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What Are The Most Dangerous Creatures in Arches National Park?

Most people know Arches National Park for its more than 2,000 natural arches. However, many visitors often overlook the dangerous creatures that call the park home.

If you want to plan a trip to Arches National Park or have it on your bucket list, keep reading. You may protect yourself from a frightening and challenging situation.

Let’s get into it.

What Makes a Creature Dangerous?

A dangerous animal can cause severe or life-threatening injuries to humans and other animals. They’ll often become increasingly hostile if hungry, threatened, or they feel you pose a risk to their babies.

The type of dangerous creatures will vary from one area to the next. The animals in Montana are very different from the ones in Florida. Be aware of the animals where you are to know how to avoid them.

Pro Tip: Ready to hike Arches National Park? This is How to Spend a Day in Arches National Park.

Woman posing while hiking in Arches National Park.
Keep your eyes peeled for dangerous creatures when hiking in Arches National Park.

The Most Dangerous Animals in Arches National Park

Whether you see them during your adventures at Arches National Park or not, know that these animals live there. Here are a handful of the creatures you should watch for while looking for arches.


Arches National Park is home to eight different types of rattlesnakes. While most will scurry away to avoid human contact, bites and close encounters happen. You can avoid getting bit with a heavy-footed walk to create noise. Stay on the trail and never put your feet or hands anywhere you haven’t looked.

If you do hear the distinct sound of a rattlesnake’s tail, immediately stop. Use your sense of hearing to locate the snake and back away slowly. 

If the snake crosses the trail, wait for it to leave or find an alternate route. Trying to rush or move a rattlesnake along typically doesn’t go well. Depending on your location, help could be a considerable distance away from you.

Mountain Lions

Mountain lions feed on deer and other small animals found in the park. These massive cats will typically be very calm, quiet, and elusive. They like to avoid human contact, and sightings are rare. Mountain lion attacks are rare, but they have occurred.

You can avoid mountain lions by making lots of noise, especially when hiking between dusk to dawn. Carry on conversations or sing while you walk to help ward off these beasts. 

Many hikers will even attach a bell to their hiking backpacks. Keep small children close to you, and don’t let them run ahead or fall behind.


Bobcats are typically about the size of an average house cat. These are some of the most elusive animals in Arches National Park. People rarely see them. They move about the park stealthily. 

They typically feed on rabbits, squirrels, and mice. As bobcat sightings are extremely rare, you don’t have to worry about attacks on humans. Even minimal amounts of noise will likely keep them at bay while hiking and walking around the park.


Coyotes are another rare animal in the park that can be dangerous. If you do see a coyote, it will likely run away from you. 

Most run-ins with coyotes typically involve dog owners that have their pet off-leash. Coyotes may avoid you, but they’ll likely try to take down a dog. Since dogs aren’t allowed on trails in Arches, this helps minimize your risk of an encounter. 

The Most Dangerous Creepy Crawlies in Arches National Park

There are a couple of dangerous creepy crawlies in Arches National Park. Don’t make the mistake of believing that they aren’t dangerous just because they’re small.

Black Widow Spiders

While many of the larger dangerous creatures we’ve looked at are rare, black widow spiders are relatively common in Arches. However, they typically only bite out of self-defense. If you watch where you walk and reach, you won’t have many issues. 

Black widows, one of North America’s most venomous spiders, don’t deliver venom with every bite. And people rarely die from a black widow bite. However, save yourself the trouble and keep your distance.

Giant Hairy Scorpions

This scorpion is the largest in North America. It grows to about 4” to 7” long. They are nocturnal, so you won’t have many issues if you explore during the day. However, shake your shoes out before putting them on in the morning.

These creatures have a venom considered weak to mild. However, if you get stung by a giant hairy scorpion, you’ll experience pain and swelling. 

Some people can have intense reactions that may require a trip to the hospital. If you or someone you travel with gets stung by a scorpion, make sure you keep a close eye on the sting.

Are These Creatures Protected in Arches National Park?

Yes, when in any national park, including Arches, the National Park Service protects all wildlife, habitats, and nature. Park visitors often forget that they are guests in the animal’s homes. 

The killing of any animal or insect is strictly prohibited, except in self-defense. However, park officials take these situations very seriously. You can find yourself in serious legal trouble if you provoke the animal or fail to follow park rules regarding keeping your distance.

Pro Tip: Dangerous creatures aren’t the only reason to avoid Arches National Park! Check out these 5 Reasons To Avoid Arches National Park In 2022.

How to Stay Safe While in Arches

You can stay safe in Arches National Park with some common sense and awareness. Always hike with a group and keep the conversation going. This will ward off any larger animals and help you connect with your friends. 

You should also only put your hands and feet in places you can see. Reaching into a spot where a snake or other animal may hide may lead to you getting bit.

While many visitors to Arches keep their eyes out for dangerous animals, they forget the more common danger of dehydration. 

The park states that rangers often respond to hundreds of search and rescue missions due to heat exhaustion and dehydration. Make sure you come prepared for the hiking elements and have plenty of food and water.

Know Before You Go

Arches National Park is a great place to hike and explore the incredible landscapes. However, if you set out on your adventures unprepared, your trip can quickly become a disaster. 

Do yourself a favor and never set out on a hike or venture into the wild without doing your research. You can help ensure you can go on many more future adventures and avoid a lot of pain and hospital bills. 

Have you ever seen a dangerous creature in Arches or any other national park? Drop a comment below!

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