Arches National Park

  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Trodel
  • Massive yet delicate... arch - © William Mackesy
  • The Organ, Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Trodel
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user TheJaneCollection
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user BA Bowen Photography
  • Arch in Arches National Park - © By Flickr user TimPearce
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Wanderstruck
  • Delicate Arch - © By Flickr user Jderuna
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Arches National Park - © By Flickr user Redeo
  • Fiery Furnace - © William Mackesy
  • Beginning of Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Eroded roots - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Double O Arch - © William Mackesy
  • North from Devil"s Garden - © William Mackesy
  • Thrilling walk along Devil"s Garden high narrow ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Looking west from Devil"s Garden high ridge - © William Mackesy
  • Navajo Arch - © William Mackesy
  • Partition Arch - © William Mackesy
  • Landscape Arch - © William Mackesy
  • How does it stay up... - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Windows Arches area - © William Mackesy
  • North Window - © William Mackesy
  • Windows Arches area - © William Mackesy
  • Windows Arches  - © William Mackesy
  • Turret Arch - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Petroglyphs on way to Delicate Arch  - © William Mackesy
  • Up near Delicate Arch - © William Mackesy
  • Delicate Arch, very last light - © William Mackesy

Key information: Arches National Park

  • Arches National Park in Utah has a wonderful landscape of eroded sandstone, including over 2,000 natural arches. 
  • Key walks include the Devil's Garden (to the outstanding Landscape Arch), Park Avenue and Delicate Arch (detailed descriptions in preparation).

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating90
  • Beauty33
  • Natural interest18
  • Human interest3
  • Charisma38
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating90

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: N/A
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
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Windows Arches area - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

Arches National Park in Utah has a wonderful landscape of eroded sandstone, including over 2,000 natural rock arches. It contains several areas of extraordinary weather-smoothed rocky towers and rows of narrow-backed “fins” of rock, some sharp and shark-like, many in the form of long, thin, smooth-topped ridges. They are a fine setting for their special glory, a selection of beautiful and magnificent rock arches, including the huge, flat-curved, ultra-slender and all-round amazing Landscape Arch, considered the world’s longest rock arch, and the immaculate, free-standing Delicate Arch. Among these rocks, juniper, pine and an assortment of hardy desert vegetation mellow what would be too harsh, and create a beautiful visual harmony.

Key walks include:  

Devil’s Garden and Primitive Loop

The Devil's Garden is an extraordinary confusion of weather-smoothed rocky towers and rows of narrow-backed "fins". They are a fine setting for a setting a selection of beautiful and magnificent rock arches, including the amazing Landscape Arch. The trail to the Landscape Arch, which all will want to visit, is pretty straightforward and some 2.5km return. It can be extended to the Navajo and Partition arches, and on to the marvellous Double O Arch. It is also the walk-in to the thrilling11.6km Primitive Loop (also called the Devil’s Garden trail), in Walkopedia’s view the finest walk in the park although reasonably hard work. It winds between the fins and towers, climbing their flanks, a fascinating feast of dramatic landscape, with a memorable walk along a narrow sandstone ridge, side-walks to various gorgeous arches, including perhaps the world’s finest and most unlikely, as well as it longest, rock arch, the Landscape Arch.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is immaculate, a huge yet light-feeling free-standing rock arch on top of a ridge of wind-smoothed sandstone. It is a truly amazing structure, which will require many minutes of quiet contemplation, something which is a bit hard to come by, as it is wildly popular. The 4.8km (3 mile) walk there is a bit of a trudge until you reach the higher ground, when it is a thriller for maybe 15 minutes or so.

Windows and Turret arches

These superb arches can be visited on a short walk, with a perhaps 1.5 mile “primitive trail” which winds round the back of the Windows arches. Must be walked if time allows.

There are plenty of other walks to enjoy, including Tower Arch in the Klondike Bluffs, Broken Arch, and the short Park Avenue near the entrance.

You can walk all the best trails in a day. Walkopedia walked the Devil’s Garden/Primitive Loop, then to the Windows arches, and finally out to Delicate Arch for the glorious reddening of sunset.

The park is justly popular, so don’t expect to be alone, especially in high season. Some walks can be positively crowded. But you will survive, such are the wonders.

 Our friends and partners Responsible Travel have a selection of walking and other holidays in South-west USA. You should get good ideas, perhaps for something you hadn’t thought of!

This can be tough walking in hot, dry conditions. Come fully prepared, including carrying plenty of water.

The book is Canyonlands and Arches National Parks by Bill Schneider for Falcon Hiking Guides. Find relevant books on Amazon.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Landscape Arch - © William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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Devil's Garden - © William Mackesy...
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