Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, Moab
Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, Moab

Delicate Arch hike

Moab and Arches National Park
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Beautiful rocks on Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, UtahTop of slick rock on Delicate Arch hike in Arches National ParkApproaching Arch on Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, UtahWell graded trail of Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, UtahDelicate Arch hike in Arches National Park has amazing viewsViews from Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, UtahDelicate Arch hike in Arches National Park is surrounded by amazing sceneryBeautiful rock formations on Delicate Arch hike in Arches National Park, Utah

Delicate Arch hike

Distance: 3.4mi
Elevation: 741ft
Time: 1.5-2h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.5 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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The most popular trail in the park, the Delicate Arch hike leads up a steep slick rock section to the amphitheater surrounding the namesake arch. Typically underestimated by enthusiastic tourists, this hike can get really hot in the summer, making the already steep elevation gain even harder. The combination of the amazing views along the way and the level of effort you need to invest in it has earned the Delicate Arch Trail its place on the list of the best hikes in the USA.

Delicate Arch hike Map

Getting there

From Moab, drive north along the 191, crossing the Colorado River until you reach the signposted turn towards Arches National Park. Pay your dues at the park entrance, then drive along the Arches Scenic Drive for 11.5mi. Turn right onto Delicate Arch Rd, and in 1.2mi pull into the extremely crowded parking lot on your left, signposted as being for the Delicate Arch Trail. Do not follow Delicate Arch Rd until its terminus.

I’ve done this 43 people have done this
I want to do this 66 want to do this route

About

When to do

Year Round

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Yes

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Out and back


Delicate Arch
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Delicate Arch

After hopefully finding a parking spot, begin at the trailhead beside the two pit toilets. The path is very wide and starts out quite flat. You will nearly immediately pass by the historic Wolfe Ranch cabin. John Wesley Wolfe moved here to herd cattle and farm in the area. His sturdy homestead – which at one point housed himself, his son, his daughter and her family – remains to this day.

Continuing along the trail you will climb to gain a ridge. From here the path climbing along a section of slick-rock is clearly visible on the horizon, and you will almost certainly see dozens of other hikers making the same pilgrimage as yourself. Shortly you will step onto the rock and start the climb up. This section of the hike is quite steep, and totally exposed to the sun. Pack plenty of extra water!

Upon reaching the top of the smooth rocky climb you still have a little ways to go. You will weave in and out of small rocky towers and large resilient bushes, following cairns, trail markers, and all the other people on the trail. The final section of the path leads beside a cliff, however the Park Service have blasted out the rock on the ridge to be perfectly flat (and wide), so no one should have any trouble.

After rounding the final corner you will be treated to a stunning view of Delicate Arch. The largest arch in the park, this stunning piece of nature seems to defy gravity. A natural amphitheater has been created surrounding the arch, yielding a great place to relax and enjoy the view! If you want a photo of yourself underneath the arch, be prepared to wait in line. Return the way you came.

If you want to find other great hikes around Moab and Arches National Park, check out the Double Arch Hike or the Dead Horse Point Hike.

Insider Hints

  • Going early in the day beats the crowds, beats the heat, and gives the best light to photograph Delicate Arch without all the pesky people.

  • If the parking lot is really full, park at the end of the road and hike the 1.0mi back to the trailhead.

Comments

ShantiLewis 12 months ago

A great place for hiking, climbing, stargazing, and photography.

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
Sammy L. 12 months ago

Really enjoyed the hike and definitely worth the amazing view of the arch

10.0 Overall Rating
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Frank M. 1 year ago

It is a great trail and incredible arch. Moderate hike.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Kendra Fair 1 year ago

The hike is hot, especially during summer. It's also a bit steep, but there are great views along the way.

10.0 Overall Rating
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HIllaryPNW 1 year ago

I can say that this is "MUST DO" trail. Gorgeous and stunning views.

10.0 Overall Rating
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marjflores 2 years ago

Delicate Arch park is definitely a must see, especially at night!

10.0 Overall Rating
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Meander L. 2 years ago

Cool place for hikers, nature-lovers, and photographers. A moderate hike for us. Gorgeous and stunning.

10.0 Overall Rating
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PetraPk 2 years ago

Delicate Arch is beautiful but there are so many people, hard to take a picture even.

9.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Giedre 2 years ago

That's a must see, if you haven't visited the Delicate Arch, you haven't been to the Arches park at all! It's a relatively easy walk and the moment when you reach the last corner and the view towards the arch opens up around it just takes your breath away! Then fight for your spot for the nice pictures

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
1h 30m Time Taken
Wyatt Thomas 2 years ago

Loved seeing the Delicate Arches, even with the crowds it is worth seeing. They are there for a reason.

9.0 Overall Rating
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16 Comments Show all

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