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The Best Hikes in Arches National Park

The Best Hikes in Arches National Park
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As its name implies, Arches National Park is known for its stunning natural red rock arches. There are dozens of these sandstone arches throughout the park, and the best way to see them is by tackling the best hikes in Arches National Park.

*Pro Tip: Like all national parks in the United States, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee to visit Arches National Park. If you plan on visiting a few different national parks during your trip, you may want to consider buying the America the Beautiful Annual National Park Pass instead.

Delicate Arch Trail

No list of the best hikes in Arches National Park would be complete without Delicate Arch Trail. It’s the most popular hike in the park – and for good reason. It’s home to the gorgeous Delicate Arch, which is even featured on the Utah licence plate!

Hundreds of people hike to the Delicate Arch every single day. To avoid the crowds and catch the best views, we recommend hiking the Delicate Arch Trail for sunrise.

Elevation gain: 183 m (600 ft)

One-way distance: 2.4 km (1.5 mi)

Roundtrip distance: 4.8 km (3 mi)

Estimated time: 2 hours

Getting there:

Route yourself to the “Delicate Arch Trailhead.”

Devil’s Garden Loop Trail

The Devil’s Garden Loop Trail is equally as cool as the Delicate Arch Trail. This one trail actually includes several different highlights of Arches National Park, including the Landscape Arch and the Double O Arch. There’s even a fun primitive trail portion, where hikers have to scramble and squeeze through different rock formations.

Of course, to see these many sites and more, it should come as no surprise to find out that The Devil’s Garden Loop Trail is one of the longer hikes in the park. The entire loop is 12.6 kilometres, but there are a few different places where you can turn around and make a smaller loop.

*Pro TIp: To make the hike a tad bit easier, you’ll want to hike the loop clockwise, rather than counterclockwise.

Elevation gain: 331 m (1,085 ft)

Distance (same for one-way and roundtrip, since it is a loop trail): 12.6 km (7.8 mi)

Estimated time: 4 hours

Getting there:

Put “Devil’s Garden Trailhead” into your GPS of choice.

Fiery Furnace

The Fiery Furnace is one of the rare hikes in Arches National Park that doesn’t feature an arch. But regardless, it’s undoubtedly one of the best hikes in Arches National Park.

Before we get any further, we need to clarify something: You must either take a ranger-led hiking tour or get a special hiking permit (after watching an orientation video) to hike the Fiery Furnace. This is because the area is so confusing that it’s easy for people to get lost. So make sure to follow these rules when hiking through the Fiery Furnace.

Once you’ve gotten the logistics out of the way, you can then admire the magic of this unique natural landscape. The Fiery Furnace’s maze of red rock spires is unlike anywhere else in the park. And when the warm glow of sunset lights the sky, this area actually does look like a fiery furnace!

Bottom line: This incredible experience is definitely worth the advanced planning to make it happen.

Elevation gain: 76 m (250 ft)

Distance (same for one-way and roundtrip, since it is a loop trail): 3.2 km (2 mi)

Estimated time: 3 hours

Getting there:

Whether you’re taking a ranger-led tour or exploring on your own with a hiking permit, you’ll want to start your adventure from the Fiery Furnace Viewpoint.

Landscape Arch Trail

The highlight of the Landscape Arch Trail is the Landscape Arch. This natural stone arch is 93.3 metres long, making it look like it’s defying gravity! Add the fact that it’s only about 3.4 metres thick, and this stone bridge really seems to mess with the rules of science.

You’ll want to make sure that you add the Landscape Arch Trail to your Arches National Park itinerary, because this stone bridge won’t last forever. Natural erosion is slowly wearing it down. Once upon a time, visitors were actually able to walk under the arch. But in 1991, a huge chunk of the arch fell off! Now, you’ll simply be able to take beautiful pictures with the Landscape Arch from afar.

Elevation gain: 79 m (260 ft)

One-way distance: 1.4 km (0.9 mi)

Roundtrip distance: 2.9 km (1.8 mi)

Estimated time: 45 minutes

Getting there:

Technically, the Landscape Arch is just one stop on the Devil’s Garden Loop Trail, so you’ll want to start at the “Devil’s Garden Trailhead.”

Double Arch Trail

Many of the best hikes in Arches National Park feature just one main arch. But what if you could see not one, but two arches with one hike? That’s exactly what the Double Arch Trail has.

After hiking one kilometre, you’ll reach a pair of two stunning red sandstone arches. And unlike many arches in Arches National Park, you can actually walk underneath these gravity-defying rock structures.

Elevation gain: 29 m (95 ft)

One-way distance: 0.5 km (0.3 mi)

Roundtrip distance: 1 km (0.6 mi)

Estimated time: 15 minutes

Getting there:

Make your way to the “Double Arch Trailhead.”

Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail

But the Double Arch Trail isn’t the only one with multiple sandstone arches. The Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail has a few as well!

The highlight of the Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail is a set of three arches: the North Window Arch, the South Window Arch, and the Turret Arch. (The North Window Arch and the South Window Arch are usually grouped together and are sometimes called “The Spectacles” because of their glasses-like shape.)

Elevation gain: 47 m (154 ft)

Distance (same for one-way and roundtrip, since it is a loop trail): 1.6 km (1 mi)

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Getting there:

Navigate yourself to the “Windows Trailhead.”

Windows Primitive Loop

The Windows Primitive Loop is right next to the Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail, but most people have no idea that it’s there. This means that you’ll be able to avoid the vast majority of the crowds!

The Windows Primitive Loop actually takes hikers to the backside of the three sandstone arches from the previous hike: the North Window Arch, the South Window Arch, and the Turret Arch. It’s a different perspective, and one that you’ll likely have all to yourself!

Elevation gain: 52 m (170 ft)

Distance (same for one-way and roundtrip, since it is a loop trail): 1.6 km (1 mi)

Estimated time: 30 minutes

Getting there:

You’ll want to start your journey near the “Windows Trailhead” but not in the exact same spot. Continue along the road for another 200 feet and you should find another trailhead for the Windows Primitive Loop.

Park Avenue Trail

Park Avenue Trail is definitely one of the best hikes in Arches National Park – and one of the most unique. This trail is actually named after New York’s Park Avenue, because the towering red rocks sort of resemble the city’s skyscrapers. The naming definitely deserves points for creativity.

Along the 3.2-kilometre journey, you’ll get to see loads of amazing rock structures. A few of the most famous ones are the Courthouse Towers, Three Gossips, and Sheep Rock. Simply put, there are wonderful sites to see all throughout the hike.

Elevation gain: 60 m (198 ft)

One-way distance: 1.6 km (1 mi)

Roundtrip distance: 3.2 km (2 mi)

Estimated time: 1 hour

Getting there:

The Park Avenue Trail is actually the first hike that you’ll come across after entering Arches National Park. It’s about a five-minute drive from the entrance.

Tower Arch Trail

One of the main cons of many of the hikes on this list are the crowds! After all, you’re not the only one who wants to see the gorgeous sandstone arches. But the Tower Arch Trail is a bit out of the way, which means there aren’t many people on this lovely hike.

The Tower Arch Trail is more difficult than many of the other hikes in Arches National Park, mostly due to the fact that all of the elevation is at the start of the hike. But when you reach the arch at the end, the effort is completely worth it. 

From the right angle, the Tower Arch seems to frame a beautiful picture of red rocks and thriving trees. It’s absolutely amazing.

Elevation gain: 183 m (600 ft)

One-way distance: 1.9 km (1.2 mi)

Roundtrip distance: 3.9 km (2.4 mi)

Estimated time: 2 hours

Getting there:

Just plug “Tower Arch Trailhead” into your GPS of choice!

And that’s a wrap on this list of the best hikes in Arches National Park! Are there any other trails that you think should have made it onto this list? Let us know in the comments!

Ready to visit some other national parks on the west coast? Check out our favorites here!

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