10 Amazing Arches National Park Hiking Trails

Arches National Park falls right in the middle of Utah’s five parks as far as visitors go, but it feels busier because it’s on the smaller side.

This was the first national park I ever visited and it’s still one of my favorites in Utah along with Capitol Reef.

The entrance to Arches is about 4 miles outside of Moab, Utah, USA, and Canyonlands Island in the Sky is only 26 miles away.

Arches National Park has amazing trails for the avid hiker, causal visitor and families traveling with kids. Help protect the park by leaving no trace and staying on established trails.

There is plenty for you to see, do and photograph in Arches since there are, after all, over 2,000 arches in the park.

RELATED POSTS: Arches | Canyonlands | Moab
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ARCHES NATIONAL PARK HIKING TRAILS

Park Avenue Trail

Trailhead & Parking Area: Park Avenue Trailhead

Distance: 2 mile roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 187 feet

Difficulty Level: Easy

This list of hiking trails at Arches National Park starts at the beginning of the park. The first hike you’ll come to on the scenic road will make you feel like you’re in an old western movie.

The Park Avenue Trail follows the bottom of a canyon below some of the park’s gigantic and well-known monoliths. It’s a memorable experience to hike through these towering natural wonders.

Park Avenue hiking trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

The Park Avenue hike is a one-way trail if you have two cars or a shuttle vehicle. The trail is a little over one mile taking you from the Park Avenue trailhead to the Courthouse Tower parking lot. This would be where you leave your second vehicle or have someone that doesn’t want to hike pick you up.

If that’s not an option, just head back the way you came through the towering sandstone for a nice 2 mile roundtrip adventure.

The latter part of the path has good views of the famous Arches landmarks of The Organ, Tower of Babel and the Three Gossips.

Scenic Drive view at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

READ: Yes, the National Park Pass is Worth It!

 

La Sal Mountain Viewpoint

The La Sal Mountain Viewpoint isn’t really a hiking trail, but it’s worth the time to walk around the area. You will see magnificent views!

It’s a great place to watch the sunset as you are leaving the park. You can see the colors change over the mountains in the distance with Park Avenue behind you.

Sunset view along the trail at The Windows at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

It’s also a wonderful location to photograph the red glow on the rocks at sunrise.

There is a small flattened section overlooking the scenic drive. The signs lay out the names of the formations in front of you: Three Gossips, Sheep Rock, the Tower of Babel, and you can even see Balanced Rock and The Windows in the distance.

Sunset along the scenic drive at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
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Balanced Rock Trail

Trailhead & Parking Area: Balanced Rock Trailhead

Distance: 0.3 mile roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 45 feet

Difficulty Level: Easy

Balanced Rock is an easily recognizable landmark of Arches National Park. Many people park in the lot, take a photo, and move on.

It’s definitely worth the time to walk along the Balanced Rock. It’s an easy, short loop hike that takes you close to and around the Balanced Rock.

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park, Utah HDR Example
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Each vantage point along the trail showcases a different side of Balanced Rock.

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
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And don’t forget to Visit the Park After Dark. You’ll be amazed at the stars in the sky!

Balanced Rock and the Milky Way at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Photo by Photo Jeepers


The Windows Section Trail

Trailhead & Parking Area: The Windows Trailhead

Distance: 1 mile roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 187 feet

Difficulty Level: Easy

The Windows Section of Arches National Park is a cool area with a lot to see.

The Windows Trail loop is under 2 miles. It’s is one of the most popular areas in the park, and the parking lot fills up quickly. It’s best to hike the trails here in the morning, late afternoon or evening.

In this area the main attractions are the North and South Windows were you can stand under the large South Window. There is also a primitive loop trail that circles around the back of the Windows Section that gives hikers a different perspective of the area.

The Windows trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

The loop trail also take you to Turret Arch.

Turret Arch at Arches National Park
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READ: 25 Beautiful National Parks to Visit

 

Double Arch Trail

Trailhead & Parking Area: Double Arch Trailhead

Distance: 0.5 mile roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 32 feet

Difficulty Level: Easy

On the other side of the Windows parking area is the Double Arch trail. It’s easy and super short.

You can see it from the parking lot, but you’ll definitely want to get up close to this one. It’s exactly what it sounds like, two arches basically next to each other.

Double Arch trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Photo Jeepers

 

Again, if you want to have this area to yourself to climb around and explore, get there in the morning or evening.

Arches National Park in the winter is the best time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds.


Garden of Eden Viewpoint

The Garden of Eden is easy to just drive by on the way to the Windows Section. This is called a viewpoint, but it’s also an open trail where people can explore the sandstone features on the desert slickrock.

You can see arches just starting to form all over this area. As you walk around remember to stay off the cryptobiotic soil.

Garden of Eden hiking trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

Owl Rock is popular with rock climbers. Watching them provides another fun aspect of the often overlooked turnout.

Another reason to visit Arches National Park in the winter is to take photos of the red rock with the white snow!

READ: 5 Reasons to Visit Arches National Park in the Winter

 

Delicate Arch

Trailhead & Parking Area: Wolfe Ranch

Elevation Gain: 610 feet

Difficulty Level: Moderate

If you don’t hike to Delicate Arch, did you really go to Arches? I’m not so sure.The Delicate Arch trail is the must-do hike in the park and it will always be busy.

This hike is three miles round-trip. It isn’t horribly difficult, but it is super steep, so wear good shoes, drink lots of water, and take your time.

Delicate Arch hiking trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Photo by Photo Jeepers

 

This one can be hard to get pictures of the arch without people in it, but it is possible, even when it’s totally packed. People will be taking turns getting their picture taken under it. The trick is to wait for the people to switch places and get your pictures then. Be patient and quick. Once they start walking away from it and the next people start heading towards it, get ready. You’ll have your moment.

Also, don’t be afraid to go around and see it from different angles, like right in front of it or next to it.

Delicate Arch Hiking Trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

If you don’t want to hike all the way up to the arch, you can head over to the Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint. You can see the arch a mile away from a viewpoint about 100 yards from the lower viewpoint parking lot. There’s also a short hike to get you a little closer to it, but you can’t get all the way to the arch from here.

The Upper Viewpoint trail is about .5 miles and has a few stairs to climb. It gives you a slightly less obstructed view from what you see at the Lower Viewpoint.

CHECK OUT: US National Park Itineraries | National Park Gifts

 

Fiery Furnace

Trailhead & Parking Area: Fiery Furnace

Distance: Varies depending on route

Elevation Gain: Varies depending on route

Difficulty Level: Advanced (requires ranger or permit)

The Fiery Furnace hiking trail is a great option for people that don’t like trails and that want to get off the beaten Arches path.

I wouldn’t call this a trail, but more of a wandering free-for-all maze. This is one of the only hikes that requires a permit in the park and it can be purchased at the visitor center for $4 per person (or $10 per person for a guided hike).

Fiery Furnace hiking trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Photo by Photo Jeepers

 

The Fiery Furnace area is made up of a bunch of fins, which are huge sandstone things that look kind of like dragon scales, in rows with small canyons between them.

You can basically just wander around this area wherever you want, but it is possible to get lost, so pay attention to where you’re going and where you came from. You’ll find some hidden arches in here, too, so keep an eye out for those!

 

Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch Trail

Trailhead & Parking Area: Sand Dune Arch

Distance: 2 miles roundtrip

Elevation Gain: 226 feet

Difficulty Level: Easy

The Sand Dune Arch trail is a spur off the Broken Arch trail. It’s a fun and unique hike because the arch is located in an almost slot canyon. As the name implies, it has quite a bit of sand around it.

The arch sits in the shade for most of the day, which makes it perfect place to rest, take off your shoes and enjoy the cool sand.

Sand Dune Arch trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Photo by Photo Jeepers

 

From here you can keep hiking along the Broken Arch trail. This trail often gets bypassed, but it’s an easy, flat hike and you won’t encounter many people on it.

If you hike to Broken Arch, go through the arch and make sure you look back through it. It’s a pretty cool view from there.

You can also hike to Tapestry Arch and the Devil’s Garden Campground from here.

Broken Arch Hiking Trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 


Devil’s Garden Trail

Trailhead & Parking Area: Devil’s Garden Trailhead

Distance: 1.6 mile roundtrip to Landscape Arch; 7.2 miles roundtrip Primitive Loop

Elevation Gain: 490 feet

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Finally, you have the Devil’s Garden Trail. The whole Devil’s Garden loop is a little over seven miles and has at least seven arches to see along the way.

Devil's Garden Hiking Trail at Arches National Park
Photo by Red Around the World

 

Most people just go to see Tunnel Arch and Pine Tree Arch, the two closest arches along the Devil’s Garden Trail.

Tunnel Arch along the Devil's Garden Trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
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Then a few more go to see Landscape Arch, another very notable arch in the park that may collapse in our lifetime.

Landscape Arch along the Devil's Garden Trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Photo by Photo Jeepers

 

Not many people hike past this point, so if you want a trail to yourself, or close to it, this is a good option. And you’ll see more amazing arches like Navajo Arch.

Navajo Arch along the Devil's Garden Trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
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Arches National Park is a small geographic area, but has the greatest concentration of stone arches in the world.

The condensed area means the hikes in Arches are not very long, but you’ll be rewarded with fins, domes, towers, bowls, slots, caves, and more as you walk along the trails.

Fins along the Devil's Garden Trail at Arches National Park, Utah, USA
Photo by Photo Jeepers
READ: Devil’s Garden Trail Guide

 

While most visitors don’t venture far from the Scenic Drive, those willing to hike the trails in Arches National Park will see what everyone else is missing.

Arches may not be the most visited National Park in Utah (that title belongs to Zion), it is extremely popular and fully deserves all the attention it gets.

Delicate Arch is, after all, basically the mascot of Utah.

Delicate Arch hiking trail in Arches National Park
Photo by Photo Jeepers

 

READ: A Non-Hiker’s Guide to Arches National Park

 

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10 Amazing Hiking Trails at Arches National Park, Utah, USA   Best Hiking Trails at Arches National Park, Utah, USA

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