Pets are only allowed in parking lots, at viewpoints, on roads and in the campground of Arches National Park. Pets are not allowed on any trails. During our recent trip to Moab, Utah, I hadn't planned to visit pet unfriendly Arches National Park. Then I realized that the entrance to the park was very near the trail head of the pet-friendly desert hike I had planned outside of the park. I just couldn't resist a detour into the world famous desert park. I knew I would have to sacrifice seeing a lot of what Arches National Park has to offer by taking the dogs and cockatoo Leo along. But we had a wonderful time!
We made four stops on our two hour drive through Arches; La Sal Mountains Viewpoint, the Windows Section, Garden of Eden and Balanced Rock. This wasn't much but Wilhelm, Brychwyn and Huxley deserved a real hike and Leo was getting tired. I was willing to forfeit a grand tour of the entire park in order to experience a small portion of it safely and pleasurably with my pets. Still, I felt like I saw so much! What an amazing feast for the eyes Arches is. There was something beautifully unique in every direction just gazing from the air conditioned van.
When we followed the road into the parking lot loop to view The Windows Section, I almost didn't stop. It was very crowded and I wasn't sure I could safely walk the dogs along the narrow, mostly shoulder less road and through the over flowing parking lot. As I gazed in awe at the North and South Windows from the van, I briefly felt a little deprived because of being there with the pets. The trails from the parking area lead to several windows and arches that hoards of people were standing in and admiring. The left-out feeling passed quickly into gratitude for traveling with pets; I wanted nothing more than to get away from that mass of people. I did get lucky and got one of the only two parking spots in the entire area. The parking spot also happened to be one I could safely get the dogs and Leo out of the van. Obviously, it was meant to be for us to stop for just a few photos.
Our last stop was at Balanced Rock. I got worried about being able to safely walk the dogs here since the parking lot was almost full. Fortunately, cars park on the opposite side of the gravel overlook. This was a short but sweet stop that Leo enjoyed most of all.
All of the pets were so well behaved on such a boring-for-pets car tour of a not-pet-friendly national park. I was beaming with pride and decided we should quit while we were ahead. There was so much more I wanted to see! When we first began the drive back to the entrance I had planned to make a few more stops. But that wasn't in the best interest of my animal traveling companions, so we left Arches National park.