Tis the Season to Visit Arches National Park

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Double Arch: With a flat, half-mile approach, this is a must-see and easy arch to “bag.”

November and December are prime time to visit Moab, Utah. Now that the summer’s oppressive heat is over, you’ll appreciate the desert sunshine without immediate dehydration, and, better yet, the summer-break crowds have vanished, leaving the national parks as close to empty as you’ll get—especially on weekdays. I highly suggest using a mid-week rest day to hike around Arches National Park. No, you can’t climb the arches, but you certainly can, and should, admire some of Moab’s most aesthetic rock formations. If you wake up early and hike fast, you can see nearly the entire park in a single day—also highly recommended.

Need more convincing? Here are a few arches and some rock art to get you psyched.

(Click on the gallery for information about each arch.)

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The Windows: Nature at a masquerade ball.

And now for some lesser-known formations that are worth hiking to:

(Click on the gallery for more information about each arch.)

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Turret Arch: Another short approach (less than half a mile) to a gem.

And while you’re in the area, you might as well hit up Canyonlands for endless towers and easy rest-day hikes to overwhelming views.

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Canyonlands: Rocks for days and days and even more days.
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