Arches National Park Things to Do Tips by windsorgirl Top 5 Page for this destination
Arches National Park Things to Do: 392 reviews and 750 photos
This arch is not to be missed. It is thought to be the longest natural arch in the world. It spans the length of a football field at 306 feet! And not only is it long, but it is also very slender, at one point it is only 6 feet thick. I think this arch should be called Delicate Arch.
As recently as 1991, a 65 foot segment fell from beneath the arch as hikers rested nearby. They heard a crack like thunder, but without a cloud in the sky, they decided they better vacate the area pronto. Good thing they did because seconds later the rock fell and the event was captured on film.
Needless to say, visitors can no longer hike beneath landscape arch, and one day, sadly the entire arch will fall.
Landscape Arch is reached via the Devil's Garden Hike. You will see 8 arches along this hike, or if you prefer, here on my must see tips!
Directions: Landscape Arch is reached along the Devil's Garden Hike, only one mile from the trailhead.
the north window
It is well worth extending your visit at Arches NP in order to see the beautiful orange glow that the setting sun casts on the red rock here. And, if you're lucky and the clouds are just right, the entire sky may light up in brilliant colours as well.
We returned to the Windows Section for sunset and in the photo you can see the how the North Window is virtually glowing orange. Delicate Arch is the favourite spot to view sunset. I have also seen wonderful photos of the three gossips silhouetted against a fiery sunset sky.
double O arch
This is arch number seven on the Devil's Garden Trail. From here it is a further half mile to Dark Angel Arch. Double O Arch is a great place to relax before the return hike.
You'd think that when you saw one arch, that you had seen them all, but not so. This arch is unique in that it is made of two arches stacked one above the other.
It is best photographed in the early morning.
Directions: 1.5 miles from the Devil's Garden trailhead
along the rock fins
Just past the turnoffs for Partition and Navajo Arches, the trail will ascend a rock fin and you will hike along this narrow ledge with drop offs on both sides. You can see in the photo, a young family walking towards us.
From this high vantage point you also have a great view to the right of the rows upon rows of rock fins which make up the interesting geology of Arches National Park.
Directions: along the Devil's Garden trail
This lovely arch is located very close to Partition Arch and is number six on your hike through the Devil's Garden.
You must take a short spur trail to view this arch. If you walk through it to the other side you will have a nice view which frames this tree.
Directions: along the Devil's Garden trail
the view through Partition Arch
The fifth arch on the Devil's Garden Hike is Partition Arch. You must follow a short spur trail to your left, just past Wall Arch to see Partition Arch.
This was one of my favourite arches because it framed a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. You can see in the photo that a rock partition separates the larger arch from the smaller one.
Directions: along the Devil's Garden Hike
The fourth arch that you will encounter on the Devil's Garden Hike is Wall Arch, just past Landscape Arch.
This arch is so named because you will be hiking along a solid wall of rock and then this opening or archway will appear on your right. Past this arch the wall continues and the trail will take you up over the slick sandstone.
the start of the hike
It is not as ominous as it may sound. The Devil's Garden is actually quite beautiful. You can hike the 4 mile return trip to Double O arch as we did, or you can hike a longer more primitive trail at 7.2 miles. It is best to do this hike early in the morning, when it is cooler and much less crowded.
The hike to Double O Arch will take 2 to 3 hours and involves a bit of climbing and several spur trails to see all 8 of the arches en route.
The hike begins through a narrow passage between tall rock fins, pictured here. Very soon you will see the spur trails to your right that lead to the first two arches, Tunnel Arch and Pinetree Arch.
Directions: the parking area for the Devil's Garden Trail lies at the very end of the main road, 18 miles past the Visitor Center.
You will encounter this Arch three miles past the Fiery Furnace Viewpoint. There is a small parking area and a short 0.4 mile level hike to the arch.
I think the best view of the arch was at the beginnng of the hike, but if you go all the way you can see the remnants of a large chunk of rock that fell from the arch in 1940, instantly doubling the size of this already huge arch.
Directions: on the main road 17 miles past the Visitor Center on your right hand side.
me under Delicate Arch
This really is a beautiful arch, but it is not easy to get to. It is a 3 mile round trip with an elevation gain of 480 feet. There is no shade, so I can imagine on a hot summer day, it would be quite challenging.
We made the hike in late afternoon in October, so it was a bit cool and windy. There are fabulous views all the way up and should take you about 45 minutes to reach Delicate Arch. It is well worth the effort.
The arch sits high atop a stone mesa, perfectly framing the snow capped La Sal Mountains in the distance. See my travelogue for more views from the hike.
Delicate Arch is best photographed in late afternoon. Many people (hundreds) make the hike up for sunset and hike down in the dark. Be sure to bring a flashlight.
Directions: Follow the main road 12 miles from the visitor center, then turn right toward Wolfe Ranch, park here.
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