10 Arches National Park Hikes That Will BLOW Your Mind

(Last Updated On: 23/12/2019)

Arches National Park was the very FIRST national park that I visited and the hikes here are flat-out EPIC.

If you’re planning a hiking trip here, just know that your expectations are going to be more than exceeded. My goal whenever I visit National Parks is to see the best of the best, get off the beaten path, AND to explore the park thoroughly. I had three full days in Arches National Park, so I was able to cover every inch of this park excluding only two arches. So, not to toot my own horn, but this list of the best hikes in Arches National Park is prettttttttty legit *sunglasses emoji*.

These hikes are ordered from ‘best’ to ‘not as good as the best but still epic’, as I would like to put it. These are the hikes in Arches that you don’t want to miss on your trip here and if you have a limited amount of time, I hope this gives you better insight into what hikes you’ll want to skip and hit next time! Arches was one of my favorite National Parks in Utah and I know you’re going to love it too after exploring it!

This post contains affiliate links for the products I mentioned, but as always, all opinions are my own. I make a small commission, at no extra cost to you, when you make a purchase or booking through these links. This helps to support this space and keep me blogging, which I am so extremely thankful for.

Planning a visit to Utah? Check out these other exciting hikes in Utah after reading about these Arches National Park hikes!

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

 

Delicate Arch Trail

 

There is no other way to start the 10 best Arches National Park hikes than with the big kahuna, the Delicate Arch.

As trendy as this spot is, it marks its rightful place as one of the best hikes in the entire park. It has everything you want in a hike; challenge, views, and a huge reward at the end. Seriously this thing is A LOT bigger than you think it is (remember not to stand under it), and surrounding it is this large circular bowl/amphitheater looking formation that will blow your mind when you see it. This whole formation is on the side of an extremely large cliff and the wonder of it being formed will make you astonished all the same.

In regards to the hike, it can be fairly difficult and sometimes dangerous in bad weather as the rocks can get very slippery. The last 1/4 of the hike includes hiking up an incline of slick rock, but as long as you take it slow you’ll be just fine. Honestly, I’m surprised that people found this arch way back in the day because the hike seems very rugged compared to the other well-loved trails in the park. The beginning of the trail is marked well, but as you get further into it, it’ll be marked with arrows and cairns (stacks of small, flat stones), so keep an eye out for those on your way up.

If you’re in Arches for more than one day, I suggest saving this special hike as the “best for last”. It made it all the more special for my friend and me.

Oh yes! Before I forget! I recommend visiting for sunrise for fewer crowds. There is this sweet spot of time about 15-25 minutes after the sun rises where the people that hiked in the dark head out and the second wave of people are still on their way up, so the area around the arch clears out (if you’re visiting in high season). As for shoulder and low seasons, expect the crowds to be way lower in general and sunrise will still be the least busy.

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise/Sunset

  • Trail Length | 3 miles RT

  • Elevation Gain | 613 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Delicate Arch Trailhead

  • Hiking Time | ~2.5 Hours

  • Permits | No

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

 

Tower Arch Trail

 

A lot of people appreciate the eye candy of the Delicate Arch, but a little way up the road is a mysterious gravel road that will lead you to an unexplored desert dreamland. To put it in perspective, in the heat of the high season, my friend and I were the only ones on the trail until high NOON. Oh yeah. You want to get to this bad boy before the masses discover this place.

The reason why this is fairly unexplored, in my opinion, is because it’s about 45 minutes down a washboard-filled gravel road and since most people are on a road trip through all of Utah’s National Parks, they bother with the things that are more easily accessed, hence the secluded nature of this arch. It’s in one of the most remote parts of Arches National Park.

The hike is described as difficult because there is no shade the entire time up until you actually reach the arch and there is some light climbing in the beginning. It’s more like really really steep stairs rather than climbing, so don’t let that steer you away. This whole trail feels like you’re on Tatooine, the planet from Star Wars if you didn’t already know/watched the movies, and the ever-changing views make it really hard to wave goodbye to this trail. The coolest part about this trail is that the scenery changes every quarter of a mile, or so, so you’re always looking at something new!

I believe that the best time to make this hike is in the evening since the sun will set on the view you’ll see of Arches from the Tower Arch. However, it’ll be challenging to get back since you’ll have to watch for cairns the entire way. As long as you pack a headlamp and follow the rocks, you’ll be just fine. Sunrise is just as beautiful, though, so if you’re not up for hiking in the dark then you can still experience the beauty in the morning.

In my opinion, this is the BEST hike in Arches National park. The views and scenery, combined with zero crowds, makes this trail unmatched.

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise/Sunset

  • Trail Length | 3.4 Miles RT

  • Elevation Gain | 600 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Tower Arch Trailhead

  • Hiking Time | ~2.5 – 3 Hours

  • Permits | No

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

the Navajo Arch on the Devils Garden Trail

 

Devil’s Garden Trail

 

If you’re looking to see a bunch of arches all in one go, the Devil’s Garden Trail is a multi-length trail that can take you to seven different arches inside the park. Most hikers only make it up to the landscape arch (the longest arch in the world!), and then they head back to the parking lot, 1.9 miles roundtrip. If you want to see more exciting scenery, I recommend you take the challenge to do the entire trail all the way to the Dark Angel. To the Dark Angel and back via the main trail is around 5.1 miles roundtrip.

The great part about this trail is that you can make it as short or long as you’d like. If you’re pressed on time, I recommend at least making it to the Navajo and Partition Arch. In my opinion, these are the two most beautiful arches on the whole trail and they’re just a little ways past the landscape arch so you’re not adding much more time to continue forward and see these.

The hike up to Landscape Arch is straightforward, flat, and easy to navigate while the trail past that gets a little more difficult. You’ll need to do some light climbing, follow cairns, and you’ll encounter steep ledges with high drop-offs. As long as you bring plenty of water, follow the trail, and take breaks as needed, you’ll be just fine so don’t stress.

If you want a good, challenging hike, I recommend taking the entire Devil’s Garden Trail and coming back via the Primitive Trail. The Primitive Trail is the last of the Arches National Park hikes that I talk about, so scroll all the way down to the end to read more about the Primitive Loop and the Private Arch.

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise

  • Trail Length | 1 mile +

  • Elevation Gain | varies

  • Trailhead Location | Devil’s Garden Trailhead

  • Hiking Time | varies

  • Permits | No

 


 

Fiery Furnace Trail

 

The Fiery Furnace trail takes you through the towering sandstone formations pictured above and it’s one of the most unique and adventurous Arches National Park hikes! I wasn’t able to make this hike myself since my friend and I didn’t reserve a ranger-led hike, but it’s one of the hikes we really wish that we could have taken. The trail is described as physically demanding as you will walk and climb on irregular sandstone, along narrow ledges and drop-offs, squeeze through and jump over gaps, and other exciting feats! If adventure is on your must-do list for Arches National Park, the Fiery Furnace is a must!

Inexperienced or experienced, I recommend going on a ranger-led hike if it’s your first time hiking through the Fiery Furnace. There isn’t an established trail that has led to a lot of people getting lost and/or turned around in this maze. This means that bypassing the ranger-led hike and trying to follow footprints isn’t a good idea, either. Permits are available only on certain days, so visit recreation.gov to reserve your permit. Reservations open up 6 months to 4 days before you plan on hiking this trail. If you do end up booking this hike, make sure you show up go to the visitor’s center information desk at least one hour before you are heading out on the hike to check-in.

You are able to get a permit to hike the Fiery Furnace on your own, however, it is known that it’s REALLY easy to get lost in this labyrinth. Be smart about your decision, whatever it may be. If you have decided to hike without a ranger, read more about permit requirements here.

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise

  • Trail Length | 1.7 + Miles

  • Elevation Gain | 436 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Fiery Furnace Viewpoint

  • Hiking Time | ~2.5 Hours

  • Permits | Yes (book in advance)

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

 

Double Arch Trail

 

The Double Arch Trail is more of a leisurely walk than it is a hike, so if you’ve done some strenuous hikes in the morning, then this is a great arch to visit for a little bit of relaxing. The trailhead to this hike is near the windows section of Arches National Park, so you can do a little bit more exploring in the area once you’re done. The trail is straightforward and you can actually climb up into the arch to get a sweet view from the other side! If you plan on visiting for sunrise, you’ll be able to witness the sunrise through the arch!

This trail is best hiked in the morning before the masses arrive. Sunset is a beautiful time as well but there is going to be a ton of people depending on what season you visit and this is quite a small area to have a ton of people, so I highly recommend heading out for those golden, mornings rays. Double Arch is the tallest and second longest arch in the park, so you’re really going to feel the magnitude of these rock formations while you’re there! It’s incredible!

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise

  • Trail Length | 0.5 Miles

  • Elevation Gain | 32 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Double Arch Trailhead

  • Hiking Time | ~20 Minutes

  • Permits | No

 


 

Sand Dune Arch Trail

 

Out of all the Arches National Park hikes, the Sand Dune Arch Trail, which features the Tapestry and Broken Arches, is the only hike that I wasn’t able to complete during my three days in Arches. In hindsight, I technically could have squeezed it in, but I was all arched out by day three and since I had seen so much already, I didn’t prioritize it. HOWEVER, the Sand Dune Arch is one of the most underrated arches in the entire park. It’s an extremely short hike to this bad boy and it is best compared to the Navajo Arch, but just SLIGHTLY cooler.

You can add on the other two Arches to this hike to make it roughly a 1.5-mile one-way hike from The Sand Dune Arch Trailhead to Broken Arch, then to Tapestry Arch if you have a little bit of time and want to see more. It’s more of a leisurely walk to the Sand Dune Arch, so if you want something with a little more oomph, then that’s a great route to take. The layout of this hike is similar to Park Avenue, so it’s a one-way trail. If you do hike all the way to the Tapestry Arch, you’ll have to turn around and go back through the trail to Sand Dune Arch if you’re driving your own car.

Overall, it’s a pretty straightforward trail with no surprises along the way, so make sure you go and see this beauty!

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise/Sunset

  • Trail Length | 0.3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain | 108 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Sand Dune Arch Trailhead (1 stop past Fiery Furnace)

  • Hiking Time | 20 Minutes

  • Permits | No

 


 

The Windows Loop Trail

 

This short, but straightforward hike is the second hike, after Park Avenue, that you’re going to encounter when you enter Arches. The Windows Section includes five other sites that you can marvel at before you get on the loop: Balanced Rock, Pothole Arch, Parade of Elephants, Elephant Butte, and Garden of Eden, as well as the three arches you’ll see on the trail: Turret Arch, North Window, and the South Window. So, basically, if you want to crunch in a lot of stuff in a short amount of time, carve out some time to explore the windows section and trail. This hike is extremely accessible and popular, so try and get their early in the morning so that you can grab a parking space before they all fill up!

Other than that, this trail is pretty straightforward and simple with great views! You can’t beat that! This trail is great to pair with the Double Arch Trail since it’s The Windows’ next-door neighbor, and these are both best explored at sunrise for the fewest crowds.

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise/Sunset

  • Trail Length | 1 Hour

  • Elevation Gain | 170 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | The Windows Section

  • Hiking Time | 45 Minutes

  • Permits | No

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

 

Park Avenue Trail

 

One of my favorite Arches National Park hikes was a sunset stroll through the Park Avenue Trail. In my opinion, this is best explored at sunset. I’m sure sunrise is beautiful, too, but in high season (August), my friend and I had the whole trail to ourselves for the sunset! Sunset brings the entire trail into the cool shade and illuminated the towering rock features in a gold light (see above). I think that a lot of people are out seeing Delicate Arch and other more iconic things for sunset, so this trail stays relatively empty for sunset which is really cool because you’ll feel like you’re in the middle of the desert with zero people around.

On the Park Avenue Trail, you’ll be able to see Courthouse Towers, Three Gossips, The Organ, and the Tower of Babel, so this short and sweet trail gives you tons of things to see immediately once you enter the park. This is a primitive style trail, so you’ll need to follow the cairns to the other end of the trail, but it’s pretty straightforward so getting lost is near impossible. It’s a neat little canyon that will definitely start or end your trip off on a good note!

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise/Sunset (I prefer sunset)

  • Trail Length | 2 Miles

*This trail is a one way from one parking lot to another so you can either get dropped off at one side and picked up at the other or turn around and make this hike 4 total miles if you brought your own car.

  • Elevation Gain | 298 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Park Avenue Parking Area

  • Hiking Time | 1.5 Hours

  • Permits | No

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

 

Landscape Arch Trail

 

After the Delicate Arch, the other highly notable arch in Arches is the Landscape Arch! This arch is the longest arch in the WORLD, even after a car-sized piece of rock fell from it back in 1991. Ever since the rockfall from this arch and the collapse of the Wall Arch, you’re not permitted to stand underneath this one, but it’s easily admired from the trail!

You don’t need to take any detours off of the main Devil’s Garden Trail to see this arch and this is the normal turning around spot for most taking this trail. The hike is pretty straightforward and is accessible to practically everyone. I really consider it more of a leisurely stroll than a “hike”. At any rate, this part of Arches National Park is a favorite among hikers for its scenery, so if you’re looking for a very scenic hike that isn’t very difficult then this is a great one!

On the way to the Landscape Arch, there are two additional detours that you can to see other arches. At the beginning of the Devil’s Garden Trail, there are the Pine Tree Arch and the Tunnel Arch that you can pay a visit to. These will only add around a 1/2 mile onto your hiking mileage, so if you want to squeeze in a couple of extra sights in addition to the Landscape Arch, then these are perfect for some extra eye-candy!

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise/Sunset

  • Trail Length | 1.6 Miles Roundtrip

  • Elevation Gain | 259 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Devil’s Garden Trailhead

  • Hiking Time | 50 Minutes

  • Permits | No

 


 

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

 

Primitive Trail Via The Devils Garden Trail

 

If you plan on hiking the entire Devil’s Garden Trail, you might want to consider taking the Primitive Trail on the way back. The biggest plus to taking this route is that you’re in for a challenge and you don’t have to see the same scenery on your way back from the Dark Angel. In addition to that, you’re going to see very VERY few people on this route back. A huge thing to note if you are taking the Primitive Trail is to start the trail at the Double O Arch rather than taking the trail before you arrive at the Landscape Arch. The trail is going to be a lot easier this way and you’ll avoid some difficult climbing.

The trail is challenging in both the physical and navigational aspects of this hike, so I recommend using the buddy system for this one and picking up a trail guide at the trailhead. Cairns mark the entire route of the trail, however, you will encounter forks. On these forks, you’ll find logs in the way of an alternative route. These were put here for a reason, so if you see a log in the middle of the trail, then don’t cross it. That is the wrong way! Light climbing and rock scrambling are scattered throughout this trail and sometimes you may have to search a little for the next cairn, so keep your eyes peeled and don’t attempt this trail in the rain, snow, or other harsh weather. There is one additional arch you can see on the primitive trail and that is the Private Arch, a small arch in a very secluded corner of rocks. It’s not going to knock your socks off or anything as the scenery of the Primitive Trail is 100% better than the arch, but it’s still a good place to stop for a break.

I really enjoy challenging hikes and if you take the Primitive Trail back then you’re going to get a great sweat on in some parts and see some of the most beautiful panoramic views of Arches during the whole 7.2 miles. I recommend starting this hike in the morning so that you can get out of direct sunlight by noon. If you attempt this hike for sunset, you’re going to be hiking in the harsh heat and you may get lost looking for cairns in the dark, so I don’t recommend making this hike for sunset. If you ever complete this hike, please let me know how you enjoyed it in the comments below!

 

  • Best Hiked | Sunrise

  • Trail Length | 7.2 Miles Roundtrip

  • Elevation Gain | 1,053 Feet

  • Trailhead Location | Devil’s Garden Trailhead

  • Hiking Time | ~4 Hours

  • Permits | No

 


 

Have you visited any of these Arches National Park hikes? Share with me your favorite in the comments below!

Aaren

 

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Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

Arches National Park is one of the most beautiful National Parks in Utah, and with hikes like these, you can’t help but want to pay this vast desert a visit. I have explored every inch of this park, so these top Arches National Park hikes are THE trails you don’t want to miss while on a road trip through Utah! #archesnationalparkhikes #hikesinarchesnationalpark #archesnationalpark #utah #utahnationalparks

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