We couldn’t decide our favourite Park, Arches or Bryce Canyon. Arches requires a vehicle and a fair amount of driving from site to site whereas a good pair of legs would suffice in Bryce. Bryce also has a useful shuttle bus in high season and a good number of camping/lodging locations inside the park, near the main feature, the amphitheatre, but Arches only has one campground inside.
Arches National Park, however, has an excellent, young and lively town nearby – Moab – offering good dining and all sorts of wacky experiences in the two other huge, adjacent parks, Canyonlands and Sand Flats Recreation Area, including the USA’s best mountain bike trail – Slickrock – totally mad 4WD and ATV trips, moderate white water rafting and so on.
And finally, some arches. . . Double Arch after . 8 mile (1. 2kms) walk.
Visually the two parks are on a different scale. Bryce goes for the packed and pointy, melting-rock look in spectacular colours from two viewpoints, above and below. Arches offers equally eccentric shapes, but bigger, and in dramatic individual settings with plenty of open space and endless angles. Both have well marked trails lasting from half an hour to several hours, to and around the incredible sights.