Arches National Park

Day Hikes
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Arches National Park
Arches National Park (Photodisc/Getty)

Easy Hikes

Desert Nature Trail
Starting Point: Arches Visitor Center
Length: 0.2 mile (0.3 km) round-trip
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Discover the adaptations of plants and animals in the desert on a self-guided nature walk. Trail guide available at the trailhead.

Balanced Rock
Starting Point: Balanced Rock parking area
Length: 0.3 mile (0.5 km) round-trip
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
A loop trail around the base of a fragile, picturesque rock formation.

The Windows
Starting Point: Windows parking area
Length: 1 mile (1.6 km) round-trip
Time: 30 to 60 minutes
A gentle climb up a gravel loop trail leads to three massive arches (North and South Windows and Turret Arch). An alternate return, slightly longer, is by way of the primitive loop around the back of the two Windows. The primitive loop trail starts at the South Window viewpoint.

Double Arch
Starting Point: Double Arch parking area
Length: 0.5 mile (0.8 km) round-trip
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
A relatively flat, sandy trail leads to the base of two giant arch spans that are joined at one end.

Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Starting Point: Delicate Arch Viewpoint parking area
Length: 100 yards (91 meters) round-trip
Time: 10 to 15 minutes
In addition to the short accessible trail, another (moderately strenuous) hiking trail climbs one-half mile (0.8 km) toward Delicate Arch and ends at the rim of a steep canyon that separates the viewpoint from the arch. (This is not the popular trail to Delicate Arch, which starts at the Wolfe Ranch parking area.)

Sand Dune Arch
Starting Point: Sand Dune Arch parking area
Length: 0.4 mile (0.6 km) round-trip
Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Trail leads through deep sand to a secluded arch among sandstone fins.

Broken Arch
Starting Point: Sand Dune Arch parking area or Devils Garden campground across from campsite #40
Length: 1.2 miles (2 km) round-trip; 2 miles (3.2 km) including the loop
Time: 30 to 60 minutes
From the Sand Dune Arch parking area, the trail cuts across a large meadow to the arch and continues to the campground. Loop trail leads through fin canyons with sand dunes and slickrock.

Skyline Arch
Starting Point: Skyline Arch parking area
Length: 0.4 mile (0.6 km) round-trip
Time: 10 to 20 minutes
A short hike on a flat, well-defined trail. On a cold November night in 1940, a large chunk fell out of the arch, instantly doubling the size of its opening.

Landscape Arch
Starting Point: Devils Garden trailhead parking area
Length: 2 miles (3.2 km) round-trip
Time: 30 to 60 minutes
A relatively flat, gravel-surfaced trail (usually heavily populated with hikers) leads to a spectacular ribbon of rock, whose span is more than a football field in length. Short side trips to Tunnel and Pine Tree Arches. Trail guide available at trailhead.

Moderate Hikes

Park Avenue
Starting Point: Park Avenue parking area
Ending Point: Courthouse Towers parking area
Length: 1 mile (1.6 km) one way
Time: 30 to 60 minutes
Elevation change: 320 feet (98 meters)
From Park Avenue parking area, the trail descends steeply into a spectacular canyon and continues down the wash to Courthouse Towers. If you have a shuttle driver, you can begin at one point and be picked up at the other. For round-trip hiking, retrace your steps along the trail rather than walk along the park road.

Tower Arch
Starting Point: Klondike Bluffs parking area, via the Salt Valley road
Length: 3.4 miles (5.6 km) round-trip
Time: 2 to 3 hours
The trail climbs a steep, but short, rock wall, cuts across a valley, and then meanders through sandstone fins and sand dunes. An alternate, shorter trail (0.3 mile [0.4 km] one way), begins at the end of the four-wheel-drive road on the west side of Tower Arch. This unpaved road washes out quickly in rainstorms; inquire at the visitor center about road conditions before heading out.

Difficult Hikes

Delicate Arch
Starting Point: Wolfe Ranch parking area
Length: 3 miles (4.8 km) round-trip
Time: 2 to 3 hours
Elevation change: 480 feet (146 meters)
Take at least one quart (one liter) of water per person! There is no shade. Open slickrock with some exposure to heights. The first half-mile is a wide, well-defined trail. Upon reaching the slickrock, follow the rock cairns. The trail climbs gradually and levels out toward the top of this rock face. Just before you get to Delicate Arch, the trail goes along a rock ledge for about 200 yards.

Fiery Furnace (Fee Area)
The Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons and fins. Visitors who want to explore the Fiery Furnace must obtain a hiking permit at the visitor center (fee charged), or sign up for a ranger-guided hike.

Double O Arch
Starting Point: Devils Garden Trailhead parking area
Length: 4 miles (6.4 km) round-trip
Time: 2 to 3 hours
Beyond Landscape Arch, the trail becomes more challenging as it climbs over sandstone slabs; footing is rocky; there are narrow ledges with exposure to heights. Spur trails lead to Partition and Navajo Arches. Dark Angel is 0.5 mile (0.8 km) farther. Trail guide available at trailhead.

Devils Garden Primitive Loop
Starting Point: Devils Garden Trailhead parking area
Length: 7.2 miles (11.5 km) round-trip, including all spur trails to points of interest.
Time: 3 to 5 hours
Longest of the maintained trails in the park, the Devils Garden Trail leads to eight awe-inspiring arches. Expect narrow ledges with rocky surface hiking and scrambling on slickrock. Not recommended when rock is wet or snowy. Trail guide available at trailhead.


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