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Best Hikes In Arches National Park


Modified: January 3, 2024

by Traci Fortunato



Utah is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of stunning landscapes and natural wonders to explore. One of the most iconic and breathtaking destinations in Utah is Arches National Park. Located in the eastern part of the state, Arches National Park is renowned for its unique rock formations, towering arches, and breathtaking hiking trails.


The park spans over 76,000 acres of desert terrain, providing visitors with a unique opportunity to witness the power and beauty of nature. With over 2,000 natural stone arches, including the famous Delicate Arch, Arches National Park offers a mesmerizing experience for hikers of all skill levels.


Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual nature lover, Arches National Park has a variety of hiking trails to suit your preferences and abilities. From short walks to longer, more challenging hikes, there is something for everyone. In this article, we will explore some of the best hikes in Arches National Park, showcasing the park’s natural beauty and adventurous spirit.


As you embark on your hiking journey in Arches National Park, it’s important to remember that the park is home to delicate ecosystems and unique geological formations. It’s crucial to respect and preserve the natural environment by sticking to designated trails, disposing of waste properly, and leaving no trace behind.


Now, let’s dive into the fascinating world of Arches National Park and discover the best hikes that await you in this magnificent desert landscape.


Delicate Arch Trail

The Delicate Arch Trail is perhaps the most iconic and popular hike in Arches National Park. This 3-mile round trip trail takes you on a journey to witness the mesmerizing Delicate Arch, which has become a symbol of Utah’s natural beauty.


The trail starts at the Wolfe Ranch parking area and gradually ascends through rugged terrain. Along the way, you’ll be treated to stunning views of red rock formations, desert flora, and glimpses of other arches. The highlight of the hike is, of course, the moment when you finally lay eyes on the awe-inspiring Delicate Arch.


The Delicate Arch stands at an impressive 52 feet tall and has a captivating presence against the backdrop of the desert landscape. It’s no wonder that this arch is featured on Utah license plates and attracts visitors from around the world.


The trail does require moderate physical exertion, including a stretch of slickrock where you’ll need to navigate carefully. Bring plenty of water, especially if you’re hiking during the hotter months, and be sure to wear sturdy footwear for the rocky terrain.


It’s recommended to visit the Delicate Arch early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds and witness the arch in the most magical light. As you sit beneath the arch, take a moment to soak in the serenity of the surrounding landscape and marvel at the natural wonder before you.


The Delicate Arch Trail is a must-do hike for anyone visiting Arches National Park. It’s a memorable experience that showcases the grandeur and majesty of Utah’s natural beauty.


Devil’s Garden Loop Trail

If you’re looking for a longer and more adventurous hiking experience in Arches National Park, the Devil’s Garden Loop Trail should be on your itinerary. This 7.2-mile loop takes you through a stunning array of natural phenomena, including numerous arches, fins, and towering sandstone formations.


The trail, located at the northern end of the park, starts with a relatively easy stroll along a well-marked path. You’ll encounter several marvelous arches along the way, including Landscape Arch, one of the longest natural arches in the world. Its slender, delicate shape is simply breathtaking.


As you continue along the trail, it becomes more challenging, with narrow sections and occasional rock scrambling. Be prepared for some steep drops and thrilling moments as you navigate the scenic landscape. However, the effort is well worth it, as you’ll have the opportunity to explore lesser-known arches and hidden gems.


One of the highlights of the Devil’s Garden Loop Trail is the chance to visit the impressive Double O Arch. This double arch formation is a unique sight to behold, offering a perfect spot for resting and marveling at the surrounding beauty. Capture some stunning photos to commemorate your journey.


Keep in mind that parts of the trail are exposed to direct sunlight, so it’s essential to bring sun protection, plenty of water, and appropriate hiking gear. Be cautious and stay hydrated, especially during the hotter months when temperatures can soar.


Whether you choose to hike the entire loop or opt for a shorter out-and-back hike, the Devil’s Garden Trail promises a memorable adventure. It’s a chance to immerse yourself in the rugged desert landscape and witness some of the most captivating natural formations in Arches National Park.


Landscape Arch Trail

The Landscape Arch Trail is a moderate hike that leads you to one of the most impressive natural arches in Arches National Park. This trail is approximately 1.6 miles round trip and offers stunning views of the park’s unique rock formations and breathtaking desert landscapes.


The trailhead for the Landscape Arch Trail is located at the Devils Garden Trailhead, at the end of the park’s main road. The trail starts off as a relatively easy walk on a flat path, making it accessible for hikers of various skill levels. Along the way, you’ll pass by beautiful rock formations, including the famous Wall Arch, which unfortunately collapsed in 2008.


As you continue on the trail, you’ll reach the awe-inspiring Landscape Arch. Spanning an impressive 306 feet, it is considered one of the longest natural arches in the world. The delicate, slender shape of the arch is a testament to the incredible natural forces at work in this unique landscape.


It’s important to note that in recent years, there have been several incidents of rockfall near Landscape Arch. As a result, hikers are no longer allowed to walk directly under the arch for safety reasons. However, you can still admire its grandeur from a safe distance and capture stunning photographs.


While the Landscape Arch Trail is relatively short, it does require some uphill climbs and rocky sections, so it’s essential to wear appropriate hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. Be sure to also pack sunscreen, a hat, and other sun protection, as much of the trail is exposed to the sun.


Witnessing the breathtaking Landscape Arch is a highlight of any visit to Arches National Park. The trail provides a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the beauty of this natural wonder and appreciate the captivating forces of erosion and time that created it.


Fiery Furnace Trail

The Fiery Furnace trail in Arches National Park is an adventure like no other. This 2-mile loop takes you through a labyrinth of narrow sandstone canyons, towering fins, and hidden arches. It’s a challenging hike that offers a unique and unforgettable exploration of the park’s geological wonders.


Unlike other trails in the park, the Fiery Furnace trail requires a permit and can only be accessed through a guided tour or by obtaining a hiking permit. This is to ensure the safety of visitors in the complex and maze-like terrain of the Fiery Furnace.


The Fiery Furnace got its name due to the glowing red and orange hues that appear during sunset, giving the illusion of a furnace. As you venture into this surreal landscape, be prepared for narrow passages, slickrock surfaces, and the need to navigate through cracks and crevices.


During the guided tour, a knowledgeable ranger will lead you through the winding canyons, pointing out interesting geological formations and unique flora. Along the way, you’ll have the opportunity to see hidden arches, fascinating rock formations, and even ancient petroglyphs.


The Fiery Furnace trail is not for the faint of heart or those with a fear of enclosed spaces, as some sections require crawling or squeezing through tight spaces. However, the adventure is well worth it as you uncover the secrets of this captivating canyon maze.


It’s important to note that the Fiery Furnace trail is not suitable for young children, individuals with mobility issues, or those without a sense of direction. Hiking in a group and following the guidance of the ranger is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience.


If you’re looking for a thrilling and unique hiking experience, the Fiery Furnace trail is sure to deliver. It offers a chance to explore an otherworldly landscape and discover hidden treasures amidst the sandstone canyons of Arches National Park.


Balanced Rock Trail

The Balanced Rock Trail in Arches National Park is a short and easy hike that rewards visitors with a close-up view of an extraordinary natural phenomenon. This iconic trail showcases the famous Balanced Rock, a massive sandstone boulder precariously balanced atop a much smaller pedestal.


The trailhead for the Balanced Rock Trail is conveniently located near the park entrance, making it easily accessible for visitors. The hike itself is a short 0.3-mile loop on a well-defined path, making it suitable for hikers of all ages and fitness levels. Along the way, informative signs provide insights into the geological forces that shaped the park.


As you approach the Balanced Rock, you’ll be astounded by its massive size and precarious balance. The towering boulder, measuring approximately 39 feet tall and weighing around 3,600 tons, seems to defy gravity. Marvel at the intricate patterns and textures of the sandstone and imagine the forces that sculpted this unique formation over millions of years.


Photographers will especially appreciate the incredible photo opportunities that the Balanced Rock offers. Capture the beauty of the rock against the backdrop of the blue sky or during the soft, warm lighting of sunrise or sunset. The Balanced Rock is a true testament to the remarkable natural wonders found in Arches National Park.


For individuals with limited mobility or those seeking a shorter excursion, there is a viewpoint near the trailhead that offers a distant but still impressive view of the Balanced Rock without the need for hiking.


While the Balanced Rock Trail may not be a strenuous hike, it’s important to come prepared with water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear. During the hotter months, the sun can be intense, so be sure to protect yourself from the elements.


Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the incredible balance of the Balanced Rock on this quick and accessible hike. It’s an awe-inspiring sight that will leave you in awe of the forces of nature.


Park Avenue Trail

The Park Avenue Trail in Arches National Park takes you on a journey through a majestic canyon, reminiscent of the towering skyscrapers of a bustling city. This 1.8-mile trail offers a unique perspective of the park’s red rock formations, with sandstone cliffs rising dramatically on either side.


The trail gets its name from the resemblance it bears to the famous Park Avenue in New York City. As you embark on the hike, you’ll feel as if you’re strolling through a canyon of immense proportions, surrounded by awe-inspiring natural sculptures.


The Park Avenue Trail starts at the Park Avenue Viewpoint, accessible from the Arches National Park entrance road. The trail descends steeply down into the canyon, offering panoramic views of the surrounding cliffs and rock formations.


The trail is mostly downhill, making it a relatively easy hike, but keep in mind that it does require some effort to climb back up on the return journey. Take your time and enjoy the unique geological formations that surround you at every turn.


Along the Park Avenue Trail, you’ll encounter majestic monoliths such as the Three Gossips, the Courthouse Towers, and the Tower of Babel. These towering structures create a dramatic and awe-inspiring backdrop for your hike, offering excellent photo opportunities.


Make sure to bring your camera and capture the stunning red rock formations against the clear blue sky. The interplay of light and shadow throughout the day adds an extra dimension to the enchanting beauty of the Park Avenue Trail.


The trail is typically less crowded during the early morning hours and late afternoon, so try to plan your visit accordingly to enjoy a more serene and peaceful experience.


As with any outdoor adventure, be prepared with water, sunscreen, and appropriate footwear. The trail can be hot and exposed during the peak hours of the day, so it’s essential to protect yourself from the elements.


The Park Avenue Trail is a remarkable hike that allows you to immerse yourself in the grandeur of the canyon and experience the unique energy of the towering rock formations. It’s a must-visit for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike.


Double Arch Trail

The Double Arch Trail in Arches National Park is a short and accessible hike that leads you to a captivating double arch formation. This relatively easy 0.5-mile round trip trail takes you through a sandy desert landscape to witness the majestic beauty of two arches that intersect each other.


The trailhead for the Double Arch Trail is located at the end of the main park road, near the Windows Section. From the parking area, a well-defined path leads you through sandy terrain, with occasional rock steps along the way.


As you approach the destination, you’ll be greeted by the awe-inspiring sight of the double arches. The larger arch has a span of approximately 144 feet, while the smaller arch has a span of about 67 feet. The arches were formed by millions of years of erosion, creating a natural wonder that continues to impress visitors from around the world.


One unique aspect of the Double Arch is its accessibility. Visitors can walk beneath the arches and marvel at the intricacies of their formation. Take a moment to appreciate the sheer size and delicate balance of these magnificent arches as you stand beneath their towering presence.


The Double Arch Trail provides a wonderful opportunity for photography enthusiasts. The combination of the arches and the stunning desert landscape offers a picturesque scene worth capturing. Consider visiting during the golden hours of sunrise or sunset for the best lighting and ambiance.


While the trail itself is relatively short and easy, it’s essential to come prepared with water and sunscreen, especially during the hotter months. The lack of shade along the trail means that the sun can be intense, so take proper precautions to ensure a comfortable hike.


The Double Arch Trail is suitable for visitors of all ages and is a favorite among families with young children. The unique formation of the double arches, combined with the accessibility of the trail, makes it a must-see destination within Arches National Park.


Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Double Arch and appreciate the wonders of nature on this delightful and visually stunning hike.


Windows Loop Trail

The Windows Loop Trail in Arches National Park is a captivating hike that takes you to some of the most iconic and mesmerizing arches in the park. This 1-mile loop offers a unique opportunity to explore the famous North and South Windows, as well as the impressive Turret Arch.


The trailhead for the Windows Loop Trail is located at the parking area near the Windows Section of the park. From there, a well-marked path leads you into an open sandy area, where you’ll be able to see the towering formations in the distance.


As you continue along the trail, you’ll first encounter the North Window, a massive 90-foot wide opening carved out of the sandstone cliffs. It frames the surrounding landscape like a magnificent natural window, inviting you to gaze out onto the vast desert expanse.


From the North Window, you’ll make your way to the equally impressive South Window. This arch boasts a slightly smaller opening, but is no less captivating. Stand beneath its towering presence and marvel at the intricate patterns and textures of the sandstone walls.


As you complete the loop, you’ll come across Turret Arch, a unique formation that resembles a stone turret. This arch is connected to the North Window by a short spur trail. Take the time to explore both the North Window and Turret Arch up close, and appreciate the artistry of nature’s sculpting.


The Windows Loop Trail provides excellent opportunities for photography. Capture the stunning arches against the blue sky or experiment with different angles and perspectives to showcase the grandeur of these natural wonders. Sunrise and sunset offer ideal lighting conditions for capturing the beauty of the Windows Section.


It’s important to note that parts of the trail are exposed to direct sunlight, so bring water, sunscreen, and a hat to protect yourself from the desert heat. The trail is relatively flat and well-maintained, making it appropriate for hikers of all ages and abilities.


The Windows Loop Trail is a must-do hike in Arches National Park, allowing you to experience the magnificence of these incredible arch formations up close. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness the beauty and power of nature in this captivating corner of the park.


Tower Arch Trail

The Tower Arch Trail in Arches National Park is a remote and less frequented hike that takes you on a rewarding journey to witness the impressive Tower Arch. This 3.4-mile round trip trail offers a more secluded experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the tranquility of the desert and marvel at the grandeur of this unique arch.


The trailhead for the Tower Arch Trail is located in the Klondike Bluffs area, accessed via a dirt road a few miles from the park entrance. The hike begins with a gradual incline through sandy terrain, where you’ll encounter desert flora and fascinating geological formations along the way.


As you approach the arch, the landscape changes, and the towering sandstone walls come into view. Tower Arch, standing at approximately 92 feet tall, is a true marvel of nature’s craftsmanship. It’s characterized by its slender shape and the massive stone tower that supports the arch itself.


One of the unique aspects of the Tower Arch Trail is that it takes you through a small slot canyon, adding an element of intrigue and adventure to the hike. You’ll navigate through narrow passageways and squeeze between sandstone walls before emerging in awe of the arch’s beauty.


Due to its remote location, the Tower Arch Trail offers a sense of solitude and serenity. You’ll likely encounter fewer visitors along the trail, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the surrounding nature and appreciate the solitude of the desert landscape.


It’s important to note that the Tower Arch Trail can be more challenging compared to other hikes in the park. There are sections of steep inclines and uneven terrain, so it’s essential to wear sturdy hiking shoes and bring plenty of water. The trail can also be exposed to direct sunlight, so be sure to protect yourself with sunscreen and a hat.


The Tower Arch Trail offers a unique opportunity to explore a lesser-known area of Arches National Park and witness the majesty of Tower Arch in a serene and tranquil setting. It’s a hike that rewards those who are willing to venture off the beaten path and immerse themselves in the beauty of this remote corner of the park.



Arches National Park is a true gem within the scenic state of Utah. With its awe-inspiring rock formations, magnificent arches, and diverse hiking trails, it offers a captivating experience for nature enthusiasts of all ages. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual explorer, the trails in Arches National Park provide an opportunity to witness the power and beauty of natural wonders.


From iconic hikes like the Delicate Arch Trail, where you can see the famous arch that graces Utah’s license plates, to the remote and less-frequented trails like the Tower Arch Trail, there is a range of options to suit every visitor’s preferences and abilities.


The Devil’s Garden Loop Trail offers a more challenging adventure, taking you through a labyrinth of sandstone canyons and hidden arches. The Landscape Arch Trail showcases one of the world’s longest natural arches, while the Fiery Furnace Trail offers a thrilling exploration of a maze-like landscape under the guidance of a ranger.


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