Arches National Park near Moab, UT, is one of the “Mighty 5” Utah National Parks and is my favorite. In fact, Arches makes it into my top 3 national parks of all time!
Today, I am excited to share 15 of the best hikes in Arches National Park with you! Hiking in Arches National Park is one of our favorite things to do in Southern Utah, and you won’t want to miss these epic hiking trails!
1. Sand Dune Arch Trail
Length: 0.3 miles
Type: Out & Back
AllTrails Link: Sand Dune Arch
Sand Dune Arch is such a unique trail. True to its name, this part of the hike is primarily sand. This is one of our favorites of the Arches National Park hikes!
To reach the arch, you’ll explore fun passageways (that resemble slot canyons), and there are plenty of boulders to climb on.
The arch itself is set back in a canyon, which is unique because most of the arches in the park are more exposed.
You can climb underneath the arch, and it makes for a great picture, but don’t forget you’ll have to slide back down when you’re done!
If you want to be more adventurous, you can continue through the slot canyon past the arch and try some rock climbing.
If you are physically able, some really great viewpoints can be reached by a bit of moderate scrambling!
Although this trail is rated moderate, we found it to be very easy. If you can walk in the sand, you shouldn’t have any issues on this short hike!
Take my word for it; you won’t want to miss this one. It’s one of the best hiking trails in Arches National Park!
2. Broken Arch Trail
Length: 1.7 Miles
Type: Out & Back
AllTrails Link: Broken Arch Trail
Just a little further out, from the same trailhead as Sand Dune Arch, you’ll find the Broken Arch Trail.
We hiked both of these trails at the same time, and I highly recommend you do the same!
Broken Arch, which gets its name from the crack in the center, is another unique arch here in the park.
To stay on the path, you will climb up some steep boulders underneath the archway.
It is a bit of a scramble but can be done fairly easily. This is likely why the trail is rated moderate!
While we enjoyed this trail, we found that most of it was less scenic than some of the other hikes in Arches National Park.
However, hiking out to Broken Arch is still worth it, especially if you’re already hiking to Sand Dune Arch!
You can also continue your hike further to reach Tapestry Arch.
3. Balanced Rock Trail
Length: 0.3 miles
AllTrails Link: Balanced Rock Loop Trail
The Balanced Rock Loop Trail is a short, simple loop hike in Arches National Park.
This trail is really easy and you will just be hiking the short distance around Balanced Rock.
The trail is partially paved but there are a few rocky areas and some steps. This is a great option if you are looking for an easy hike in Arches National Park!
It is both wheelchair and stroller accessible, and you will have great scenic views of both Balanced Rock and the surrounding area of the park!
We have hiked around Balanced Rock a few times now, and we highly recommend doing this hike during sunset if you can.
4. Delicate Arch Trail
Length: 3.2 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Delicate Arch Trail
Delicate Arch is perhaps the most famous arch in all of Utah! Although we have not completed this particular hike, we have seen it from a distance, and it is beautiful.
It is one of the most popular hikes in Arches National Park, which is why we have avoided it. This is one of the best hiking trails in Southern Utah, so I’m sure we will hike it someday.
There is usually a long line to take a picture at the arch, so leave yourself plenty of extra time. It is also a great place to catch the sunrise in the morning.
If you want to see the most iconic arch in Utah and are okay with a crowded trail, then add this one to your Arches National Park hiking list!
You might recognize this arch, which has become a well-known icon signifying Utah. In fact, it’s even on the state license plate!
You could say it is one of Utah’s most Instagram-worthy pictures!
5. Double Arch Trail
Length: 0.6 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Double Arch Trail
The Double Arch Trail in Arches National Park is a must! As the name promises, there are two arches that connect to make one incredible spectacle.
This is an extremely easy hike, and basically, anyone can complete it! There is a lot of sand on this hike, though, so be prepared for that.
It is extremely popular, so you will likely have to deal with a lot of people during this short hike.
One fun thing that we really enjoyed is that you can climb up on the boulders under the arches, but explore at your own risk!
This hike is right across the road from the Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail, so we usually complete both of them at the same time.
If you only have time for one or two short hikes during your visit to Arches National Park, I highly recommend this one.
I was awe-struck at how massive these arches were when I stood underneath them!
Can you spot me in the picture below? I’m wearing a pink coat with my arms stretched out, and I’m still hard. to see, haha!
6. Windows Loop Trail
Length: 0.7 miles
AllTrails Link: Windows Loop Trail
The North Window Arch was the first arch that we hiked to in Arches National Park. As you can see below, it makes for a great photo op!
You can just do the short hike to North Window Arch or complete the whole loop.
Next up is the next arch on this loop, the South Window Arch. This arch is not easily accessible and is viewed from below on the trail.
To complete this loop trail, you’ll hike down and around both Window Arches on the Primitive Trail, looping back around to the parking lot where you started.
The second half of the trail takes you back behind the Windows and provides excellent views of the park and the La Sal Mountain Range in the distance.
The trail is marked with cairns, so please stay on the trail and don’t venture off to protect the fragile environment!
7. Turret Arch Trail
Length: 0.4 miles
Type: Out & Back
AllTrails Link: Windows Loop and Turret Arch Trail
Another arch near the Window Arches is the Turret Arch, which can be added on the same loop trail for an easy 1.2-mile hike.
Turret Arch is fun to climb inside if you are feeling adventurous. It does require a bit of scrambling up the rocks to reach, so it’s not easily accessible for everyone.
We even enjoyed watching a sunrise from inside Turret Arch on one of our hikes to Arches National Park! Just make sure to arrive early, and know that a lot of people will be in and out of the area.
8. Fiery Furnace & Surprise Arch Trail
Length: 2.1 miles
AllTrails Link: Fiery Furnace & Surprise Arch Trail
Please note that no one under the age of 5 is allowed on this trail.
Ranger-led hikes through Fiery Furnace have limited availability and cost $16 per person, and book out quickly.
Learn more about both ranger-led and self-guided hikes through Fiery Furnace on the NPS page here.
Most hikers absolutely love this fun trail and say that it is a must during your visit.
Unfortunately, it has always been closed during our visits to Arches National Park, but we hope to return and hike it soon!
9. Park Avenue Trail
Length: 1.8 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Park Avenue Trail
The Park Avenue Trail is unique for Arches National Park because there are no arches on the hike. However, it makes up for it with incredible 360-degree views!
This is truly a gorgeous hike and is very enjoyable in the evening. It’s one of our favorite hikes in Arches National Park, and we hike it on every visit!
It takes us about an hour each time we hike it, but we do stop for pictures, so it could easily be completed in less time.
We chose to hike this from the top down, but you could also park at the bottom and hike up if you prefer.
I really encourage you to take the time for this hike. Although there are no arches, we really enjoyed it, and the views are breathtaking!
10. Devils Garden Loop Trail
Length: 7.9 miles
AllTrails Link: Devils Garden
Devils Garden primitive trail is a difficult loop, but it is also very rewarding!
You will encounter 7 arches on this hike – Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Private Arch, Double O Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, & Landscape Arch.
They are each unique, and you will leave this hike feeling very rewarded!
When we did this hike, it was winter, and part of it was closed off due to snow and mud in the area.
Be sure to check current trail closures before setting off.
If you don’t have time for the whole Devils Garden Loop, I recommend at least hiking out to one of the arches on this hike. Here are a few that start from the Devils Garden Trailhead!
11. Double O Arch Trail
Length: 4.1 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Double O Arch Trail
The Double O Arch trail is a shorter but still challenging hike in the Devil’s Garden area.
This hike is rated as moderate due to some rock scrambling that you will have to do to reach these arches.
If you’re up for some mild rock climbing and don’t mind the 672 ft elevation gain, this trail has some very rewarding views!
You’ll navigate along narrow rock fins and scramble over sandstone slabs, all while being treated to panoramic views of the park’s stunning landscape.
Some steep sections and areas require scrambling or careful footing, especially if you choose to navigate the primitive loop.
12. Landscape Arch Trail
Length: 1.9 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Landscape Arch Trail
Landscape Arch was our favorite stop in Devils Garden and can easily be accessed by itself on a short 1.9-mile hike out & back.
The trail is mostly flat with a well-defined path, making it suitable for families with children or those looking for a less strenuous experience.
Once you reach Landscape Arch, you quickly realize that this is one of the most impressive arches in the park! This thin arch is one of the longest natural arches in the world!
When we first hiked to Landscape Arch, it was covered in snow, which made it even more gorgeous.
We loved this hike and highly recommend that you add it to your Arches National Park bucket list!
13. Tower Arch Trail
Length: 2.4 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Tower Arch Trail
If you’ve got a 4-wheel drive high-clearance vehicle, then the Tower Arch hiking trail is a must! You have to drive 7 miles of bumpy roads to reach it, but it’s totally worth the time it takes to get there!
Because it’s more difficult to reach than some of the other nearby trails, you are likely to have this trail all to yourself or at least encounter very few other hikers.
The trail, while short, does involve hiking through deep sand and scrambling over some semi-steep cliffs, so keep that in mind.
It’s totally worth the effort it takes to reach Tower Arch, though! The views here are incredible.
14. Pine Tree Arch Trail
Length: 0.8 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Pine Tree Arch Trail
The Pine Tree Arch Trail is another one that we enjoyed in the Devil’s Garden area. If you’re looking for a short, relaxing hike, this easy trail is a great hike to do with kids.
While you will have a small hill to climb on your way back out, nothing on this hike is too strenuous.
Pine Tree Arch isn’t the most impressive arch here at the park, but it’s still worth seeing and grabbing a few pictures.
We did this hike in the winter with snow on the ground, and it made it even more beautiful!
This hike is usually combined with Tunnel Arch, which we’ll talk about next.
15. Tunnel Arch Trail
Length: 0.7 miles
Type: Out & back
AllTrails Link: Tunnel Arch Trail
Tunnel Arch is a unique arch here due to the thickness of the sandstone on top of the arch.
True to its name, Tunnel Arch does resemble a tunnel going through the sandstone, and you can almost imagine a train coming through from the other side!
The path to reach the arch is relatively flat, well-trodden, and clearly marked. There’s a slight elevation gain, but nothing too strenuous.
As I mentioned before, this hike is usually combined with the Pine Tree Arch Trail for a total distance of 1 mile round-trip.
Tips for Hiking in Arches National Park
Dogs are Not Allowed
As with the majority of the national parks in the US, dogs are not permitted on any of the hiking trails.
They are only permitted in the campgrounds, on roads, and in parking lots, and they must be kept on a leash at all times.
Dogs are also not allowed in the visitor center except in the parking area. Make plans in advance for where you can leave your pets safely while you’re hiking.
Please never leave your dogs in a vehicle unattended. The temperatures in Arches National Park are usually very high, and leaving your pets in a vehicle can be dangerous.
Also, please always remember to pick up after your pets.
Leave No Trace
Please always stay on the trail and don’t venture off. This is to protect the fragile environment of the park as well as your own protection and safety.
Also, climbing or standing on any arches in the park is prohibited. Please also do not carve or mark any of the arches or other natural features in the park. It is both illegal and shameful to do so!
If you aren’t familiar with the Leave No Trace Principles, be sure to educate yourself before hiking here!
As mentioned above, the weather in Arches National Park is usually quite extreme. In the summer, try to avoid hiking during the heat of the day and make sure that you have plenty of water.
Many hikes in the park have little to no shade and can be brutal during the heat of the day.
If you can visit in the winter, I highly recommend it. Not only is the weather more enjoyable, but the contrast between the red/orange arches and the white snow is gorgeous!
Just make sure to check for any possible trail closures due to heavy snowfall.
There are also fewer people in the park, which makes the hiking trails more enjoyable.
Regardless of what time of year you hike here, always make sure to carry lots of water with you.
Arrive Early to Avoid Crowds
Arches National Park is very popular and attracts over 1.8 million visitors every year. Because there are so many people, the park gets crowded fast.
The best way to avoid the crowds in Arches National Park is to arrive in the early morning. We usually try to get into the park before sunrise if possible.
Another way to avoid the crowds is to hike one of the less popular trails.
Timed entry reservations are currently required
For the last several years, Arches National Park has implemented a timed entry system to be able to get into the park.
For the 2024 season, tickets will be required from 7 AM to 4 PM daily, April 1 through October 31, 2024. Click here to learn more.
If you are unable to get into Arches National Park due to not getting a reservation, you can get into Canyonlands National Park nearby, which does not currently have any entry restrictions.
What to Pack for Hiking in Arches National Park
Here are a few essentials to pack for your hiking trip:
- Hiking Shoes – The terrain here can be very unpredictable, so be sure to pack a good pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots.
- Water Bottle – Don’t forget your favorite hiking water bottle! There are water bottle refill stations at the visitor’s center at the park entrance.
- Headlamp – Bring a headlamp along for just in case you find yourself still hiking back to the car after dark.
- Sun Protection – If you hike here in the summer, sun protection is necessary! The sun can be very brutal, especially in the heat of the afternoon.
- Layers – Pack layers that you can easily add or remove while hiking if you find yourself too hot or too cold.
- Snacks – And, of course, you can’t forget your favorite hiking snacks! We like Cliff Bars and jerky.
How to Get to Arches National Park
Arches National Park is located just north of Moab in eastern Utah. It is fairly remote, but there are a few towns within driving distance that you can fly into.
- 3.5 hours from Salt Lake City, UT
- 5 hours from Denver, CO
- 6 hours from Las Vegas, NV
We have driven to Arches National Park from both SLC and Denver, and while it’s a long drive after a flight, it’s totally worth it!
The Best Time to Visit Arches National Park
The best time to visit Arches National Park largely depends on personal preferences, but considering factors like weather, crowd size, and accessibility, here’s a breakdown:
- Spring (April to May): Many consider spring the optimal time to visit. Temperatures are mild, averaging between 60°F to 80°F, making outdoor activities pleasant. Wildflowers are in bloom, and the park showcases a vibrant palette of colors. However, spring is popular, so expect larger crowds, especially during weekends.
- Fall (September to October): Similarly to spring, fall offers cooler temperatures conducive to exploring the Arches National Park hiking trails. The crisp air and changing foliage create a picturesque setting. As with spring, fall attracts many visitors, so plan accordingly.
- Winter (November to February): For those looking to avoid crowds, winter can be an enticing choice. While daytime temperatures are cooler (averaging 30°F to 50°F), the snow-capped rock formations offer a unique and serene beauty. However, snow and ice can lead to trail and road closures, so it’s essential to check conditions ahead of time.
- Summer (June to August): This season sees the highest temperatures, often exceeding 100°F in the afternoons. Morning and evening explorations are best to avoid midday heat. Summer is also the busiest season, with tourists flocking to the park, leading to potential congestion and limited parking.
Moab is one of the best places to visit in the USA in April if you’re looking for beautiful weather!
Where to Stay Near Arches National Park
- Luxury Resort: Sorrel River Ranch Resort & Spa – Nestled along the Colorado River, this upscale resort combines rustic charm with luxury. Guests can indulge in luxury rooms, gourmet dining, spa services, and a range of outdoor activities, all set against the backdrop of Moab’s stunning red rock formations.
- Budget Motel: Bowen Motel – Located in Moab, this budget-friendly motel offers clean, basic accommodations. It’s a short drive from Arches National Park, making it a convenient base for those eager to explore the area without breaking the bank.
- RV Campground: Spanish Trail RV Park – This well-maintained RV park in Moab is a stone’s throw away from Arches National Park. With full hookups, clean facilities, and picturesque views of the surrounding red rocks, it’s an excellent choice for campers seeking comfort and convenience. We stayed here for an entire month in 2020.
- RV Boondocking: BLM 143 Dispersed Camping – For those seeking a more rugged and authentic camping experience, BLM 143 offers dispersed camping sites on Bureau of Land Management land. This area, just a short distance from Arches National Park, and while amenities are limited, the night sky views and sense of solitude make for a memorable experience. This is one of our favorite boondocking locations, and we have stayed here more than once.
- RV Camping Inside the Park: Devils Garden Campground – Located within Arches National Park itself, Devils Garden Campground offers an unparalleled experience for those wishing to stay amidst the park’s breathtaking landscape. The campground has 50 sites, some of which can accommodate RVs up to 30 feet long. While there are no hookups available, the unique advantage is its proximity to many of the park’s iconic trails and arches. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons, as it’s a popular choice for visitors seeking an immersive nature experience.
In Closing: Best Hikes in Arches National Park
And that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoy the amazing hikes in Arches National Park as much as we have! It’s truly one of the best things to do in Southern Utah!
Planning one of the best USA road trips? Be sure to read my other blog with 19 of the most amazing National Park hikes to add to your hiking bucket list. It includes hikes from nearby Bryce Canyon National Park, Zion National Park, and Capitol Reef National Park.
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