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Can’t Miss Arches in Arches National Park

Get ready for Arch Madness! With over 2,000 known arches in Arches National Park, there are no shortage of unique rock formations and arches to see while exploring the park. But with so many arches out there, it can be overwhelming trying to plan the perfect trip!

This guide shares over a dozen popular arches to see in Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. The list includes a mix of easily accessible roadside arches, and arches that require hiking or a 4×4 drive to access. While you probably won’t be able to hit all of these arches in one trip (unless you spend a few days in the park), this guide will help you decide what you want to prioritize seeing during your trip.

Delicate arch with a dusting of snow and a raven in the foreground.
Delicate Arch

Arches National Park Entrance Fee: $30/vehicle or use an America the Beautiful or other federal recreation pass. 

Recreating Responsibly in Arches National Park

Be Aware: Climbing or walking across any arches is prohibited in Arches National Park!

Arches National Park sees over a million visitors annually. With so many people visiting and enjoying the arches in Arches National Park, it’s important that everyone does what they can to minimize their impact on the environment and help protect this beautiful area for future generations. Here’s how you can recreate responsibly while visiting Arches National Park:

Woman holding hiking poles and dressed for winter stands on a rock in front of a long arch in Arches National Park.
Landscape Arch

Leave No Trace

Follow the 7 Leave No Trace principles. This means:

1. Plan Ahead & Prepare

Hiking in the desert comes with unique considerations, so make sure you research the trails you plan to hike and pack appropriately. Always carry the 10 essentials when hiking and make sure you have enough water!

2. Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces

A lot of the land in Arches National Park is covered in biological soil crust, otherwise known as cryptobiotic soil. Cryptobiotic soil plays a critical role in the desert ecosystem and is extremely delicate. It can take years to decades to recover from damage, so it’s important to stay on developed trails, or travel over durable surfaces like dry washes or slickrock, to avoid disrupting the cryptobiotic soil!

Cryptobiotic soil.
Older cryptobiotic soil can be identified by its knobby, black crust.

3. Dispose of Waste Properly

Pack out all waste and trash, including food scraps. Human waste (aka poop) should also be packed out using a WAG bag, as required by law in Grand County, Utah.

4. Leave What You Find

Never carve into, take, or stack rocks. Taking any natural or cultural object is illegal in Arches National Park.

5. Minimize Campfire Impacts

Fires are regulated within Arches National Park. If you’re staying at the Devils Garden Campground, the camp host will let you know whether you can have a fire or not. Always practice campfire safety. This means creating your campfire in the existing fire ring; making sure the fire is always attended to and doesn’t get out of control; and making sure the fire is out completely (stir the ashes until they are cool to the touch).

6. Respect Wildlife

Never feed wildlife and make sure to maintain a safe distance. Lizards and ravens are the most common animals that you will encounter. There are snakes in Arches National Park, but they’re not as prevalent as you might expect them to be in Moab. Never place your hand somewhere that you can’t see to avoid an accidental encounter!

7. Be Considerate of Others

Wear headphones instead of blasting music over a bluetooth speaker. Uphill hikers have the right of way on the trail. Remember, Arches National Park is an extremely popular place to visit, so come prepared to possibly encounter crowds. Don’t forget to pack your patience!

The member-driven Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics teaches people how to enjoy the outdoors responsibly. This copyrighted information has been reprinted with permission from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

Woman stands in front of a round arch with a smaller arch to the right and sweeping view of the desert in the distance.
Partition Arch

Arches National Park Timed-Entry System

Arches National Park requires a timed entry ticket for the entire park between April 1-October 31, 2024. In order to go through the main entrance gate between the hours of 7am-4pm MST, you will need a reservation. Your ticket gives you a 1-hour window to enter the park. Once you’ve entered the park during your 1-hour window you’re free to leave and reenter the park anytime.

A timed entry ticket is not required if you enter before 7am or after 4pm. You also don’t need a ticket if you already have campground reservations inside of Arches, a Fiery Furnace permit, are on a commercial tour, or have a special use permit.

Timed entry tickets cost $2 and are released on a rolling basis in monthly blocks, 3 months in advance at 8am MST/MDT. This means that tickets for April go on sale in January, May in February, June in March, and so on and so forth. A limited number of tickets also become available the night before at 7pm MST. You can get your tickets on HERE.

A view of orange sandstone rock formations with snow-capped mountains in the background.

Best Arches in Arches National Park to See

This list includes over a dozen arches you can’t miss in Arches National Park. It includes a mix of hiking trails and arches that are easily accessible by car or a short walk. Some hikes feature multiple arches, which are noted.

1. Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch is arguably the most iconic hike in Southern Utah, with the trail’s namesake arch prominently featured on the state’s license plate. I’ve hiked to Delicate Arch four times and I swear each time I’m more blown away than the last. If there’s any hike out there that deserves the hype it gets, it’s Delicate Arch!

The trail to Delicate Arch is a great introduction to hiking in the desert, so this is a trail I’d recommend for most visitors to Moab, including families and beginner hikers. It’s short, easy to follow, and the terrain alternates between sand and slickrock. There is one particularly steep section of slickrock that tends to catch people by surprise, but it’s not a bad climb if you take things slowly and wear hiking shoes with good traction.

The star of the hike is, of course, Delicate Arch. There’s often a line to take photos at the arch, but it’s such an epic rock formation, it’s worth the wait to memorialize your trip to Moab. If you want to avoid the crowds try hiking at sunrise or visiting Arches National Park during the winter.

Delicate Arch in Arches National Park with the La Sal mountains behind it
It wasn’t hard to get pictures under Delicate Arch without other people around during a sunset hike on a Saturday in early March!

Trail Stats For Delicate Arch

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Difficult. This is by far the most popular hike in Arches National Park. Be sure to arrive early (ideally at sunrise) for the best likelihood of finding a spot.

Distance: 3.2 miles (out-and-back)

Elevation Gain: 630 ft.

Difficulty: Easy-moderate (4-5/10)

Estimated Hike Time: 1 ½-2 hours 

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

AllTrails Link

Woman sitting on rock with Delicate Arch in the distance.

2. Double Arch

Double Arch is perhaps one of the most photographic arches in Arches National Park. It’s comprised of two arches that weave together to create an intricate and awe-inspiring geologic formation. Accessing Double Arch requires a short walk from the parking lot, so it’s perfect for visitors of all ages. However, you do need to walk/scramble up some slickrock if you want to get under the arch.

While you’re visiting Double Arch you can also take a short hike to Cove Arch and the Cove of Caves along the Parade of Elephants Trail. The trail is roughly one-mile out-and-back, and provides a bit of an escape from the crowds that typically congregate at Double Arch.

Two sandstone arches known as Double Arch in Arches National Park.

3. The Windows & Turret Arch

What’s more fun than two arches in one?! The Windows is a popular area to explore in Arches National Park because it’s easily accessible and provides breathtaking views. The North and South Windows look like giant eyes peering out from the ground, and provide a unique opportunity for photographers to get creative while exploring different vantage points. Come prepared to edit people out of your photos!

Located right across from the Windows, Turret Arch provides more picture perfect views of Arches National Park. Because you don’t have to hike far and you get views o the east and west, the Windows is a great area to visit both at sunrise and sunset.

Insider Tip: The best view of the Windows is from behind. Climb through the North Window down a primitive trail that loops around to the South Window.

Man stands in the desert with a rock arch to his right and a rock formation behind him.

Trail Stats for The Windows & Turret Arch

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. There’s a large parking lot and people tend to regularly come and go.

Distance: ~1.2 mile loop

Elevation Gain: 150 ft.

Difficulty: Easy (1.5-2.5/10)

Estimated Hike Time: <1 hour

Best Time of Year to Hike: Year-round.

AllTrails Link

A woman stands on a rock in front of an eye-shaped arch during blue hour.

4. Fiery Furnace Arches

NOTE: A permit is required to hike in the Fiery Furnace! Permits can be obtained HERE up to a month in advance. The cost is $10/person. Every person in your group must be present to pick up your permit the day of your hike in order to watch an educational video about recreating responsibly.

The Fiery Furnace is arguably the most fun hike in Arches National Park. There is no official trail here. Hikers are free to roam the slickrock rock formations and washes that wind through the Fiery Furnace.

While there is no official trail in the Fiery Furnace, there is a marked route that most hikers follow. There are also a couple of spur trails that branch off from the main route that are marked on AllTrails. It’s important to have a physical map or a map downloaded to your phone (plus a backup battery) while exploring the Fiery Furnace.

There are probably tons of hidden arches located throughout the Fiery Furnace, but there are two in particular that hikers frequently seek out. Located deep within a side canyon, Surprise Arch is quite literally a hidden gem (you won’t know it’s there until you’re practically under it). Skull Arch is another popular arch to see in the Fiery Furnace. You’ll likely pass other smaller, unnamed arches on your hike as well.

Woman leaping under a sandstone arch while hiking in the Fiery Furnace in Arches National Park.

Trail Stats For Fiery Furnace

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy. Since the hike is permitted you shouldn’t have any issues finding a parking spot.

Distance: 2-3+ miles

Elevation Gain: ~500 ft.

Difficulty: Moderate (5-7/10) due to the route-finding and possible scrambling required.

Estimated Hike Time: 2-2 ½+ hours

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

AllTrails Link

Skull Arch in Arches National Park with a blue sky in the background.

5. Devils Garden Loop Arches

One hike, six arches. The Devils Garden Loop trail is arguably the best hike in Arches National Park (at least in my opinion). The full trail takes hikers through the desert past seven unique arches and other unique geologic formations. It’s a fun and engaging hike, and the views along the entire trail are incomparable.

In order to complete the entire loop you need to hike along a “primitive” trail that requires some scrambling, which makes it a challenging hike. I recommend hiking the full loop counterclockwise, so you have to scramble up the steep sections of slickrock instead of downclimbing. This also saves the bulk of the arches on the trail for the end of the loop (always save the best for last!).

If the full loop sounds too daunting, you can still hike to a few of the arches in Devils Garden. Landscape Arch, Pine Tree Arch, and Tunnel Arch are all easily accessible on well-maintained trails. You can also tack on Double O Arch, Navajo Arch, and Partition Arch without completing the full loop, but it requires a steep hike up a sandstone fin.

Trail Stats for Devils Garden Loop

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. There’s a large parking lot and people tend to regularly come and go.

Distance: 8 miles for the full loop. Landscape Arch is roughly 2 miles out-and-back.

Elevation Gain: 1050 ft. for the full loop. 250 ft. to Landscape Arch.

Difficulty: Difficult (7.5-8/10) for the full loop. Easy (2.5-3.5/10) for Landscape Arch.

Estimated Hike Time: 3 ½-4 ½ hours for the full loop. Less than an hour for Landscape Arch.

Best Time of Year to Hike: Fall, winter, and spring.

AllTrails Link

Completing the full Devils Garden Loop will also take you past other unique rock formations, like a wall of rock fins and a sandstone tower known as Dark Angel.

Woman standing on slickrock with sandstone rock fins in front of her in Arches National Park.

6. Sand Dune Arch

For a short and easy hike with scenic views, check out Sand Dune Arch. The trail to Sand Dune Arch is well-defined and easy to follow. After hiking through an exposed field, you’ll find Sand Dune Arch tucked back in the side of a sandstone fin.

The area around Sand Dune Arch is surrounded by sand (shocker!), and I’ve heard it’s a fun place to explore with little kids. Sand Dune Arch is a great low-effort, high-reward hike that can be done any time of the year. Even though it’s short, you should still have sun protection and water, especially during the summer!

An arch that looks like 2 camels kissing with a blue sky in the background.

Trail Stats For Sand Dune Arch

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. There are a decent number of parking spots and since it’s a short hike, people tend to come and go regularly.

Distance: ~0.5 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 125 ft.

Difficulty: Easy (1.5-2.5/10).

Estimated Hike Time: <30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Hike: Year-round.

AllTrails Link

7. Skyline Arch

For a short and easy arch walk, check out Skyline Arch. Located near Devils Garden, Skyline Arch is a great option anytime of year if you’re looking for something short and quick. The walk out to Skyline Arch is extremely easy, so it’s a fun trail for the whole family.

Insider Tip: If you know where to look while driving on I-70, you can see Skyline Arch in the distance!

A snowy trail leading to a sandstone arch with sandstone rocks surrounding it.
If you’re visiting Arches in the winter after it snows make sure to have traction, like a pair of microspikes for the trail!

Trail Stats for Skyline Arch

Trailhead Location: Google maps

Trailhead Parking Difficulty: Easy-moderate. The parking lot isn’t large, but since it’s such a short hike people come and go fairly regularly.

Distance: 0.4 miles out-and-back

Elevation Gain: 35 ft.

Difficulty: Very easy (1-1.5/10).

Estimated Hike Time: <30 minutes

Best Time of Year to Hike: Year-round (it’s such a short hike it makes for a good, quick stop during the summer).

AllTrails Link

Backcountry Arches in Arches National Park

The last few arches on this list are located in the backcountry of Arches National Park. These are off-the-beaten-path from the main roads in Arches and require a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle to access.

8. Tower Arch

Tower Arch is a lesser-visited arch in the Klondike Bluffs area of Arches National Park. Accessing Tower Arch requires a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle in order to navigate the sandy and rocky backcountry road to the trailhead. Be aware, the road may be impassable after rain or snow.

Getting to Tower Arch requires a short, 1/4 mile hike to the arch from the 4×4 parking area. Some light scrambling is required to get back to the arch, so I recommend wearing hiking shoes (I wore my Birkenstocks out and quickly regretted my decision). In addition to seeing Tower Arch, you’ll also find an unnamed arch in the sandstone wall to the right.

If you don’t have a 4×4 vehicle, you can access Tower Arch via a hiking trail. If you hike in, be prepared to encounter a short, but steep, climb up a sandy hill. The trailhead for the hiking trail still requires driving on a dirt road, but it does not require a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle.

A sandstone wall in the desert with a thick arch in the middle and a bright blue sky.

9. Eye of the Whale Arch

The Eye of the Whale is easily one of the coolest arches in Arches National Park. You can drive to Eye of the Whale from Tower Arch via West Valley Jeep Road. As its name implies, you will need to have a high-clearance, 4WD vehicle in order to drive the road. It’s a short walk from the parking area back to Eye of the Whale.

Once you get back to the arch you can scramble up the sandstone rock to hike underneath it. Eye of the Whale is carved into an otherwise thick sandstone wall, so you get a few unique vantage points when standing beneath it.

A woman stands in the mouth of a sandstone arch in the desert.

Arches in Arches National Park Map:

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