Arches-Utah

3 Must-do Hikes in Arches National Park

Arches National Park is located just outside the quirky little town of Moab, Utah. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, this red-rock wonderland is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, including its poster-child, the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch. I’d seen plenty of photos of the stunning arches and knew I needed to visit, but nothing could prepare me for how breathtaking this park really is. It’s truly nothing short of spectacular! Here are 3 hikes you must do if you are planning a trip to Arches National Park.

1. Double Arch and the Windows – Easy 

This hike is all about doubling your fun! Not only do you get two arches and two windows, you get two great stops in one! First, find a parking spot right in the middle of these two incredible sights. The walk to Double Arch is an easy one. Less than 5 minutes over very flat terrain and you are there. But don’t think this is a quick stop! You’ll want to spend several minutes enjoying the impressive arches from all angles. And if you’re daring, you might want to climb up into the arch and peer through to what lies beyond.

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Double Arch

Once you’ve gotten a closer look and taken enough photos, turn around and walk in the opposite direction towards the Windows. The Windows are two giant arches that truly are windows to the stunning surrounding scenery. Sometimes referred to as “the spectacles,” they also look a little like two giant eyes watching over the land. You can even make out a giant sandstone fin “nose” between the eyes! The hike up to the windows is easy, over mostly flat terrain with a few natural stairs. On your way back, you can either choose to take the primitive trail to see the views from the other side of the windows, or loop around to see Turret Arch. The entire hike is about a mile.

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The Windows


2. Double O Arch in Devil’s Garden – Moderate

Double O Arch is located at the far end of the Devils Garden Primitive Loop. Park your car at the Devil’s Garden and follow the signs to Landscape Arch. The majority of this trail is flat and easy, and a little less than a mile in you’ll be treated to a spectacular view of the park’s longest and thinnest arch.

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Landscape Arch

After Landscape Arch, the trail becomes much more rugged and challenging. At one point, it almost seems like the trail comes to an end. You’ll need to muster up the courage to climb up and over one of the large sandstone fins to carry on. After this point, for me anyways, the hike became much more about enjoying the solitude and surrounding beauty than even making it to the Arch. You feel like you are on the top of the world – or on another planet – and nothing can stop you. The trail is a little difficult to follow but keep an eye out for the marked signs and stacked rocks and you’ll be just fine. Here is an example of what you can expect.

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Double O Arch hike

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Hiking to Double O Arch


3. Delicate Arch – Difficult

I saved this hike for last because I had seen so many photos of this stunning arch that I knew it would be the most spectacular. I also knew how difficult the hike was. I’d been warned. But I had to see it. So after filling up my camelback with plenty of water, lacing up my hiking shoes and grabbing my walking stick, I was on my way. Just walking up to the trail I could see the massive mountain in front of me that I needed to climb – and it was straight uphill. I took a deep breath and started climbing. I’m not going to lie – it was tough. I had to stop several times to catch my breath. I was grateful for the backpack full of water. After making it up the massive hill, I expected to see the beautiful arch, but it was nowhere in sight and was saddened to see there were still more trail and stairs of rocks to go. The entire hike is about 3.2 miles, or 1.5 miles each way – but it’s mostly uphill. The final stretch of the hike is not for the faint of heart – or those scared of heights. You’ll walk along a path carved out of a rock cliff with no railings and a sheer dropoff on the side. It gets a little harrowing when there are people going in both directions.

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Hike to Delicate Arch

But the payoff when you round the corner is jaw droppingly spectacular and is worth every difficult and fearful step you took to get there. I recommend bringing a snack and planning to spend a little time up there enjoying the arch and celebrating the fact that you made it! If you’re a people watcher like me, you’ll love watching the people line up to get their photo taken under the arch and the crazy poses they’ll do for the camera. It’s recommended to allow 2 hours for this hike, but I suggest allowing 3 hours so you can take your time, enjoy the hike and spend some time relaxing at the arch before you have to head back.

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Stunning Delicate Arch in Arches National Park

In the end, I spent almost two full days exploring all that Arches National Park had to offer. I did the hikes, I stopped at all the photo stops and I did the scenic drives. It was all breathtaking. I would not recommend visiting Utah without making time for a stop in this National Park. And I would not leave Arches without doing these three fabulous hikes!

Did you know? A natural arch is only considered to be one if it has an opening at least three feet wide. Also, whoever discovers a new natural arch gets to name it.

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This blog is part of:

Life in Wanderlust

48 Comments

  1. Those rock formations looks stunning…pieces of art that nature sculpted for us. What a terrific landscape it is. I would go beserk with my camera.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      It was a really spectacular place. I was constantly in awe of how beautiful it was!

      Like

  2. Book marked this! Great read, very thorough and your photos are beautiful. Definitely got the serious case of wanderlust haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Yeah! Thank you so much! That’s my overall goal – to inspire others to go travel – so that means the world to me. Thanks for saying that!

      Like

  3. V

    Beautiful! I’ve never been to Arches but it looks like a place I went hiking in Jordan that I really loved. I guess I need to add it to my list – and get out there for some of these hikes!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      You know, it’s funny. I actually just saw a photo of Jordan the other day that reminded me of this trip. Crazy, right? It’s already on my list but now maybe moved up a bit!

      Like

  4. Fair Dinkum Traveller

    I have heard so much good about the Arches in Utah and with your post and pics, I can see why. Not sure when I will finally get there but hopefully it is not too far away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      I hope you make it there too! It’s truly amazing to see!

      Like

  5. You always see these photos taken from so far away that I didn’t fully grasp just how big some of the arches are. The second photo with the little dots of people really put it into perspective!

    Like

  6. First, love that postcard that you have in the first photograph. Arches looks like a beautiful place and this is the first time I am hearing about it. Love the topography and the arches and the natural “architecture” is really beautiful. Very nice of you to inform of three hikes all of different difficulty levels, but i’m guessing the one to Delicate Arch would have been the most prettiest being the hardest?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Yes, the hike to Delicate Arch was my favourite but the others were great as well. Really the entire park was stunning so even if you’re not a hiker, there is still a lot to discover!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Omg this is awesome. I definetely need to visit this place. Its really amazing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Yes! You’ll love it. I promise!

      Like

  8. What a beautiful hiking post! I love the photos 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Thanks so much Suzanne!

      Like

  9. rkcsouthern

    I always thought this park was beautiful! My husband and I drove through once years ago and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. nomadicfoot

    These arches looks stunning and really worth visiting. i would love to visit asap….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Do it! I promise you will not be disappointed!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is great! Such an amazing place!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. gelyka

    I haven’t seen such stunning rock formations like this before. When going on tours, I only get to see lime stones during island hopping and of course, this one’s different. Hope I can also see this place someday. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      I hope you get to see it someday too Gelyka! Although I wouldn’t mind island hopping for a bit either!

      Like

  13. I have never seen such beautiful rock formations. And such amazing pictures you have clicked! This one is surely giving me great vibes and I need to concentrate on my bucket list soon 🙂 Can’t wait for long.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Thanks so much! You should go. I promise you will love it!

      Like

  14. Ruth

    Thanks for sharing details about these hikes. I have never been to this park but there is no doubt I will love to go. I didn’t know the Delicate Arch trail is rated difficult. I will need to get a little bit fitter if I want to do that trail. ;0) #FlyAwayFriday

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      You can definitely do it Ruth. Just take your time and lots of water. I’m about the most unfit person around so if I can do it, anyone can!

      Like

  15. Arches is definitely on my “someday” list. I intend to make that someday come soon, though! Great article Lynne. Thanks for linking up with #wkendtravelinspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Thanks for having me Jim! I hope you make it there soon!

      Like

  16. murdockx

    Amazing views! I’ve made 2 trips to Colorado and I’ve visited the four corners during one of them, looks like I need to venture further into Utah! Great article, it looks like a Utah visit is in my future plans!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Utah is stunning! Now I want to go back and visit more of the southwest. Colorado is definitely on my list, along with Wyoming and Montana!

      Like

  17. budgettraveltalk

    I can’t wait to visit the States and these wonderful parks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Hope you can make a visit soon! Where are you from?

      Like

  18. awesome photos! The landscape is amazing and is totally on my list of parks to go to this summer!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Yeah! I can’t wait to see your photos!

      Like

  19. I’d never heard of Arches National Park but it looks like a magnificent places for all levels of hikers. Just as well I haven’t visited Utah so I can still put this on my list!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Definitely add it to your list! You’ll love it. I promise!

      Like

  20. Arches is one of my favorite National Parks. I agree, those are 3 hikes you must do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Yeah, so glad you agree!

      Like

  21. I’m dying to visit Utah! So much beauty is there! Love the photos 🙂

    https://www.travelmatters.co

    Liked by 1 person

    1. wellcaffeinatedtraveller

      Thanks Sophie!

      Like

  22. Wow looks so cool! Love the photo of the arch and the postcard – so fancy! 😀 Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  23. […] 1. Arches National Park Arches National Park lies north of the fun little town of Moab. Bordered by the Colorado River in the southeast, this National Park contains over 2,000 natural sandstone arches, such as the massive, red-hued Delicate Arch in the east and long, thin Landscape Arch to the north. A few must see stops include Double Arch, the Windows and Balanced Rock. Allow a full day to explore all that the park has to offer. And if you’re a hiker, plan to spend 2-3 days enjoying the fantastic hikes contained within the park. […]

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Kreete | AdventurousTrails

    All of these hikes looks stunning and are made sound even more spectacular with the accompanying photos! I would love to go and spend a few days there for these awesome views and you would probably see me trying to climb the arches too haha! I will be saving this for sure! Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  25. ttbchloe

    Ok, how amazing is Moab? I did these hikes too (did the shorter one of Delicate Arch since it was so late but didn’t get as close) and will agree on these as well! We also did Corona Arch trail but that one is outside of the park, loved that one as well! Thank you for sharing on FlyAwayFriday and can’t wait to see what you share this weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Jenni

    This looks amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Arches National Park is on my bucket list to visit. Thanks for the awesome pictures!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. I love Arches! Great read! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  29. […] – Lynne, Well-Caffeinated Traveller […]

    Liked by 1 person

  30. I need to get back out to Moab this year. I didn’t get enough time out in Arches!

    Liked by 1 person

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