Arches National Park is one of the “Mighty five” in Utah. The other parks include Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef and Canyonlands. Hiking is my favorite way to explore National Parks. There are plenty of Arches National Park hikes to keep you occupied.
You could easily spend a long weekend camping, hiking, biking, and exploring this scenic area. But if you only have one day to explore this mesmerizing park heres what you should do and how to spend it.
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arches national park hikes & exploration in 1 day
Delicate Arch Trail ↑
Rise early to beat the crowds and the heat. Start your day by hiking the Delicate Arch Trail. This popular 3 mile round trip hike is moderate to strenuous but worth every step. Once you arrive, you’ll understand why it gets so crowded, its beautiful and sits atop a graceful, slanting red rock.
Delicate Arch is a staggering 45 feet high and 33 feet wide and you’ll be able to carefully walk on the slick red rock to stand underneath it in the center which creates some epic photos! The hike up to the arch is an adventure in itself as you carve up and around the mountain. The views are mesmerizing as distant canyons and the La Sal Mountains create the perfect backdrop.
This hike should take about 2 hours round trip and is personally one of my favorite hikes that I’ve ever done.
Once you’re back at your car, continue driving through the park towards Devils Garden Tailhead, which is at the end of the park. Stop at Sand Dune Arch, Broken Arch, and Skyline Arch along the way.
Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch you can see from where you park your car but you can also hike an easy sandy trail to see them up close and personal. You’ll reach Sand Dune Arch first, keep on the trail then you’ll reach Broken Arch. In total it’s 1 mile round trip and takes about 45 minutes.
Skyline Arch is 1 mile up the road from the Sand Dune and Broken Arch Trailhead and you won’t have to walk far from your car to be able to see it.
Landscape Arch Trail ↑
You’ll be hungry by the time you reach Devils Garden which is the perfect place to eat. The Devils Garden campground has a picnic area so don’t forget to pack your lunch!
After lunch start at the Devils Garden Trailhead and hike to Landscape Arch. This arch has a span of 360 feet, which is roughly the size of a football field. It is one of the longest unsupported rock spans in the world. This hike is an easy 2 miles round trip and should take about an hour.
Windows Trail ↑
Now head back towards the park entrance, retracing your steps. This time you’ll stop at Panorama Point (after the Delicate Arch) to soak in the views and continue to the Windows Section of Arches. The Windows Section is a group of giant arches that can only be seen if you walk the 1 mile sandy trail loop. There is a second trail that is a half mile long and this leads to Double Arch, another iconic Arch. These trails are easy and suitable for any fitness level.
Garden of Eden Viewpoint is on the way back to the main road and worth a stop and offers a great panorama of the Salt Valley to the north. You can also see a small Delicate Arch from across the valley perched atop the red rock.
Lastly, you’ll stop at Balanced Rock before exiting the park. Once you see this boulder resting high atop a tall thin slab of red rock you’ll be like ‘Yup, that’s a balanced rock.’ There is also a picnic area here located across the road.
more arches national park hikes
Park Avenue Trail
This easy/moderate trail gives you great vistas of the unique rock formations that encompass the park. There are 2 different trailheads depending on which end you start at, Park Avenue Trailhead or Park Avenue North Trailhead. The hike follows the highway and is 1 mile one way. It takes about 1 hour round trip.
Fiery Furnace Trail
This 2 mile round trip hike doesn’t follow a trail as hikers navigate through narrow canyons and over sand stone cracks and crevices. There will be times where you’ll have to scramble up rocks on your hands and knees.
It’s easy for any level of hiker to get disoriented here. This is why the Fiery Furnace Hike is only open to hikers with permits or on a ranger led hike. These ranger led hikes are popular and require advanced booking. You can do so here or in person at the visitors center.
Tower Arch Trail
The trailhead starts at Klondike Bluffs Parking Area and is a less visited part of the park. This is a 3.4 mile moderate to strenuous hike round trip. It takes you to Tower Arch which is a tower and an arch all in one. Be sure to check for rain before venturing to this trailhead as its only accessible by a dirt road and takes you through wash basins. There trailhead is located at the end of the park where you had your picnic.
Devils Garden Loop
If completed this trail is 7.2 miles round trip. The trail takes you by 8 famed arches, Tunnel Arch, Pine Tree Arch, Landscape Arch, Wall Arch, Partition Arch, Navajo Arch, Double O Arch, and Dark Angel. The trailhead is a popular area of the park as there are several shorter versions of the hike fit for all hiking abilities. As most trails like this, the farther you venture the less crowded it will be.
Alright you did it! You had an awesome day of Arches National Park hikes, exploring iconic arches, taking pictures and chewing up the scenery. Now head to Moab to rest your tired feet or have a well deserved victory beer at the Moab Brewery.
The Lazy Lizard Hostel
Simple dorm-style accommodations. All guests have access to a hot tub, kitchen, showers, common area with TV, bbq area, and a coin operated laundry machine. Ideal for someone on a budget wanted to explore this beautiful part of the country. Prices start at $11 per bed per night.
Well-equipped, spacious rooms with a huge TV, 2 Queen beds and a nice kitchenette. Heated pool and free coffee in the lobby. Perfect mid range accommodation. Prices start at $140 a night.
Located 5 miles from the entrance to Arches National Park. This colorful southwest-style hotel features a courtyard with a pool and whirlpool, free Wi-Fi and a daily breakfast are provided. Prices start at $210 a night.
- Devils Garden Campground
- BLM Lands
- Remember you are in the desert so have plenty of water on you at all times
- Sunscreen and a hat are needed especially in the summer as the sun is relentless
- There are no dining facilities in the park, just picnic tables
- Wear good walking shoes with rubber soles to avoid slipping on the slick rock
- It’s easier to go up slick rock slope than it is to come down
- Don’t forget your camera and an extra memory card as you’ll want to take a picture every where you turn!