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Arches National Park Hikes

Where Trails End Beneath Magnificent Arches

A day of hiking in Arches National Park is one that pairs world-famous landmark views with a humbling sense of respect for the desolate stretches of sandstone formations. The park is one of Southern Utah’s most famous hiking destinations, with an easily accessible network of trails that often culminate right at the base of an impressive sandstone arch. Start building out your to-do list by exploring the park’s trails below, or keep planning by finding a place to stay near the park.

Hiker beneath Navajo Arch
Hiker beneath Navajo Arch

The 5 Best Hikes in Arches

There’s something special about every trail in Arches, which makes it difficult to call any five “the best”. However, based on popularity, here are the five best hikes in Arches to start with:

  1. Delicate Arch Trail
  2. Fiery Furnace
  3. Landscape Arch
  4. Park Avenue
  5. Windows Primitive Loop

 

Family-Friendly Hikes

Park Avenue | 2 miles

A must-do scenic stroll in the shadow of nature’s skyscrapers, named for the famous street in New York City.

Windows Primitive Loop | 1 mile

A relatively short hike where you’ll find three separate arch formations.

Double Arch | .8 mile

One of the most popular hikes in the park, this short trail ends beneath a spectacular arch.

Broken Arch | 2 miles

Another popular loop trail that leads hikers through a sandstone arch.

Landscape Arch | 1.6 miles

Consider this trail a must-do hike to see the largest arch in Arches National Park. Plus, two more arches are easily reached with a short side trip.

 

Sand Dune Arch in Arches National Park
Sand Dune Arch in Arches National Park

Moderate Day Hikes

Delicate Arch | 3 miles

The trail that likely brought you to Arches for the first time, this heavily-trafficked hike concludes at the world’s most famous arch. Visitors can see The Delicate Arch from a nearby viewpoint as well. If you want to experience this arch without crowds consider visiting in winter or trying to reach it at sunrise.

Double O Arch | 4.2 miles

A trail to a most unusual formation where one arch is on top of another.

Devils Garden Primitive Loop | 7.2 miles

The longest, most difficult hike in Arches National Park but a good choice for solitude; includes hiking to Landscape and Double O Arches.

Tower Arch | 3.4 miles

A moderate (or even strenuous) hike to one of the most remote arches in Arches National Park.

Fiery Furnace | 2 miles

A ranger-led (or permit required) hike to a rare desert environment named for the reddish glow it often takes on at sunset, which resembles a furnace.

 

Backpacking Information

Although not the most common place to backpack near Moab (explore Canyonlands backpacking), some adventurous hikers seek solitude and a trail-less-traveled in the Arches backcountry. There are four dedicated backcountry camping areas available, which require a backcountry use permit.

The Arches backcountry is challenging terrain, where water and shade are very limited or unavailable. Before planning a backpacking trip, be sure to do the proper research; get your backcountry use permit, learn what you’ll need to pack in (and out), and do your part to protect the ecosystem that makes Arches National Park such an incredible destination.

 

Popular Hikes Near Arches National Park

Corona Arch | 3 miles

This excellent hike above the Colorado River Canyon leads to three arches, including Corona Arch, one of the largest arches in the Moab area. This is an excellent hike for those who want to enjoy arches far from the crowds.

Hidden Valley Trail | 4 miles

A steep hike leads to a hidden valley high above Moab and Spanish Valley. After climbing quickly to the valley, the trail traverses it below gorgeous, towering cliffs. A great hike for those seeking solitude.

Grandstaff Trailhead | 4 miles

A journey into this small desert canyon is not terribly difficult, and along the trail you will find a clear stream running year-round, as well as the magnificent Morning Glory Natural Bridge.

 

Sunset at La Sal Mountains Viewpoint
Sunset at La Sal Mountains Viewpoint

Things to Know

Pack Your Daypack

Arches National Park can be a barren landscape, where water and shade-cover are generally unavailable. Before hitting the trails, make sure you have a day pack ready with more than enough water and the necessary sun protection, food, and capable footwear.

 

Know the Forecast

Arches National Park took its shape because of the area’s varying weather patterns. The park is often very hot mid-day, where temperatures can reach over 100oF, and can be very cold at night. Plus, sudden rain storms frequently pass over the park unannounced. Take a look at the weather forecast while you’re in town to ensure you make the most of your day in the park.

 

Explore the Arches Region

Exploring the region surrounding Arches National Park is the best way to make the most of your trip. Thrill-seekers call it an action sports hub, thanks to the world-class mountain biking, white water rafting and OHV trails nearby. Others call it charming, with the soulful town of Moab and some of Southern Utah’s best viewpoints nearby. Whatever calls to you, learn more with our complete Arches Region itinerary.

 

Try To Avoid The Crowds

As one of Utah’s most coveted national parks, Arches tends to get very busy during the warm-weather months. To avoid the crowds, consider taking your hikes early in the morning or late in the evening, and visit the park’s viewpoints at night (the stargazing is incredible).

 

Hiking in Arches Can Be Difficult

As one of the most accessible national parks in Utah, Arches offers a great balance of mild and more-challenging trails. While the Double Arch trail is very achievable for most, many hikers are surprised by the difficulty of the Delicate Arch trail. Some trails can have steep grades, and may be more difficult than their total length leads you to believe. Make the most of your time hiking by researching each trail on your itinerary, and plan accordingly.

Read these additional resources to learn how to travel thoughtfully and experience Arches National Park most fully.

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