Arches National Park is just north of Moab in the state of Utah. Arches is home to more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches, and so much amazing landscape it’s difficult to take in!
We visited in June, because we were nearby in Colorado. But, would advise visiting in the Spring or Fall when the desert temperatures are more suitable for hiking and biking.
Because of the time of year, we did a drive through the park stopping at all the scenic overlooks. But, we added in the short hikes to most of the more famous arches. Some of the most interesting scenery in the park can also be seen right from the pull-offs, including Balanced Rock which can also be reached by a short (0.3 mile) trail.
The first hike we did was Windows. Windows is an easy 1-mile loop hike with minor elevation gain up some stairs to one of the arches. It’s a great first hike, because it takes you very close to three major arches (North Window, South Window, and Turret) and is very accessible. The downside is there will likely be lots of people on all the arches, jockeying for the same pictures you want to take. But, with a little patience and creativity your hike will be rewarded.
The next hike we took was to Double Arches. This is also a short (0.5 mile) easy hike, and allows direct access to a great pair of arches. After a short climb, you can walk right under the two arches, making for some great photo ops!
Last, but certainly not least, we hiked to Delicate Arch. This is a more difficult hike, with 3.2 miles of mostly unshaded slickrock round trip. This is definitely a hike to bring plenty of water, a hat, and other appropriate gear. But, once you make your way through a small valley, up the large slick rock, and around the narrow path to the top of a mesa, you’ll be rewarded with a really great view of Delicate Arch. This arch also allows you to walk directly up to it, but be prepared for a lot of people with selfies in mind.
Here’s a gallery of more pictures from Arches National Park. I think you’ll agree, it’s simply amazing!