Planning a visit to the iconic Arches National Park? Then you arrived at the right place. Here is a list of the best hikes in Arches National Park with details and tips to enjoy them, plus some travel advice, tours, and places to stay.
Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful and most visited national parks in Utah, it’s also listed as one of the most stunning parks on the US West Coast.
The entire park is full of sweeping views featuring over 2,000 red sandstone arches. Among those natural arches are over 40 hiking trails to wander as travelers explore more and more of the park up close.
Here’s a rundown of some of the most visited and enjoyed hikes in Arches National Park!
Best hikes in Arches National Park you can’t miss
1. Delicate Arch Trail
The hike to Delicate Arch is one of the best things to do in Arches National Park. Its popularity comes from the fact that it features the famed natural landmark depicted on the Utah license plate but also because of its accessibility for a wide range of hikers.
At 3.2 miles out and back, the Delicate Arch hike is considered a moderate route. This is a kid-friendly trail, but portions of it are steep, as it features a 629 ft elevation gain. This route strikes a nice balance between a nature walk and an actual workout.
Upon completing the hike, the view of the arch is quite spectacular. At 46 feet high and 32 feet wide, it’s the largest free-standing arch in the national park.
If you want to learn more about the geological history of the park and the famous arch you can book this Delicate Arch Private Hiking Tour.
2. Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint
Upper Delicate Arch Viewpoint is an alternative hiking option to experience Delicate Arch. This trail offers a distant yet still striking view of Delicate Arch, perfect for visitors traveling with small children or those who aren’t capable of making the full hiking miles to the arch.
There is a lower viewpoint near the trailhead, where the arch can be seen far above. The 1-mile round-trip hike to the upper viewpoint is considered easy, though it does have a somewhat steep stretch with an overall 177 ft elevation gain.
3. The Windows Trail
After Delicate Arch, The Windows portion of the park is the next most heavily visited area. The Windows Loop Trail is an easy and quick route at 0.7 miles. This is an impressive area to explore as it features countless stunning arches while not requiring much time or distance to be covered.
Highlights of this hike include stunning views of the North Window, Turret Arch, and Double Arch. Visitors can also catch glimpses of other Arches landmarks like the Parade of Elephants and Elephant Butte.
4. Double Arch Trail
Double Arch is technically considered part of the Windows section of the park, but it also garners its own spot on this list of best hiking trails in Arches National Park.
The easy trail is just a bit over ½ a mile and offers a truly remarkable view. Double Arch features two arches that stem from the same base, which is not a sight you see every day!
Keep in mind that the ground here is solid but uneven, so be prepared for dips and bumps along the journey.
5. Fiery Furnace Trail
Hiking Fiery Furnace is a very special experience in Arches National Park. Not everyone gets to explore this trail, as it requires hikers to obtain an individual hiking permit. For visitors without a permit, the only other way this trail can be explored is on a ranger-guided tour.
This 2-mile moderate hike is a fun trail, but it’s recommended that hikers first explore it with a ranger as it’s easy to get lost if you aren’t familiar with the lay of the land. The route also requires some rock scrambling and traversing along ledges, so it’s recommended that children under 5 sit this hike out.
6. Park Avenue Trail
Park Avenue is one of the first trails visitors to the park will run into after passing the visitor’s center. Most of this almost 2-mile trail is paved, with a portion of uneven trail and a steep set of stairs, which is thought to be the most challenging portion of the hike.
Plan for about an hour to complete this easy trail which features a nearly 300 ft elevation gain and a gorgeous view of Park Avenue Arch and Courthouse Towers Viewpoint.
7. Tower Arch Trail
Arches National Park can get very busy during certain times of the year, which results in more and more hikers on the trails. Tower Arch is a highly recommended hike for travelers looking to explore the arches but without the crowds.
In a more remote portion of the park, the trailhead is 8 miles down unpaved roads. The hike itself is 2.5 miles and has a 600 ft elevation gain, so it’s a relatively challenging route. The view of the impressive arches makes the steep climb well worth it!
If you want to witness the beauty of the Tower Arch without the need to hike all the distance, you can book a driving tour. This Half-Day Arches National Park 4×4 Driving Tour has great reviews and will take you from Moab through stunning scenery.
8. Balanced Rock Trail
Balanced Rock is one of Arches’ most notable landmarks and cool rock formations. It’s a neat place to visit as this structure only has a limited time before erosion will take its ultimate toll and cause the rock to fall.
It’s a popular trail for families as the entire loop trail is just over ¼ of a mile long and offers a full 360-degree view of the rock as well as other rocks to climb and play on.
9. Sand Dune Arch Trail
Sand Dune Arch is also one of the top hikes to consider for groups traveling with kids. This short 0.3-mile hike does have some decent elevation gain at 124 ft. It’s not a long route, but it is a moderate hike.
The trail leads hikers through a slot canyon, which is nice for those exploring on a hot Moab day, as the canyon offers some much-appreciated shade. Sand Dune Arch is located inside the slot canyon and features lots of fun sand for kids to enjoy.
10. Devil’s Garden Trail
Devil’s Garden loop trail is nearly 8-mile and offers access to side arches along the way. Some of the arches visitors can explore along this route include Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Private Arch, Dark Angel Arch, Double O Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, and Landscape Arch.
This route is considered challenging, with the Primitive Trail portion being noted as the most difficult landscape to traverse.
Devil’s Garden is also home to the only Arches National Park camping area. The Devil’s Garden Campground hosts 51 campsites, complete with picnic tables and fire rings. The campground features flush toilets and drinking water too, but no showers. There are no electric, water, or sewer hookups for RVs either.
If you aren’t able to secure a campsite or would rather stay in town, there are some comfortable hotels near Arches National Park that offer amazing accommodations. Entrada at Moab Townhomes is a great option for large parties visiting Moab. Wingate by Wyndham Moab is a wonderful place to stay for those traveling on a budget.
Hiking to the Devil’s Garden trail is an adventure like no other, but in case you don’t have much time and want to explore the Arches NP and the Canyonlands National Park, I have a suggestion for you.
Check out this Full-Day Canyonlands and Arches 4×4 Driving Tour that visits both parks and stops for a picnic lunch at Devil’s Garden.
11. Landscape Arch Trail
As mentioned above, Landscape Arch is one of the many trails that can be explored from Devil’s Garden trail. Landscape Arch is just shy of 2 miles and is a relatively easy sandy trail.
This trail is known for lots of sand along the way and even has some fun canyon areas where kids can stop and play. It’s important to stay aware of trail conditions here, as there are often rocks on the trail, sometimes even camouflaged in the sand. The rocks can be a tripping hazard, so it’s important for hikers to watch where they are walking.
FAQ: Best Hikes in Arches National Park
What is the number one hike in Arches National Park?
Delicate Arch is the highest-rated hiking trail in Arches National Park. It’s considered a moderate hike at 3 miles round-trip, so it’s a great option for hikers of various levels and ages.
What is the most popular hike trail at Arches National Park?
Delicate Arch is the most popular trail to explore when visiting Arches National Park. The sandstone arch itself is a famous landmark throughout the United States, thanks to its depiction on the Utah license plate.
What is the most difficult hike in Arches National Park?
Primitive Trail at Devil’s Garden is the most challenging hikes and lengthy trails in Arches National Park. This strenuous hike trail requires climbing over sandstone and passing on narrow ledges.
Is Delicate Arch a difficult hike?
Delicate Arch is considered a moderate hike. It isn’t overly long, at 3 miles round-trip. Some portions of the trail are steep and can be challenging for less experienced hikers. Keep in mind that there isn’t much shade to be found in Arches, so always hike with plenty of water.
What are the best tours at the Arches National Park?
There are many tours starting from Moab City, which is the getaway to the Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.
If you are planning o drive to the parks and hiking trails here are two audioguides worth buying, so you can learn about the places and make the most of your visit.
- Arches National Park: Driving Tour with Audio Guide
- Arches and Canyonlands National Park: In-App Audio Guides
And here is a selection of unique tours you can join from Moab City:
Don’t forget your Travel Insurance! You don’t want anything to ruin your trip, right? So don’t take the risk! Reliable travel insurance can help you in case of travel issues, from accidents to health problems, travel delays, and lost luggage.
Conclusion: Best Hikes in Arches National Park
Arches National Park is one of the most stunning and interesting parks in the United States. The stunning landscape lends itself beautifully to scenic drives and epic sunrise and sunset photo shoots by the popular arches.
But it’s the hikes in Arches National Park that truly set this backcountry wonderland apart. From a stroll through The Windows to a steady climb up to Delicate Arch and then an elaborate exploration of Fiery Furnace and Devil’s Garden, there’s so much to see and explore on these hikes in Arches National Park!
Author: Candice Wood Steele
Candice is the main contributor and writer for two US-based travel blogs, CS Ginger and Exploring the Gulf. She and her family love traveling in the country in their RV, visiting national parks and small beach towns.