Best Hikes in Arches National Park – Utah is perhaps one of the most geographically diverse states in America. From Zion National Park to Bryce Canyon National Park to Arches National Park, the natural splendor in this state is mesmerizing, to say the least, and National Park hikes are a breathtaking way to see it.
Arches National Park has incredible sights, such as expansive desert valleys, wide-open blue skies, and fragile sandstone arches touching the sky. That said, with so many features to see in and near Arches National Park, you can get a bit overwhelmed when trying to find the best hikes.
Best Hikes in Arches National Park
That’s why we have decided to help you identify the best hikes in Arches National Park. Let’s begin!
Hiking the Tower Arch Trail
You can find the Tower Arch Trail in the less-visited part of the Arches NP. Hiking this trail is excellent for those that aren’t too fond of crowds. The terrain on this trail can be pretty rough, so it isn’t a good hiking choice for beginners or hikers with kids. Hiking the entire length of the trail and back is about two miles.
Hiking the Skyline Arch Trail
You can find the Skyline Arch Trail by heading down the Scenic Drive road, all the way to a small car pack. There should be a trailhead at the car park that leads to the Skyline Arch. Hiking this trail is relatively easy, and about 0.2 miles from the car park, you will reach the viewpoint.
Hiking the Broken Arch Trail
While it is called Broken Arch, the Arch on this trail isn’t broken, but it does have a crack at the top that makes it appear to be. There are various ways to get to the Broken Arch. If you are at the Sand Dune Arch, you will discover a trail that leads to the leftover soft sand and scrub. This trial will take you all the way down to Broken Arch. At Broken Arch, you can choose to continue on the side trail to get to the Tapestry Arch or double back.
If you are at the Devils Garden Campground, you should note that you can go through the trail located near campsite #40. Hiking this trail will take you through sage flats and open black brush. From this point, you can head to Broken Arch and Tapestry Arch before continuing onto Sand Dune Arch.
Hiking the Sand Dune Arch Trail
One of the most remarkable features of Arches National Park has to be the Sand Dune Arch. Here, you walk on the deep sand and enter through high rock walls that resemble a tunnel. You could also choose to walk around the Arch to get a full view. The sand makes the Arch unique because it is perfect for kids to play in and explore nearby areas. It also helps that this is one of the shortest hikes in the park.
One thing about this Arch is that it is incredibly well-concealed. You have to go through a narrow aperture fitted snugly between two fins to enter. This area then opens up into a small enclosure surrounded by rock and soft sand. At this point, you might wonder where the Arch is. All you need to do is look off to the right, and you will see the Arch with a dune just underneath it.
Hiking The Double Arch Trail
The Double Arch Trail houses the tallest Arch in the park. You can see this Arch from the Windows Road parking area. However, if you want to see the view up close, you can take a hike for about half a mile to these massive arches. You are bound to have fun climbing all over the rocks below the Arch. Taking a walk to and from should only last about half an hour.
The hike is along a smooth dirt path and is relatively flat and easy. The Arch is very distinctive and is actually two arches together. You can climb up closer to them, but that does involve some scrambling up rocks. The last part to get to the bottom of the Arch is very steep. However, you can see both of the arches well from the end of the flat trail if climbing up rocks isn’t your thing.
Hike The Park Avenue Trail
The Park Avenue trail is the first one you see when you venture into the Arches National Park. If you require a less strenuous hike, the one-mile Park Avenue Trail will appeal to you. Completing this trail one way takes about 30 to 45 minutes, so for a round trip, you should be looking at an hour and a half.
On this Arches National Park hike, you will encounter cliffs all around you on this trail as you descend into the valley. The slope is quite steep, so you should be careful. However, there shouldn’t be an issue as it is short.
Once you pass the steep section, you get flat terrain for the rest of the trail. Near the end, you will come across large enormous rectangular pillars and magnificent rock formations, such as the Courthouse Towers. Note that there aren’t any arches on this trail unless you count the Baby Arch, which is relatively small, as its name implies. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a great trail to hike.
Hiking the Balanced Rock Trail
Balanced Rock is a famous rock formation that every visitor to Arches has to see when visiting the park. It is a massive rock on top of a narrow base. Find it near the parking area or use the road to access it. You can view it while on the road, or you can choose to stop and make a round trip (a little over a quarter-mile) to see it and make some memories.
While most of the trails in Arches National Park have arches, this trail is slightly different. As its name suggests, you get a massive boulder balancing on what appears to be another rock pillar, but it is actually one piece. However, erosion has caused it to appear as two pieces. Hiking this trail is relatively easy as it is mostly flat and paved. You can get views of the rock right from the parking lot and the road. However, if you want to experience the view close up, you definitely should hike.
Hiking the Devils Garden Trail
If you are in the mood for a hike, the Devils Garden is a great one to take. It can be found on the park’s far end, right where the main road ends. The trail called the Primitive Loop goes on for more than seven miles, so it isn’t for everyone. However, it does contain unique, incredible rock formations.
It can be a strenuous hike as you brave the heights and navigate the slick rock. You can simply choose a section of the trail for those short on time to hike. Right from the Devils Garden trailhead, you can take the 1.6 miles round trip on a pretty flat trail to Navajo Arch, Partition Arch, Landscape Arch, and the Double O Arch.
Hiking the Delicate Arch Trail
One of the reasons this Arch is so famous amongst hikers is because it has a free-standing arch, unlike others. And while celebrated, it is certainly not the easiest trail to hike. Most people like to walk this trail closer to sunset to get the perfect picture. Note this trail is about one and a half miles long one way, so if you plan to catch it during golden hour, leave yourself enough time. You can find the beginning of this trail at Wolfe Ranch, a historic cabin where you can learn what it was like to live as a pioneer.
The Delicate Arch trail crosses a bridge over Salt Wash. However, the rest continues over loose slip rock. If you are hiking in the summer, you should ensure you pack enough water as this region can get quite hot.
You should note that the Delicate Arch trail can be pretty tricky since there are a lot of slopes (both downhill and uphill). Ideally, hiking this trail takes about four hours, and it lasts for one and a half miles one way. So, if you intend to head back to the Wolfe Ranch parking lot, you will have to take into account the time it takes to return.
Hiking the delicate arch viewpoint
You can also hike the viewpoint. It is an easy five-minute walk, and from here, you can get a good view through Delicate Arch, which is three-quarters of a mile away. You could continue on the upper part of the trail, which goes up by 200 feet, but the lower part is more manageable.
Hiking the Windows Trail
It would be best to head to the Windows section parking lot to start the Windows Trail. From there, you should see a relatively easy trail to both North and South Windows. This trail also has a short path that leads to Turret Arch.
North and South Windows are the names of two large arches placed right next to each other. This hike is one of the best at Arches National Park.
It is so easy that even non-hikers are bound to love it. You should note there are some steps on this trail, but it is pretty easy to traverse. The first 100 meters are flat and paved before leading to a rougher surface. Here, the trail diverts to Turret Arch on the right and the Windows on the left.
The first Arch you come across is the North Window, the most popular one on the hike. Scrambling from the tail to the Arch is relatively easy. You could even choose to stand inside the Arch and see the park below.
To get to the South Window, you must continue along the trail. At this point, you can choose to go to Turret Arch or go back the way you came. Alternatively, there is a third way to the parking area via the South Window using a primitive trail. You don’t have to worry about getting lost as cairns mark the path.
Hiking the Turret Arch Trail
This Arch is so named because it has a pillar that looks like a turret next to it. The Turret Arch isn’t as famous as the Windows because some of the steps are inclined and it is only a couple of hundred yards away. Once you get to the Arch, you can go through it and then turn around to see the framed Window.
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