Visit This Popular US National Park Where Indiana Jones Scenes Were Filmed

As Indiana Jones said, "If you wanna be a good archaeologist, you gotta get out of the library!" – and head to Arches National Park in Utah. Even if you've never visited, this park is one of the many that are immediately recognizable upon glimpsing its most famous features — the grand sandstone arches. What, besides these incredible geological features, makes it so famous? Well, it's the location where some of your favorite movies have been filmed, including the opening scene of the third Indiana Jones movie, "The Last Crusade."

If you recall, the movie opens with a scene from when Jones was a boy scout, walking with his troop underneath one of the 2,000 stone arches that are scattered throughout the park. This also happens to be one of his first adventures as a vigilante treasure hunter-slash-conservationist, making it one of the more special moments in the franchise. What better place for it to take place than the mysterious and awe-inspiring Arches National Park?

If you're looking to replicate that thrill-seeking adventure, you're sure to find something analogous to that feeling if you visit the arches, but before you go, there are a few things you should know.

The best time and areas to visit at the Arches National Park

The Arches National Park is a popular place for visitors to Utah and locals alike. Since this is a high desert — meaning it's a high-elevation desert with cold winters and hot summers — the peak seasons will be from April to May and September to October. While these periods promise great weather, the National Park Service recommends visitors try to come in the slower seasons, since traffic and crowds can be very overwhelming.

Whatever time of year you plan to visit, there are a few places that are a must-see. First up is the Park Avenue Viewpoint, which is a canyon with sheer walls that are reminiscent of urban landscapes in the U.S. Here, you'll also find the Courthouse Towers, huge monoliths that also appear like skyscrapers towering over you. Then there's the Balanced Rock. This is a 128-foot-tall sandstone tower, worn down to appear as though there is a large boulder balancing on a thin column of stone.

Finally, you have to pay a visit to the Windows section with the Double Arch and the Windows and Turret Arch. However, the number one crowd attractor — maybe even the most iconic singular geologic feature in the country — has to be the Delicate Arch, a nationally iconic geologic feature that is also the symbol of Utah.

How to get there and where to stay inside the park

Getting to Arches National Park isn't too difficult as long as you have a car. Without one, you'll have to go with a tour group as there is no public transportation inside the park. If you do decide to go by car, this is a great excuse to take a road trip. Alternatively, if you live too far to drive, you could fly into one of three airports near the park: Canyonlands Field (CNY), Grand Junction Regional Airport (GJT), or Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC). Canyonlands Field is the closest of the three but relatively small, so you'll have to fly to Denver or Salt Lake City first to get a flight there. There are car rentals available there if you need it.

As for where to stay, if you enjoy camping, there couldn't be a better place to do it, especially since there are no lodges inside the park. The Devil's Garden Campground is the only campsite available in the park. With only 51 sites available for both RVs and tent camping, getting a reservation is competitive and can be difficult. For peak months between March and October, be sure to make your reservation far in advance of your trip. However, between November and February, it's first-come, first-serve. There are also campsites outside of the park if you'd prefer not to throw elbows for a spot.