80º F and lows averaging 30º to 50º F.

WINTER – December, January, February

If you want to avoid the crowds, consider visiting in the winter, but plan accordingly. The desert gets cold, and snow is possible. Pack warm layers, a winter coat, hats, gloves, wool socks, and insulated hiking boots. Plan for highs averaging 30º to 50º F, and lows averaging 0º to 20º F.

Dressing appropriately for the activity – (Click to expand)

Biking: Biking through the park is a wonderful way to see the sights without tuckering out your feet. Pack your biking shorts, moisture-wicking shirts, and biking shoes to enjoy the desert paths through the desert landscape!

Climbing: Arches National Park has quite a few climbing opportunities to explore! Pack your climbing shorts, moisture-wicking shirts, and climbing shoes to get up close and personal with the amazing rock features in Arches!

Hiking: Hiking through the park is probably the most popular activity. There are plenty of paths to view all of the arches and rock formations within the park. Pack your hiking pants/shorts, quick-drying tops, hats, and hiking shoes/boots.

Horseback riding: Yes, horses are permitted in the park! If you plan on getting around via horseback, pack your jeans, lightweight tops, helmet, and close-toed shoes.

Camping: Arches has a gorgeous campground called Devils Garden and offers permitted backcountry camping. Make sure you book your campsite in advance, or you may end up needing to stay in Moab or another campground near Moab. If you want to camp, pack comfortable pants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, and hiking sandals.

What NOT to Bring to Arches

  • 1.DON’T Bring Markers or Spray Paint

    As in every National Park, leave no trace. Protect the arches, hoodoos, and fins for generations to come. Feel free to admire the ancient hieroglyphs along the trail, but don’t make your own.

  • 2.DON’T Bring Night Photography Equipment

    Night photography is not permitted within the park. Leave the heavy equipment at home, and enjoy the park by moonlight and starlight instead.

  • 3.DON’T Bring Lots of Cash

    Wads of cash aren’t necessary. The Visitor Center accepts cards for entrance and tour fees or if you would like to purchase a souvenir or two.

  • 4.DON'T Bring Jewelry or Valuables

    For your peace of mind, it’s best to leave anything valuable at home, especially if you’re camping. Focus on the scenery instead of worrying about losing expensive items!

  • 5.DON’T Bring Drones

    Drones are not permitted within the park. (Imagine knocking off the top of a hoodoo that’s been there for millions of years!) Leave your remote-controlled aircraft at home.

  • 6.DON’T Bring Pets

    Sorry Fido, pets are not allowed on any hiking trails. Don’t make your sweet pup sit in a hot car while you hike around all day – leave them at home.

What NOT to Wear in Arches National Park – (Click to expand)

When planning a trip to Arches, avoid packing impractical or uncomfortable shoes, extremely fancy clothes, and clothes that don’t work for the time of year you’re traveling. See the above sections on “what to wear” and “dressing for the season” for the best options.

FAQs about Visiting Arches National Park

  • 1. What are the most popular activities in Arches National Park?

    What are the most popular activities in Arches National Park?

    Hiking, biking, climbing, and horseback riding are some of the most common activities in the park. If you love geology and the great outdoors, you’re gonna love it here. The campground is extremely popular because there aren’t many places in the world with such stunning views of the red rock mountains found in Arches National Park. It’s also a great place for photography and videography as well as stargazing.

  • 2. When is the busiest time of year to visit Arches National Park?

    The most popular times to visit are March through October. If you want to avoid people, see the snow-covered arches in the winter months. Just be sure you pack accordingly. Keep in mind, reservations to visit the park are required from April 3 through October 3.

  • 3. Does Arches National Park have any water activities?

    Does Arches National Park have any water activities?

    The park itself doesn’t offer any water features, but the Colorado River runs between the park’s southern border and Moab. There you can find kayaking, canoeing, and more! Keep in mind that the activities on the Colorado River have no affiliation with the national park. You’ll need to visit the nearby town of Moab to inquire about rentals if you’re interested in kayaking, canoeing, or rafting.

  • 4. What is the nearest town to Arches National Park?

    The nearest town is Moab, about 15 minutes away. Moab has a variety of restaurants, shops, museums, and more.

  • 5. What kind of wildlife does Arches National Park have?

    What kind of wildlife does Arches National Park have?

    The desert is a hotspot for biodiversity. You may encounter a variety of rodents, skunks, deer, foxes, mountain lions, bobcats, rabbits, coyotes, birds, porcupines, snakes, squirrels, and lizards. There are even rattlesnakes that live in the park, however, they are extremely elusive, so don’t worry about an accidental encounter with one of these venomous snakes. The abundance of wildlife found int the park is one of the reasons why it isn’t pet-friendly.

  • 6. How many natural arches are in the park?

    Arches National Park has over 2,000 arches and natural rock formations formed by erosion over millions of years! Can you spot them all?

  • 7. Is it safe to visit Arches National Park alone?

    Is it safe to visit Arches National Park alone?

    If you stay on the main trails and camp at Devils Garden campground, it’s safe to explore alone. However, if you plan on participating in any permitted activities, be sure to follow the regulations listed in the permit, which sometimes includes being in a group. The desert is an unforgiving environment. If you are not a skilled outdoors person, make sure you stick to the well-indicated trails and do not enter the backcountry alone without any experience.

  • 8. Does Arches National Park have facilities?

    Facilities are located in the visitor center and camping grounds. Make sure to hit the restroom before getting on the trails.