Delicate Arch

  • Very last light - © William Mackesy
  • Old corral - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Old cabin - © William Mackesy
  • Petroglyphs - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Upper trail - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • Slickrock, late light - © William Mackesy
  • Across from the trail, late light - © William Mackesy
  • Massive yet delicate - © William Mackesy
  • The rock theatre - © William Mackesy
  • The light really felt like this - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy

Key information: 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 justly one of the most famous of its kind, and you will be thrilled by it.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating89
  • Beauty35
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma34
  • Negative points4
  • Total rating89
  • Note: Popularity; crowding

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 4.8km
  • 1.5hr
  • Maximum Altitude: N/A
  • Level of Difficulty: Moderate
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Across from the trail, late light - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

Delicate Arch is immaculate, a huge yet light-feeling free-standing rock arch on top of a ridge of wind-smoothed sandstone. It is justly one of the most famous of its kind, and you will be thrilled by it.

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, so the splendid rocky theatre above it will almost always be well populated, and people will always be standing by if for photo opps. Never mind – it is so beautiful and unusual, you will forgive that. It even has its funny moments, the photographers shouting at people to clear away for the perfect shaaart as the dying sun reddens the already orange structure.

The 4.8km (3 mile), 1.5hr, walk there is a bit of a trudge, relieved by a quick viewing of an old settler’s cabin and some charming petroglyphs, until you reach the higher ground, when it is a thriller for maybe 15 minutes or so, winding around the high domes and towers of the ridgetop, with fabulous views.

Get there late afternoon/sundown if possible.

This is mildly strenuous walking in hot, dry conditions. Come fully prepared, including carrying plenty of water.

For lots more information and photos, including detailed practical information and some warnings, see our Arches NP walk page.

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.

Petroglyphs - © William Mackesy

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.

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© William Mackesy...
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