My Top 4 Hikes In Arches National Park

Updated: Feb 17

“Mother Nature is a master sculptor and in no place is that more evident than at Arches National Park.” -Stefanie Payne


If you consider yourself a hiker or adventure-lover and haven't ventured to Moab, Utah, you need to drop what you're doing and pack a bag. Famously known for orange and red sandstone, Arches National Park is simply a must-see.


Arches National Park was dubbed my favorite park since the moment I laid eyes on it back in July of 2018. During our first anniversary trip, we only planned a day in the park before heading south to hike The Grand Canyon. At the time, we hadn't realized the true magnitude of the area and how much time it deserved to be explored. That is why I was so incredibly excited when Colton and I decided to spend an entire week there just over a month ago!


While an entire week in the park allowed me to explore a lot more, I was still a few trails away from getting to every single one Arches has to offer. But now I can finally say I feel like I have a good idea of the best areas in the park and I'm going to use this post to tell you all about the 4 trails I think you HAVE to see when visiting.


#1 Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is the most photographed landmark in the state of Utah and also the image displayed on Utah driver's licenses plates, so it should come as no surprise that this hike is first on my list.


Fun fact: During our first visit, Colton talked me out of attempting this hike due to needing to save our energy for hiking The Grand Canyon the next day. I held a grudge against him until we were finally able to check it off our bucketlist this past December- for obvious reasons!


This trail begins after driving a little over halfway through the park's main road. Delicate Arch is best photographed during sunrise or sunset. We opted to reach the arch around sunset, which left us hiking faster/harder than normal and created quite a challenge for us. There is a large, open sandstone incline when you are about 3/4's of the way to the arch. Hikers final ascent will be on the side of a sandstone mountain, which was very icy during our visit. When hiking in these conditions, I highly recommend having a pair of spikes to attach to hiking boots. I would also encourage those attempting to see the arch at sunrise or sunset to bring a headlamp. We hiked back to the trailhead in the dark and were very thankful for the extra light.


To browse some headlamps, click here!


Click on the image below to snag a pair of spikes!



Delicate Arch Trail

Length: 3.5 miles

Elevation Gain: 633 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Moderate

AllTrails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/delicate-arch-trail



#2 Windows Section

The Windows Section is not a single trail, but rather 4 differing arches condensed into a smaller area of the park. I'm grouping them together in my suggestion list because all of the arches are easy and can be accessed by a single parking lot.


Before hiking Delicate Arch, The Windows Section was my favorite area in the park. This was our main stop during our initial visit in 2018. Visitors are able to see multiple arches without putting a lot of effort in to reaching them. This area is especially beautiful at sunset. Much like the area known as The Fiery Furnace in Arches, The Windows Section looks to be on fire during sunset!


#1 Double Arch Trail (pictured above)

Length: 0.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 95 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Easy

AllTrails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/double-arch-trail



#2 Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail

Length: 1.2 miles

Elevation Gain: 154 feet

Trail Type: Loop

Difficulty Level: Easy

AllTrails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/windows-loop-and-turret-arch-trail

Turret Arch (pictured above)


#3 Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch is one of my favorite trails in the park because, in my opinion, it is home to the most perplexing arch. While all of the arches are products of erosion and will eventually collapse (43 arches have already collapsed in the park to date), Landscape Arch appears to be the most imminent, due to its obvious thinness.


Arches in the park are formed and collapsed by the power of water. Over time, water and ice can seep into cracks found within the rocks, expanding the area until the building pressure eventually causes the rock to break.


Landscape Arch formed in September of 1991. This trailhead can be reached in the most northern section of the park known as Devil's Garden.


Landscape Arch Trail

Length: 1.9 miles

Elevation Gain: 259 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Easy

AllTrails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/landscape-arch-trail



#4 Park Avenue

My first time hiking this trail was during our last visit and it is the trail that took me by the most surprise. Park Avenue Trailhead is one of the first trails visitors will pass upon entering the park. It does not include a sandstone arch, but don't let that deter you! Instead, Park Avenue Trail allows hikers to walk among the area in the park known as Courthouse Towers. Around every curve of the trail is a new vantage point for these sandstone giants. I highly recommend!


Park Avenue Trail

Length: 1.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 298 feet

Trail Type: Out & Back

Difficulty Level: Easy

AllTrails Link: https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/utah/park-avenue



Cost to Visit

Each national park has its own entrance fee, dependent upon vehicle type and group size. This payment is good for 7 days. For one vehicle, this cost is 30 USD.


For more information on Arches National Park specific fees, visit: https://www.nps.gov/arch/planyourvisit/fees.htm


If planning on visiting multiple national parks/monuments in a single year, I highly recommend the purchase of a National Parks & Federal recreational Lands Annual Pass. This pass is a one-time payment of 80 USD and will pay for itself if you visit national parks as often as we do!


Purchase a national park pass here: https://store.usgs.gov/pass


Well, I hope I've convinced you to visit Arches National Park if you haven't already! Though I haven't been to every national park in the U.S. (I hope to someday), Arches is currently my favorite and I'll be surprised if that ever changes!


"Travel far enough, you meet yourself" -David Mitchell

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