The park is 76,679 acres (119.811 sq mi in area. Its highest elevation is 5,653 feet (1,723 m) at Elephant Butte, and its lowest elevation is 4,085 feet (1,245 m) at the visitor center. Forty-three arches are known to have collapsed since 1977. The park receives 10 inches (250 mm) of rain a year on average.
Administered by the National Park Service, the area was originally named a National Monument on April 12, 1929. It was redesignated as a National Park on November 12, 1971.