This park is located in the middle of a tourist area. If you don't plan on camping, don't fear. There are an incredible number of motels to be found in Moab, Utah. What you won't see advertised are the campsites provided by the Beauro of Land Management (or BLM). Make sure you have plenty of gas when you enter the park. The park is 17 miles long and it's all uphill from the Ranger Station to the campgrounds.
The Ranger Station is located just inside of the Kiosk. There is a lot of good information for anyone entering the park. This is an area that is often flooded with too many people, and the park doesn't try to stench the flow of visitors - so I recommend that you chose your path the day before you try to hike it. The parking is limited and fills up quickly, so come early if you hope to park at the 'Devils Garden' trailhead or the 'Windows' parking area.
There are picnic tables located at the Ranger Station, but there are no rock formations to be seen there. You will find many other turn-outs in the park, but there are no areas with fire pits outside of the campgrounds.
There are many easy hikes offered in the Arches National Park, but I must reccomend the 'Devils Garden Trailhead'. This is a hike of 2.2 miles one way and it seems quite a bit longer, but it is worth the effort. I started this hike early in the morning and took all of the side trails. I actualy hiked out to the double O arch (4.2 miles) with a 28 pound kid on my back. My husband and I tried to continue on the primitive trail, but found it unsafe for hiking with the baby. This whole hike is a great trip if you are willing to walk a bit. You can hike from the campground to an arch called broken arch (it's not really broken) and this trail will take you to Sand Dune arch. You can also easily hike to Sand Dune arch from the road. This is an ideal place to cut the kids loose, as it is all sand dunes. These trails are very easy and safe hikes.
The most photogenic arch I saw was the delicate arch. There is a viewpoint for this arch: but don't waste your time with a parking lot. This hike is not really very far (a few miles) but it is all uphill. It really is worth the view. It is not extremely steep, but the climb is intense. You go up and go up....then you go up some more. I carried a kid on backpack. If your kids are walking on their own, I recommend that you save this trip for kids who will follow your directions exactly. The final climb of this trip is along a narrow trail carved in rock. I saw a couple of kids have a pretend gunfight along this ledge. I also watched their father just about pass out.All of the trails were fairly well maintained and are safe for well supervised children.
My personal favorite of all of the arches is the double arch but all were excellent.
I have to recommend the B.L.M. campgrounds available on the Colorado river just south of the park. If you don't find a campsite in the park itself, consider yourself blessed. The camping system this National park offers is the worst system I have ever seen. The whole system is backward. You can camp for a tenth of the price on the Colorado river in a B.L.M. site and enjoy a lot more privacy.
If you do want to camp in the park, you will pay $10 bucks just to get in and an additional $15 to camp per night... If you do stay in the park you will enjoy being a short walk away from the 'Devils Garden' trailhead.You can hike all of the really cool places in two days, and you don't need to camp in the park.
Before you begin the hike to delicate arch take a trail map available near the trail head. This will give you directions to petrogliffs not far off the trail along with information. If the maps are all gone, just take a left after the hanging bridge and follow the trail - and keep your eyes open !