"Hike to Delicate Arch (moderate-difficult)" Top 5 Page for this destination Arches National Park Things to Do Tip by Trekki
Arches National Park Things to Do: 386 reviews and 736 photos
If your condition allows it, hike to Delicate Arch – it is just spectacular ! I was in Arches twice, and also the second time, this hike was exciting as if I would do it for the first time. Maybe, as the weather is never the same, and each time I discovered something new on the trail.
The trail itself is rated as difficult by park government, I found it normal to moderate. Maybe they have rated it that way, as the first part leads over a slightly ascending plateau with no shade. So bring plenty of water – minimum 2 l (more in very hot summer), you’ll need it.
The trail is marked with stone piles (see pic), on the plateau you’ll spot them easily. The second half of the trail leads through a bit rough terrain, the path wiggeling around the pinon pines and junipers. Mostly, the ground is sandy, so it’s easy to follow the footsteps of the herds (just in case you’ll be there in the less crowded season).
For the first half, you’ll have the view of Delicate Arch in far distance, but when you leave the plateau, it vanishes. I always thought, I got lost (lool), as the trail seems to lead nowhere :-)
BUT – then suddenly, after you seem to have moved around endlessly through bushes and washes, you’ll see a huge wall on your right (south), with a tiny opening. Make sure, you climb up to the opening – this will be your first view to Delicate Arch, from a nice perspective – and behind in the very far distance, La Sal Mountains, snowcaped in winter.
To get an idea of the area, check this Terraserver view: Delicate Arch from the air: the arch is at “3 o’clock”, with the long shadow westward.
Address: Arches NP
Directions: Turn off to the right (east) at the junction, 20 km north of park entrance, park the car at Wolfe Ranch and go hiking.
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