So you want to go to Arches National Park? Well, be prepared to get up very early during peak times. If you are not in the park by 9:00 AM you may be out of luck. Arches by definition does NOT have a lot of parking. Most of the Arches are quick out and back trails so a ton of cars try to squeeze in these trail heads.
However, if you want a little adventure and are willing to drive a Forest Road, then you can drive right up to Arches National Park without ever going through the Visitors Center. In fact, you can visit Tower Arch without ever going through the park.
You want to find Salt Valley Road in the very Northeast section of Arches. Salt Valley Road will take you past Tower Arch (trailhead) and then take you all the way into the park.
See the full video with explanation here:
Directions: Take 191 North out of Moab. It’s the very last Forest Road on the right before you get to Hwy 70. It’s called FR 145 or Valley City Road. THERE IS NO SIGN. Turn Right and go through the Cattle Gate. In about a mile or so, you will intersect with Salt Valley Road, NO SIGN. This is FR 144. Turn Right. FR 144 will then take you ALL the way into Arches National Park where the road then becomes paved. Our suggestion to to buy the Moab BLM map with all the Forest Roads on them.
Have fun and your welcome. 🙂