Delicate Arch at Arches National Park during sunset.

Planning a Day Trip to Arches National Park

by | Apr 20, 2023

Most visitors to Chuckwagon Lodge are hoping to visit Capitol Reef National Park. The entrance to the park is located less than five miles from our Torrey resort, making it easy to hop between the park and your room each day.

But there’s so much more to see during your visit. In Torrey, you can go stargazing, take a scenic drive, stroll an art gallery, do some shopping, and more. Our Torrey resort is also the perfect base camp for a variety of day trips. 

Arches National Park is located less than three hours away from Torrey, Utah. This makes it a great choice for an exciting day trip during your stay. Keep reading to learn how to plan the perfect day trip to this unique national park.

Purchase a Timed Entry Ticket

It’s easy to visit Capitol Reef National Park at the last minute. Unlike Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, Capitol Reef doesn’t utilize shuttle buses. Instead, visitors can drive throughout the park in their own vehicles, all year long. You will need an off-road vehicle for some areas, including Cathedral Valley. But you won’t need to purchase a ticket in advance or jump on a shuttle bus to do so. Simply pay your entrance fee or present your national park pass and enjoy your day in the park.

The same isn’t true in Arches National Park. From April 1 to October 31 each year, visitors looking to enter the park between 7 am and 4 pm will need to present a Timed Entry Ticket. These tickets must be purchased online in advance of your visit. Reservation windows open three months in advance of each month. For example, if you want to visit Arches National Park during the month of August, you can purchase a ticket starting May 1.

Timed Entry Tickets do sell out in advance, especially during the busy summer months. A limited number of Timed Entry Tickets are available each day for the following day. If you want to visit Arches during your stay at our Torrey resort, you’ll want to plan ahead to increase your chances of getting a ticket.

Getting Ready for Your Day Trip to Arches National Park

Once you’ve secured a Timed Entry Ticket, it’s time to get ready for your day trip to Arches National Park. We recommend rising bright and early to make the most of your day in the park.

One great way to hit the road early is to pick up some snacks and a box lunch from the deli at Chuckwagon Lodge the day before your day trip. The deli offers a variety of pastries, sandwiches, snacks, and more. Stocking up before your day trip will mean not having to make an extra stop on the big day. Having a boxed lunch along also means not having to leave Arches in the middle of the day, wasting valuable time in the park.

Another great way to get ready for your day trip is to choose some trails you’d like to hike or sights that you’d like to see ahead of time. That way, when you arrive at the park, you’ll know exactly what you want to do to make the most of your time.

Some of the most popular trails in the park include:

  • Broken Arch
  • Delicate Arch
  • Double Arch
  • Landscape Arch
  • Balanced Rock

Pay Your Entrance Fee

When you arrive at Arches National Park, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee. This is a separate fee from the $2 that you’ll pay to get your Timed Entry Ticket. 

The entrance fees for Arches are as follows:

  • $30 for a private vehicle with 15 or fewer passengers
  • $25 for motorcycles
  • $15 per person for those entering on foot or on a bicycle. Children aged 15 or younger enter free of charge.

This entrance fee provides access to the park for 7 consecutive days.

If you’re also visiting Capitol Reef National Park during your visit, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee, too. The entrance fees at Capitol Reef are as follows:

  • $20 for a private vehicle with up to 15 passengers
  • $15 for motorcycles
  • $10 per person for those on foot or on a bicycle

If you visit both parks during your stay at our Torrey resort, you’ll be paying $50 to enter by car. For $80, you can purchase a national park annual pass. This pass allows for entry into all national parks, monuments, and other National Park Service sites for a whole year. This is a great way to save some money if you plan to visit for more than a week or if you know that you’ll visit other national parks in the next year.

Planning a Day Trip to Arches National Park

A day trip to Arches National Park can be a great addition to your stay at Chuckwagon Lodge. Our Torrey resort is the perfect base camp for exploring all that Southern Utah has to offer. From national parks to historic sites to scenic drives, there’s something for everyone here!

Thinking about planning a visit to Torrey, Utah in 2023? Now is a great time to book your visit! Right now, when you book a stay of three or more nights, you’ll enjoy a 25 percent discount on your stay. Book today to take advantage of these savings!

The Chuckwagon Blog

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