arches, canyonlands & dead horse in 1 day

Leah Fishman

While driving through Utah, I knew that I had to stop and see at least two Utah National Parks on the way. Arches & Canyonlands are a natural pair: located side-by-side, you can totally hit both in one long day. While a 12-hour itinerary means no long hikes, you can see most (if not all) of the major landmarks from your car or by trekking 10-20 minutes off road. Dead Horse is a bonus if you finish both parks before sunset! Stay in Moab two nights for easy access.

  • Dead Horse Point State Park

    Stop #10: Last stop of the day. Sunset at either Dead Horse Point or Meander Overlook

    November 22, 2020
  • Grand View Point Overlook

    Stop #9: Easy viewpoint from the parking lot. If time allows, hike the 1 mile trail to the Grand View Point Overlook.

    November 22, 2020
  • Green River Overlook

    Stop #8: 2 miles from the Mesa Arch carpark. A short, 2 minute walk.

    November 22, 2020
  • Mesa Arch

    Stop #7: Hike Mesa Arch Loop (.5 miles, 20 minutes).

    November 22, 2020
  • Shafer Trail Viewpoint

    Stop #6: Right next to the road. A quick walk from the car (5 minutes) is Shafer Canyon Overlook. Also passing on the way out, so can loop back for sunset.

    November 22, 2020
  • Island in the Sky

    Stop #5: A 30 minute drive from Arches National Park and you're in Islands in the Sky, Canyonlands.

    November 22, 2020
  • Park Ave Viewpoint

    Stop #4: Last looks at Arches before driving to Canyonlands.

    November 22, 2020
  • The Windows Section

    Stop #3: The Windows. View North & South Windows from the parking area, then take the short walk to Double Arch.

    November 22, 2020
  • Devils Garden

    Stop #2 (option 2): 15 mins along Arches Scenic Road. Hike option: Landscape Arch Trail (1.6 mile out-and-back, 1 hour total). Includes views of Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch.

    November 22, 2020
  • Delicate Arch

    Stop #2 (option 1): 3 mile out and back to the iconic Delicate Arch (2.5 hours roundtrip)

    November 22, 2020
  • Balanced Rock

    Stop #1: Get to the park before sunrise to beat the crowds. You can view this one from the car, or there's an easy .3 mile loop that loops around the rock (10-15 minutes including time for pics).

    November 22, 2020