Easy Hikes and Walks in Arches National Park

Are you a beginner hiker or just want to hit the easy trails while still experiencing the sight of those breathtaking rock arches? You’ve come to the right place.

We have compiled a list of five easy hikes and walks that you can not miss!

Welcome to Arches National Park, a stunning expanse of red rock formations and natural arches that has captivated visitors for decades.

If you are planning a trip to this mesmerizing desert wonderland, we have got you covered with a comprehensive guide filled with invaluable tips for each easy hike and walk.

Contrary to what some might believe, Arches National Park isn’t particularly vast. You can visit the most impressive sights in just one or two days.

So, I’m eager to share with you the easiest hiking trails in Arches National Park that you shouldn’t miss. This compilation is based on my own experiences and includes some useful tips.

💡 Make sure to read essential information for the timed entry tickets and our 10 must-know tips at the end of this article.

To make things even easier for you, we added a Google Maps link for each trailhead below. You can send these directly to your phone for more comfortable navigation.

1. Delicate Arch / Delicate Arch Viewpoint

  • Length: 3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 610 feet
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Easy Option: Delicate Arch Viewpoint, see below
  • Google Maps: Delicate Arch Trailhead

Arches National Park

From the car park, the Delicate Arch trail sets off, passing Wolfe Ranch on the left-hand side. The defined path quickly disappears and leads up a relatively steep section of slick rock. Follow the rock cairns to stay on the right path. At the top of the slick rock, the path curves behind a sandstone wall and turns the corner to Delicate Arch.

The arch sits on one side of a sloping sandstone bowl, and you can photograph it from various angles.

Tips and Things to Know:

  • Delicate Arch is one of the most famous natural arches in the world.
  • There is no shade on this trail so it is important to bring water, hats, and sunscreen.
  • The trail takes around 2 – 3 hours to complete.
  • Consider visiting just after sunrise or just before sunset for the best photo opportunities.
  • At Lower Delicate Arch Viewpoint, you can walk a short distance to see the arch from about a mile away.

Easy Option: Delicate Arch Viewpoint

This is a different, much easier trail that takes you to a beautiful viewpoint, where you can see the Delicate Arch in the distance. This trail is rated easy because it is short (less than a mile) and not strenuous: Google Maps Location

It is easily marked and worth the beautiful view if you don’t have the time or desire for the more difficult hike to the actual arch.

2. Devils Garden Trail [Easy: Landscape Arch]

  • Length: Landscape Arch – 1.6 miles. Double O Arch – 4.5 miles. Primitive Trail – 7.2 miles.
  • Elevation Gain: Landscape Arch – 259 feet. Double O Arch – 360 feet. Primitive Trail – 1,131 feet.
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Google Maps:  Landscape Arch Trailhead
  • Easy Option: Landscape Arch only

Arches National Park

There are three trail variations in the Devils Garden area, with each beginning from the same trailhead. The trail meanders through flat terrain initially, but before you reach Landscape Arch a path leads off right to Pine Tree Arch and Tunnel Arch, which are well worth checking out.

After this, return to the main trail, which leads to the base of the spectacular Landscape Arch.

Landscape Arch (Easy Option): If you only want to do the easy part, just walk to the Landscape Arch and back. It’s an arch you won’t want to miss because it’s the largest of its kind. The out-and-back trail is pretty crowded, but it’s well worth it. This is a really easy, kid-friendly hike in Arches and is reasonably accessible.

After the Landscape Arch, the walk becomes slightly more challenging, so you can retrace your steps to complete the Landscape Arch trail if you wish.

The onwards trail climbs over sandstone slabs, involving some scrambling and exposure to heights. Spur trails lead off to Partition Arch and Navajo Arch. The main path then takes you across a narrow sandstone rock towards Double O Arch, with great views on both sides.

Double O Arch is another impressive sight, with the tower of Dark Angel situated a short distance away. From here, you can retrace your steps to the car park to complete the Double O Arch trail.

If you’re confident enough to continue, the Primitive Loop trail becomes more challenging, involving some rock scrambling and route finding. Private Arch is the only other arch to see on this route, with the rest of it being a beautiful trail through the desert environment, which loops back around to the main path near Landscape Arch.

Tips and Things to Know:

  • The Devils Garden Trail incorporates seven arches in total, with others visible in the distance.
  • Landscape Arch is the longest natural arch in North America, at 306 feet.
  • The Landscape Arch Trail takes around 50 minutes. The Double O Arch trail takes about 2.5 hours, and the Primitive Loop takes around 4 hours.
  • The Primitive Loop section is not recommended when conditions are wet or icy.

3. Park Avenue Trail

  • Length: 2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Difficulty: Very easy
  • Google Maps: Trailhead

Arches National Park

The Park Avenue Trail begins at the trail car park, with the path dropping down into the canyon via a series of steps. From here, the flat terrain leads you down the center of the canyon, with red sandstone walls towering on each side.

As you emerge at the other end of the canyon, you are greeted with a great view of the Courthouse Towers. This marks the end of the trail, and you return to the car park by retracing your steps.

Tips and Things to Know:

  • This is the closest trail to the park entrance.
  • The walk is suitable for those of all abilities, making it great for families.
  • From the car park, a paved sidewalk leads to the nearby La Sal Mountains Viewpoint.

4. The Windows Loop

  • Length: 1.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 187 feet
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Google Maps: Windows Trailhead

Arches National Park

From the parking area, an easy trail leads up a gentle slope for about 100 yards towards the North Window – the largest window on the route. This part of the walk has some great views of the surrounding area, and from here, you can follow the path around the corner to view the South Window.

The spectacular Turret Arch is also nearby, composed of one large arch and one smaller arch. To reach it, follow the path jutting off from the main trail at the North and South Windows. From here, you have the option of retracing your steps to the car park or completing a circular route by looping around behind the main windows.

Tips and Things to Know:

  • North Window measures 90 feet in width and 48 feet in height.
  • The Windows Loop usually takes between 15 and 60 minutes.
  • An accessible bathroom is available near the Windows Loop car park.
  • You can also reach the nearby Double Arch Trail from here, with the option to combine both this and the Windows Loop into one walk.

5. Sand Dune Arch & Broken Arch

Arches National Park

From the car park, there is the option to visit either of the two arches first. However, Sand Dune Arch is closer to the car park. A flat trail leads to a crossroads, where you can turn right and follow the path through a narrow slot canyon with a sandy bottom.

A short distance into the canyon, the walls widen and open up to a view of Sand Dune Arch, which you can walk beneath.

Retrace your steps through the canyon to the crossroads, then turn down the other path signposted to Broken Arch. This trail leads through an open area of scrub and trees to the base of the archway. Here, the path climbs up a short section of rock and passes right through Broken Arch.

There are some great photo opportunities of the arch on the other side. Retracing your steps leads you back to the car park.

Tips/Things to Know:

  • Sand Dune Arch and Broken Arch are accessed by two separate trails, but they can be combined into one walk, and both use the same car park.
  • The canyon leading to Sand Dune Arch can provide shade when the sun is hot.
  • The Broken Arch trail is a good place to see migrating birds in spring and fall.
  • The Devils Garden Campground can be found nearby.

Timed Entry Tickets

Timed entry tickets infographic by NPS (Public Domain). Modified by us.

Arches National Park introduces a Timed Entry System between April 1st and October 31st from 7 A.M. to 4 P.M. each year. The system helps manage traffic, reduce congestion, and enhance the visitor experience. This article will guide you through everything you need to know about securing and using timed entry tickets.

What Is the Timed Entry System?

The Timed Entry System requires visitors to reserve a specific date and time slot to enter the park. These reservations can be made in advance, online through Recreation.gov. The goal is to pace visitation evenly throughout the day, lessening congestion, and improving the visitor experience.

GOOD TO KNOW: It’s crucial to plan your visit well in advance and secure your desired time slot. Availability may vary depending on the season and demand, so make your reservations as early as possible.

How Does It Work?

Here’s how to navigate the process:

  1. Secure your timed entry tickets. These can be reserved online or over the phone from Recreation.gov. The park releases tickets three months in advance in monthly blocks.
  2. Purchase your park pass or pay the entrance fee when you arrive.

PRO TIP: A limited number of tickets for the next day’s entry are released at 6 PM Mountain Time daily. You can only get these over the phone or on Recreation.gov; tickets will not be available at the entrance station.

What To Do After Getting Your Ticket?

Once you have your ticket, print it, download it, or take a screenshot of it. Cell phone service is limited inside the park, so ensure you have a copy accessible offline.

Upon arrival at the park, check in at the entrance station during your designated time slot. Be prepared to show your reservation confirmation, either in printed form or on a mobile device, along with any applicable park passes, and photo ID.

Planning Your Visit

PRO TIP: Take into account the time slot you have reserved when planning your activities within the park. Consider the duration of hikes, sunset viewing opportunities, and any other experiences you wish to enjoy during your visit.

The Timed Entry System provides a two-hour window for entry, allowing for flexibility in case of unexpected delays. By managing visitor numbers and reducing congestion on popular trails, viewpoints, and parking areas, it helps preserve the park’s natural resources and improves the overall visitor experience.

💡 If you couldn’t secure a ticket, you can still enter the park before 7 A.M. and after 4 P.M. daily without a ticket.

Enjoy your visit to Arches National Park!

10 Must-Know Tips

Arches National Park

  1. Be there early: The first hike we did was Delicate Arch (the full hike, not the viewpoint). Try to be there around 7:30 a.m. if possible. The parking lots get full around 10:00. It can get really busy around that time, from spring to fall.
  2. Stay one night: Staying one night is the best advice locals and experts give. That way, you can easily start early (see above) and enjoy gorgeous Milky Way stargazing as well. Stay nearby in Moab: Hotels Deals in Moab via booking.com (Tip: save the link!)
  3. Bring enough water: Many visitors ignore the advice to bring enough water in the hot months. Please don’t be one of them. It’s crucial that you bring plenty of water and drink enough fluids, even for shorter hikes.
  4. Bathrooms: Try to use the restrooms at the visitor center or at Sand Dune Arch. These are less busy and also cleaner than the other bathrooms.
  5. Six arches quick: If you only have half a day or so, hike the Double O Arch Trail! On this short hike, you can view 6 arches within a quite short (6 miles) round trip.
  6. Take your time: There is a lot to see in the park, but try not to rush; that way, you will be able to stop and enjoy the scenery at your leisure.
  7. Explore and discover: There is far more to the park than just the arches, with interesting plants and wildlife to see, as well as ancient dinosaur tracks, fossils, and petroglyphs. The park’s information boards are a great way to find out more about these features.
  8. Get the perfect photo: The best light is in the early morning and late evening when the red sandstone glows bright against the sky. Most arches will be quieter at sunrise, making photography easier. The backdrop of the La Sal Mountains is in the sun in the afternoon.
  9. Remember to bring food: There are no eating facilities within Arches, so you may be as much as an hour from a source of food. Consider bringing water-rich foods such as fruit, which will help you stay hydrated as well as fed.
  10. Talk to the rangers: The visitor center is open 364 days a year. Talk to the rangers about what you wish to see on your visit, and they will be happy to provide you with the best local knowledge about the park.


Save the 3 Best Activities