How to Travel from Las Vegas to Arches National Park

Arches National Park in Utah,USA
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The 2,000 natural stone arches, pinnacles, and other geologic formations of Arches National Park are so emblematic of the state of Utah that the most famous among them—Delicate Arch—is on Utah’s license plates. There’s no other place that has this concentration of natural rock formations. When you see the red rock monoliths and massive stones perched impossibly atop each other (as they have been for millions of years), you’ll understand why this is the most iconic of Utah’s “Mighty Five” national parks.

Scientists believe that the landscape we know today began roughly 65 million years ago, when the area was a dry seabed. Geologic forces pushed the sandstone up thousands of feet from sea level then eroded layer after layer, forming fractured rock layers into fins (a narrow wall of sedimentary rock that forms after the surrounding rock has been eroded away), and fins give way to arches. Insider tip: A formation gets its “arch” designation when it stretches three feet in one direction.

Even though these are some of the most astounding sights in the world, some of them are just a short walk from a parking lot. Arches National Park itself is just a 453-mile drive from Las Vegas. You can even use the adventure resort town of Moab, just nine miles away from Arches, as your base camp.

How to Get from Las Vegas to Arches National Park

Time Cost Best For
Car 6.5 hours one way 453 miles Budget travelers, those who want to explore on the way
Bus 8 hours one way  From $50 one way Budget travelers, those who don't want to drive
Helicopter charter 2.8 hours one way  From $12,320 one way Those looking for the most scenic route and who feel spendy 
Plane From 4 hours each way (including a connection) From $600 one way Those who really don't want to drive or take the bus

What is the Cheapest Way to Get from Las Vegas to Arches National Park?

For those who don’t drive, it is possible to get to Arches via mass transit—but it’s not easy. You can take a Greyhound bus from Las Vegas to Green River, Utah, for about $50 each way. But then you’ll have to make transportation arrangements in Green River for the 47-mile trip to the park. There are shuttle services that operate between Green River and Moab, and you can find them here. The better bet is to find a driving companion to take the 6.5-hour drive with you. Ultimately, it’s likely cheaper than the bus, and you’ll be able to make all the stops you like.

What is the Fastest Way to Get from Las Vegas to Archest National Park?

You can fly to Moab’s regional airport, Canyonlands Regional Airport (CNY), from Las Vegas, which is served by United and Delta Airlines, operated by SkyWest. But you’ll only shave a couple of hours from your drive time: Flights stop in Denver or Salt Lake City, so your shortest flying time will start around four hours each way. If you’re feeling spendy, you can charter a helicopter flight through Maverick Helicopter, though it will cost over $12,000 each way. 

What is the Best Time to Travel to Arches National Park?

Summer is punishingly hot in Arches. The daytime temperatures can top 100 F, and since you’ll need to hike to get to some of its best attractions, the days can get brutal. The best time to visit is from April through May and September through October, when the daytime temperatures average between 60 and 80 degrees. Make sure you book your lodging in Green River or Moab well in advance, though, because these are the busiest months. Winter in the park can be unexpectedly magical, especially if you’re lucky enough to see snowfall around Delicate Arch. The daytime highs from December through February range between 44 and 52 degrees, with freezing temperatures at night, but you’ll have your pick of rooms at much lower prices. 

What is the Most Scenic Route to Arches National Park? 

There are several routes to Arches National Park from Las Vegas, and the most direct way—via I-15 N and I-70 E—is the shortest, at 6.5 hours. It’s a scenic road by nature (this is Southern Utah’s red rock country, after all), and you’ll pass through the Fishlake National Forest. But to see the most on your way, split off the I-15 at St. George, Utah, and go east. You can pass through Capitol Reef National Park, Zion National park, the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, and Canyonlands National Park and see the whole area. You’ll pass through Page, Arizona and Big Water, Utah if you take the route on Highways 89 and 191, or wend your way through the Mighty Five on Scenic Byway 12. The byway is renowned as one of the most beautiful in the country, and you’ll pass slot canyons, forests, and red rock formations on the 122-mile drive that takes you from Bryce Canyon through Capitol Reef to Torrey, Utah. 

What Time is It in Arches National Park?

Like the rest of Utah, Arches National Park is on Mountain Time, and observes Daylight Savings Time.

What is There to Do Near Arches National Park?

When you get to Arches, you’ll obviously want to see its most famous sites—the arches. You definitely won’t want to miss the 52-foot-tall Delicate Arch, which is a three-mile hike out and back that gains about 500 feet along the way. It’s one of the most dramatic sights you’ll ever see, but the hike itself is manageable. (Not a hiker? You can view it from about a mile away from its Upper and Lower Viewpoints by walking less than a half mile from your car.) 

Devils Garden, the area at the end of the park road 18 miles north of Arches Visitor Center, is another don’t-miss and contains Landscape Arch, the longest arch in North America (306 feet and only six feet in diameter at its narrowest). You can do this easy 1.9-mile hike along a flat, well-defined path. Other sites to visit include the stunning Balanced Rock, the Windows Section (with some of the largest arches in the park), and the architectural-looking walls and turrets of the aptly named Park Avenue and Courthouse Towers.

If you use Moab as your base, you’ll be in one of the state’s most adventurous towns. The town has become the base for adventures along the Colorado River, as well as a paradise for adrenaline junkies who love canyoneering, biking on slickrock, ATVing, fishing, skydiving, and virtually any other activity you can think of to do outdoors. 

If you plan to visit more than one of the national parks, you might consider an America the Beautiful National Park Pass, which is $80 and good for a year for all US national parks and national wildlife refuges. Otherwise, the fee for Arches is $35 per vehicle, good for seven days. You can also buy a Southeast Utah Parks Pass for $55, which admits one vehicle into Arches and Canyonlands as well as Hovenweep and Natural Bridges National Monument for a year. 

Frequently Asked Questions
  • How can I travel from Las Vegas to Arches National Park?

    You can travel from Las Vegas to Arches National Park by car, bus, helicopter charter or plane.

  • How far is Las Vegas from Arches National Park?

    Arches National Park itself is just a 453-mile drive from Las Vegas, as well as an 8 hour bus ride, a 2.8 hour helicopter charter, or a 4 hour flight with connections.

  • What is the best time to travel to Arches National Park?

    The best time to visit Arches National Park is from April through May and September through October, when the daytime temperatures average between 60 and 80 degrees.