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Arches National Park Hiking

Arches National Park Landscape

Arches contains a wealth of hiking trails. Ranging in length and difficulty, these trails provide access to outstanding viewpoints and many of the park's famous features, including Balanced Rock and Delicate Arch. In many cases, trails travel under arches, affording quite a different perspective than what is visible from a car. For more information on Arches trails, several guidebooks are available from the bookstore.

Easy Trails

Balanced Rock

Starting Point: Balanced Rock parking area

Length: 0.3 mi/0.5 km round trip

Time: 15 to 30 minutes

A loop trail around the base of a fragile, picturesque rock formation.

Broken Arch

Starting Point: Sand Dune Arch parking area or Devils Garden campground across from campsite #40

Length: 1.2 mi/2 km round trip; 2 mi/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.

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.)

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.

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 which are joined at one end.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Moderate Trails

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.

Long Trails

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 1 quart (1 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.

Devils Garden Primitive Loop

Starting Point: Devils Garden Trailhead parking area

Length: 7.2 mi/11.5 km round-trip, including all 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.

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 one-half mile (0.8 km) farther. Trail guide available at trailhead.

Fiery Furnace

The Fiery Furnace is a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons and fins. There are no marked trails and the area has suffered resource damage due to increased visitation. Hikers who want to explore the Fiery Furnace must obtain a permit at the visitor center (fee charged) and watch a minimum impact video. All visitors are encouraged to sign up for a ranger-guided hike.

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